Masaharu Fukuyama, Riisa Naka Parade as Chinese Imperial Couple During Nagasaki Lantern Festival

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Masaharu Fukuyama, right, portraying the emperor, responds to cheers from spectators along a parade route in Nagasaki City on Saturday, while Riisa Naka, left rear, portraying the empress, is seen in the background.

The “Emperor Parade,” the highlight of the Nagasaki Lantern Festival held in Nagasaki City, took place on Saturday with singer Masaharu Fukuyama, 55, playing the role of China’s emperor and actress Riisa Naka, 34, portraying the empress as they were paraded through the city. Both Fukuyama and Naka hail from Nagasaki Prefecture.

The festival, held under normal circumstances for the first time in four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attracted approximately 26,000 spectators eager to catch a glimpse of the two.

The parade depicts the emperor and empress of the Qing Dynasty in China celebrating with the people during the Spring Festival. The couple, adorned in splendid Chinese attire, rode in palanquins. The parade consisted of a procession of about 100 people and lasted approximately 90 minutes.