Tag Archives: Crown Princess Masako

Imperial New Year’s Lectures

On 10th January, the members of Imperial Family attended the Ceremony of Kosho Hajime (Imperial New Year’s Lectures) took place at Imperial Palace.

This is a ceremony in which Their Majesties listen to experts’ explanations in the fields of human, social and natural sciences in their respective field.

The Ceremony of the Kousho Hajime was instituted in 1869 with a “lecture for the New Year” designed for the enlightenment of studies by Emperor Meiji. In those early days, lectures concentrated on Japanese and Chinese texts, and subsequently came to include western texts. From 1953 the explanations in the above-mentioned three fields came to be instituted.

It was the first time for HIH Crown Princess Masako to attend the Ceremony since 2003.

Photo from Asahi


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New Year’s Greeting

On 2nd January, HM Emperor Akihito and the other members of Imperial Family appeared 5 times at People’s Greeting of New Year at Imperial Palace. About 126,720 people gathered at Imperial Palace and it is the largest number of the visitors during the reign of HM Emperor Akihito (1989-).

HIH Crown Princess Masako

HIH Princess Mako

HIH Princess Mako, HIH Princess Yuriko, HIH Princess Nobuko, HIH Princess Akiko

HIH Princess Yuriko stood up from her wheelchair

Photo from Asahi1 and 2

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New Year’s Celebration

On 1st January 2018, the members of Imperial Family attended the Ceremony of New Year’s Celebration took place at Imperial Palace.

It is the ceremony that Their Majesties Emperor and Empress receive greetings from the other members of Imperial Family; the Speaker and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President and Vice-President of the House of Councillors; Diet members; the Prime Minister; Ministers of State; the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court; other government officials with Imperial attestation; Administrative Vice-Ministers of Ministries and Agencies and other leading figures of legislative, executive and judicial organs; prefectural governors and chairpersons of prefectural assemblies; and heads of diplomatic missions to Japan and their spouses. This ceremony is considered a state event.

It is the last time for HIH Princess Mako to attend the ceremony before her marriage.

HIH Crown Princess Masako and HIH Princess Aiko also visited Imperial Palace to greet Their Majesties.

Photo from Asahi

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Celebration of the Emperor’s Birthday

On 23rd December, the ceremonies to celebrate the 84th birthday of HM Emperor Akihito took place at Imperial Palace.

Greeting the Public


Tea Party with the ambassadors

Photo from Asahi1, 2 and 3

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Crown Princess Masako turns 54

On 9th December, HIH Crown Princess Masako turned 54 years old.

Crown Princess Masako feels ‘sense of awe’ about her future

Text from Japan Times

Crown Princess Masako, who has long struggled with depression, vowed on her 54th birthday Saturday to continue efforts to fulfill her duties, as she is now set to become empress in May 2019.

“When I think about the future, I feel a sobering sense of awe,” she said in a statement, referring to Friday’s Cabinet decision finalizing April 30, 2019, as the day Emperor Akihito will relinquish the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Crown Prince Naruhito, Emperor Akihito’s eldest son, will ascend the throne the next day.

“Following … the Emperor and Empress as my guide, I will step up efforts to be able to fulfill my duties while supporting” my husband, she said.

The Harvard- and Oxford-educated former diplomat is still suffering from a stress-related illness but has shown signs of recovery in recent years, appearing in public more frequently.

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the Crown Princess took part in 64 public duties and Imperial rites that required her to leave her residence over the past year. That’s the most since 2012, when such data became available.

This year, the Crown Princess attended both biannual Imperial garden parties and traveled to regional cities six times.

“I am thankful and glad that things that I can perform increased gradually,” she said.

In 2004, the Imperial Household Agency said the Crown Princess was diagnosed with “adjustment disorder.” According to her medical team, she is recovering but still has ups and downs. Noting that excessive expectations could lead to pressure, the team wants the public to understand that attention will likely grow over how she will respond to becoming empress.

Emperor Akihito, 83, who ascended the throne in 1989, and Empress Michiko, 83, have often traveled to disaster-hit areas to comfort survivors. They have also made trips to World War II battlefields overseas to pay tribute to those who lost their lives. Japan fought the war in the name of Emperor Akhito’s father, Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa.

“I would like to pay my heartfelt respects and gratitude to the past conduct” of the Imperial Couple, the Crown Princess said. She also said she was “deeply grateful” for the Imperial Couple’s “warm support” and the opportunity to learn from them over the years.

Looking back over the past year, the Crown Princess expressed sympathy for those affected by natural disasters, including the flooding in Kyushu in July, as well as those still enduring hardship caused by the massive March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku.

Regarding her only child, Princess Aiko, the Crown Princess said the 16-year-old seems to be enjoying high school with her friends.

“I want her to make various experiences and grow further while keeping in mind the importance of having a grateful and caring heart.”

The Crown Princess gave up a career as a diplomat in 1993 to marry the Crown Prince. She gave birth to Princess Aiko in 2001 but continued to face pressure to produce a male heir as law stipulates that only males born to the male lineage of the Imperial family can ascend the throne.

Photo from Asahi1 and 2

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Supporting Disabled

On 5th December, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako attended the commendation ceremony for supporting the Disabled took place in Tokyo after the Week for Persons with Disabilities in Japan (3rd December to 9th December).

Photo from Tokyo Shimbun and Jiji

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State Guest from Luxembourg Vol.3

On 29th November, the members of Imperial Family attended the concert held by HRH Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg took place at State Guest House in Tokyo.

After the concert, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko bid farewell to HRH Grand Duke Henri and HRH Princess Alexandra.

Photo from Asahi

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State Guest from Luxembourg Vol.1

On 27th November, HM Emperor Akihito, HM Empress Michiko, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako attended the welcoming ceremony for HRH Grand Duke Henri as the State Guest and HRH Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg took place at the East Garden of Imperial Palace.

Imperial Audience

At the evening, Their Majesties held the Imperial Banquet for them at Imperial Palace.

Remarks by His Majesty the Emperor at the State Banquet in Honour of His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg (November 27, 2017)

Text from Imperial Household Agency

I wish to extend a heartfelt welcome to Your Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, who is visiting our country as a State Guest, together with Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, in this memorable year when we are celebrating the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. I am truly delighted to be able to spend this evening here with you. We regret that Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was not able to accompany the Grand Duke this time because of her health. We pray for her good health from the depths of our hearts.

Sixty-four years ago, in 1953, I attended the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. I was 19 years old. It was there that I first met your father, His Royal Highness Jean, former Grand Duke of Luxembourg, who was attending the Coronation as the Hereditary Grand Duke, together with Her Royal Highness Princess Josephine Charlotte.

Subsequently, the former Grand Duke and Grand Duchess have visited Japan a number of times beginning in 1979, including on the occasions of the Funeral of Emperor Showa and my Enthronement Ceremony, and the Empress and I have had the pleasure of seeing them every time they were in our country. Moreover, on each of our two visits to Luxembourg, the Empress and I received warm and gracious hospitality from Their Royal Highnesses former Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte, as well as Your Royal Highnesses, who were then the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess, and other members of your family. It is our great joy that the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg and the Imperial Family of Japan have enjoyed many years of close friendship in this way.

Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke has shown a strong interest in our country from a young age, and I have been told that you conducted research on Japan during your university years. You have visited Japan many times since your first visit in 1981 as newly-weds with Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and you contributed much to developing the relations between our two countries. I would once again like to express my delight at being able to welcome Your Royal Highness as a State Guest.

Located in the centre of Europe, Luxembourg has endured many trials and tribulations of history but has maintained its independence thanks to the solidarity of its people. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of London, which established Luxembourg as a permanently neutral and unarmed state. In the decades following World War II, your country has consistently assumed an important role in the drive toward European integration. You have also produced many leaders for Europe, including the current President of the European Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker.

Furthermore, Luxembourg has successfully made a transition of its industrial structure, from an economy led by the iron and steel industry, which used to be the engine of its economy, to an international financial centre, developing into one of the world’s most affluent welfare states. More recently, it has been diversifying into newer industries, such as information and communications technology, logistics, and space technology. Tomorrow, the Empress and I will be accompanying Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke and Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra on their visit to the Tsukuba Space Centre for a tour of its facilities.

Diplomatic relations between Luxembourg and Japan began in 1927, when Mineichiro Adachi, the first Minister of Japan to Luxembourg, presented his credentials to Grand Duchess Charlotte, Your Royal Highness’s grandmother, and over the 90 years since then, our two countries have developed friendly and cooperative relations. In recent years, in addition to political and economic relations, bilateral exchanges have been expanding by leaps and bounds in the areas of academics, culture, and tourism, including exchanges between the University of Luxembourg and universities in Japan. It gives me great pleasure to see that mutual understanding has been deepening further between the peoples of our two countries.

We are now approaching the end of autumn here in Japan, and trees are ablaze with autumn colours. I hope that the stay of Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke and Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra in Japan will be a most memorable one that serves to further promote the friendly and cooperative relations between our two countries.

I would now like to propose a toast to the good health of Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke, and to the happiness of the people of Luxembourg.

HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako

HIH Princess Mako of Akishino

Photo from Sankei, Asahi1 and 2

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Kagawa Visit of Crown Prince Couple

From 18th November to 19th November, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako visited Kagawa Prefecture to attend the 41st National Tree-Care Festival.

Photo from Asahi12 and Sankei

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International Cosmos Prize

On 10th November, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako attended the ceremony to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of International Cosmos Prize took place in Tokyo.

Photo from Sankei

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