Monthly Archives: September 2017

Gifu Visit of Princess Mako

From 14th to 15th September, HIH Princess Mako of Akishino visited Gifu Prefecture to attend the opening ceremony of International Ceramics Festival ’17 Mino.
HIH Princess Mako is the Honorary President of the Festival.

Photo from Asahi1, 2 and 3

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Chief Priestess of Ise Jingu

On 14th September, Mrs. Sayako Kuroda, the daughter of HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko visited Ise Jingu Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture as the Chief Priestess of the Shrine.

Mrs. Kuroda took over the position of the Chief Priestess of Ise Jingu Grand Shrine from Mrs. Atsuko Ikeda, the sister of HM Emperor Akihito in June.

Photo from Asahi

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Rice Harvest

On 13th September, HM Emperor Akihito harvested rice at the rice field inside Imperial Palace.

The rice harvested by His Majesty will be offered to the thanksgiving ceremonies held at Imperial Palace Sanctuaries and Ise Grand Shrine.

Photo from Asahi

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Princess Kako departs for foreign study trip to University of Leeds

On 12th September, HIH Princess Kako of Akishino departed for United Kingdom where she will study at the University of Leeds as an exchange student until June next year.

[NEWS]Princess Kako leaves to study at University of Leeds through June

Text from Kyodo News

TOKYO – Princess Kako, a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, departed Tuesday for Britain where she will study at the University of Leeds as an exchange student until June next year.

While attending the university in northern England, the 22-year-old second daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko will take courses in such fields as performing arts and psychology at the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

The princess, a junior at International Christian University in Tokyo, will stay at a school dormitory while studying in England.

This is her first extended overseas stay since her homestay in the United States in the summer of 2013, when she was a freshman at Gakushuin University in Tokyo. She later quit the school and enrolled at International Christian University, her older sister Princess Mako’s alma mater.

The University of Leeds, established in 1904, is a world top 100 university and one of the largest higher-education institutions in Britain, according to the school’s website.

Princess Mako, who became engaged to her longtime boyfriend Kei Komuro early this month, studied at the University of Edinburgh in Britain from 2012 to 2013 as an exchange student when she was a junior at ICU.

Photo from Asahi

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Inuit Sculptures of late Prince Takamado

On 12th September, HIH Princess Hisako of Takamado attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition of the Inuit sculptures collected by late Prince Takamado (1954-2002) took place at Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.

Photo from Asahi

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Prince Hisahito turns 11

On 6th September, HIH Prince Hisahito of Akishino turned 11 years old.

[NEWS]Prince Hisahito, third in line to throne, turns 11

Text from The Japan News

Prince Hisahito, Emperor Akihoto’s grandson who is third in line to the Imperial throne, turned 11 on Wednesday.

His birthday came days after the announcement that his elder sister, Princess Mako, will marry her longtime boyfriend, Kei Komuro. The prince has already met Komuro, 25, and will attend their wedding ceremony scheduled in fall next year.

The son of Prince Akishino, the younger of the Emperor’s two sons, and Princess Kiko, the prince is likely to draw more attention as he will be second in line to the throne after the 83-year-old Emperor’s abdication that could take place as early as December next year.

Prince Hisahito, a fifth-grader at an elementary school in Tokyo affiliated with Ochanomizu University, has often visited the Imperial Palace and the Imperial Residence to see the Emperor and Empress Michiko with his parents.

Following the Emperor’s rare video address last year that hinted at his desire to step down due to his advanced age, the Diet enacted a law to allow him to abdicate. His abdication would be the first in about 200 years.

Last December, the prince, along with his parents, visited the sites of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki for the first time.

While observing his parents, he carefully offered flowers and bowed deeply in Nagasaki Peace Park, where the ground zero monument dedicated to victims of the bombing sits.

In May, he watched a Summer Grand Sumo Tournament bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan and visited the Sumo Museum as part of an off-school learning program.

Photo from Asahi

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Nara Visit of Crown Prince Couple

From 2nd to 3rd September, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako visited Nara Prefecture to attend the opening ceremony of the 32nd National Cultural Festival and the 17th National Festival of Arts and Culture for People with Disabilities.

Photo from Sankei

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Princess Mako announced the engagement

On 3rd September, the engagement of HIH Princess Mako and Mr Kei Komuro was officially approved by HM Emperor Akihito.
HIH Princess Mako and Mr Komuro visited Imperial Palace to meet with HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko.

On that day, HIH Princess Mako and Mr Komuro attended the Press Conference took place at Akasaka East House.

[NEWS]Princess Mako, Komuro announce engagement

Text from The Japan News

TOKYO (Jiji Press) The Imperial Household Agency announced on Sunday the informal engagement of Princess Mako, the first grandchild of the Emperor and Empress, to former university classmate and commoner Kei Komuro.

Shinichiro Yamamoto, grand steward of the agency, made the announcement at a press conference following a procedure called “saika” earlier in the day, in which the Emperor approved the coming marriage of Princess Mako and Komuro, both 25.

A series of related rituals, including a betrothal ceremony known as “Nosai no Gi,” will be carried out before the couple’s wedding, which is expected to take place in autumn next year at the earliest.

Princess Mako, the eldest of the three children of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and Komuro met five years ago when they were students at International Christian University in Tokyo. They graduated from the university in 2014.

At a press conference held at the Akasaka Imperial estate in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Sunday afternoon, Princess Mako and Komuro spoke about how their romance started and how they feel now.

The two became close as they sat near each other during a briefing session held in 2012 at the university for a student exchange program, according to the press conference. Then, they started to deepen their relations.

Komuro proposed to Princess Mako in December 2013, saying, “Let’s marry in the future.” The princess immediately accepted the marriage proposal.

Following the upcoming marriage, Princess Mako will leave the Imperial Family. Article 12 of the Imperial House Law stipulates that a woman in the Imperial Family shall lose her status in the family if she marries a person outside the family.

On this, Princess Mako said, “From my childhood, I have spent my life, bearing in mind that when I get married, I would lose my Imperial Family member status.”

Princess Mako is the first to have an informal engagement among the four grandchildren of the Emperor and Empress.

Her fiance-to-be, a resident of Yokohama, works at a law firm in Tokyo. He is the eldest son of Toshikatsu Komuro, a former employee of the Yokohama city government, who died in 2002, and his wife Kayo, 51.

Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko said in a statement that they look forward to the wedding of Princess Mako and Komuro.

Imperial couple deeply impressed

According to Yamamoto, the Emperor and Empress appeared to be feeling deeply impressed. The Emperor was quoted as saying, “It’s good because the weather is fine today.”

On Sunday morning, Princess Mako introduced Komuro to the Emperor and Empress at the Imperial couple’ s residence at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo’ s Chiyoda Ward. This was the first time for Komuro to meet with the Emperor and the Empress.

On Sunday evening, Princess Mako and Komuro were slated to have a dinner with Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko and Komuro’ s mother at the residence of the young princess’ parents in the Akasaka estate.

The agency, which initially planned to disclose to the public the couple’ s informal engagement in autumn this year or later, moved up the schedule to July 8, following a flurry of media reports that preparations were under way for the engagement of Princess Mako and Komuro.

But the announcement was postponed because heavy rain and flooding hit the northern part of the Kyushu region in early July, with Princess Mako and Komuro worrying about the situation in areas afflicted by the disaster and feeling sympathy for affected people.

Sunday was picked for the announcement as about two months have passed since the disaster and in light of the schedules of the Emperor, the Empress and the parents of Princess Mako, as well as the impact on Komuro’ s work.

Princess Mako and Komuro have made preparations for the press conference at her parents’ residence on weekends, after the princess made an official visit to Bhutan in June, according to officials of the Imperial Household Agency.

Photo from Asahi1, 2, 3, 4 and 5


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Prime Minister of United Kingdom


On 1st September, HM Emperor Akihito met with The Rt Hon Theresa MAY MP,. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at Imperial Residence.

Photo from Sankei

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Remembering Great Kanto Earthquake

On 1st September, HIH Prince Fumihito and HIH Princess Kiko of Akishino attended the annual memorial service for the victims of Great Kanto Earthquake occurred on 1st September 1923.

Photo from Sankei

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