Shini (身位)

Shini means a social status and a position. Specifically, it indicates a social status and a position of the Japanese Imperial family.

Shini in the Imperial House of Japan
In the Imperial House of Japan, the Imperial family's Shini includes the Empress, the Grand Empress Dowager, the Empress Dowager, crown prince, crown princess, the son of crown prince, the daughter of crown prince, Imperial Prince, Imperial Princess (wife of Imperial Prince), Imperial Princess (daughter of the Emperor), King (of the Imperial family), Queen (wife of King), and Queen (sister of the King born into the Imperial family).

In the Act of Imperial Family Status (the Imperial Families' Act No.2 of 1910 which was eliminated by Abolition of the Imperial Families' Act and Attached Ordinance [the Imperial Families' Act No.12 of 1947]), the Imperial family were bestowed appointments and orders according to their statuses.

The Empress gets the First Order of the Precious Crown (Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown) when she gets married; crown prince, the son of crown prince, and Imperial Prince get Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum when they come of age; Crown Princess, the daughter of Crown Prince and Imperial Princess (wife of Imperial Prince) get the First Order of the Precious Crown when they are engaged; Imperial Princess (daughter of the Emperor) gets the First Order of the Precious Crown when she reaches maturity; King (of the Imperial family) gets Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flower (the Order of the Paulownia Flowers); and both Queen-wife of the King and sister of the King of the Imperial family-get the Second Order of the Precious Crown (the Order of the Precious Crown, Peony) when they are engaged and come of age respectively.

However, even after abolition of Act of Imperial Family Status, the Imperial family is decorated according to the act. In addition, the decorations, which are bestowed since a revision of the decoration system in November 3, 2003, do not have a number prefix such as 'the First Order' but the ones before the revision are called as they used to be.

[Original Japanese]