On 16th May, HM Empress Michiko, the Honorary President of Japanese Red Cross Society attended the Annual Convention of the Society took place in Tokyo.
HIH Crown Princess Masako, HIH Princess Kiko of Akishino, HIH Princess Nobuko of Mikasa and HIH Princess Hisako of Takamado, the Honorary Vice-Presidents of the Society also attended the Convention.
It became the last time for HM Empress MIchiko to attend the Convention as the Empress. HM Empress Michiko became the Honorary Vice-President of the Society as the Crown Princess right after she got married to HM Emperor Akihito in 1959 and became the Honorary President of the Society as the Empress in 1989. HM Empress Michiko has engaged in various activities of Japanese Red Cross Society for about 60 years.
At last, HM Empress Michiko introduced HIH Crown Princess Masako as the next Honorary President of the Society.
Photo from Mainichi, Nikkei, Asahi and Kyodo
On 13th May, HIH Crown Princess Masako visited Imperial Cocoonery inside Imperial Palace with HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Princess Aiko to receive a lecture about the sericulture from HM Empress Michiko. HM Emperor Akihito also attended the lecture.
The Imperial tradition of sericulture has been continued by Empresses. HIH Crown Princess Masako has expressed her hope to inherit the Imperial tradition of sericulture from HM Empress Michiko after the abdication of HM Emperor Akihito on 30th April, 2019.
After the lecture, they had lunch together at Imperial Residence.
Crown Princess Masako hopes to inherit Imperial sericulture tradition
Text from Japan Times
Crown Princess Masako has expressed her hope to inherit the Imperial tradition of sericulture from Empress Michiko, Imperial Household Agency sources said Thursday.
Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako and Princess Aiko – their only child – are set to visit the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Sunday and view a sericulture facility at the palace with the Imperial couple, the sources said.
According to the sources, an aide to Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako met with the Empress late last month at the Imperial Palace and informed her of the Crown Princess’ hope to succeed in the sericulture tradition.
The Empress explained how silkworms are being raised to the aide, who then viewed the sericulture facility at the Imperial Palace, the sources said.
The Imperial tradition of sericulture was initiated by Empress Shoken, the wife of Emperor Mutsuhito who reigned between 1867 and 1912 and was posthumously called Emperor Meiji. The tradition has since been continued by later empresses.
Since earlier this month, the Empress has been carrying out her last activities in sericulture, ahead of Emperor Akihito’s abdication on April 30 next year.
In May 2019, silkworms at the Imperial Palace will be taken care of by Imperial Household Agency officials because a series of events related to the Crown Prince’s ascent to the throne will keep the Imperial family busy.
Photo from Asahi
On 3rd May, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito, HIH Crown Princess Masako and HIH Princess Aiko arrived at Imperial Farm in Tochigi Prefecture for vacation.
On 5th May, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko visited Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club in Tokyo.
HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko used to play tennis there before they got married.
“Golden Week” is a week from the 29th of April to early May containing a number of Japanese holidays. A lot of people take a vacation during the week.
Photo from Asahi1 and 2
On 25th April, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko held Spring Imperial Garden Party at Akasaka Imperial Garden and about 2,500 people were invited.
The other members of Imperial Family also attended the party.
Photo from Mainichi, AFP and Asahi
On 24th April, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako had lunch with HM the King Carl XVI Gustaf and HM the Queen Silvia of the Kingdom of Sweden at Palace Hotel Tokyo.
Photo from Sankei
On 18th April, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako attended the ceremony to commemorate the 110th anniversary of Japan Society, the U.S. organization committed to deepening mutual understanding between the United States and Japan took place in Tokyo.
Photo from Sankei and Mainichi
Text from Kyodo News
KYOTO – The huge Takamikura throne that will be used in next year’s ceremony to mark Crown Prince Naruhito’s accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne was shown to the press on Tuesday.
The 8-ton, 6.5-meter-high canopied throne, also used in the enthronement rites for three emperors including Emperor Akihito, is expected to be transported from where it is currently kept in Kyoto to Tokyo this summer.
The crown prince will succeed to the throne the day after Emperor Akihito abdicates on April 30, 2019.
The Michodai throne, which will be used during the ceremony by the new empress, currently Crown Princess Masako, was built like the Takamikura throne but smaller in size.
The thrones kept at the Shishinden hall of the Kyoto Imperial Palace and unveiled to the media looked faded.
According to the Imperial Household Agency, the thrones will undergo repairs over their damaged lacquer finish and degradation of gold work at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo before the ceremony is held on Oct. 22 next year.
The thrones will be disassembled and loaded onto trucks for transport.
Takamikura at Tokyo Imperial Palace in 1990
Photo from Sankei and Asahi
On 20th March, HM Empress Michiko, HIH Crown Princess Masako, HIH Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko of Akishino, HIH Princess Akiko of Mikasa, HIH Princess Hisako and HIH Princess Ayako of Takamado attended the Concert performed by the graduates of music universities took place at the Music Hall inside Imperial Palace.
Photo from NTV and Jiji
On 23rd February, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito turned 58 years old.
On the occasion of his birthday, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito atended the Press Conference took place at Crown Prince Residence.
Japan’s Crown Prince turns 58
Text from NHK World
Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito turned 58 on Friday. He will ascend the throne on May 1st of next year, one day after Emperor Akihito abdicates.
He held a news conference ahead of his birthday at his residence in central Tokyo.
The Crown Prince said he feels deeply moved and has a sense of respect for the Emperor and Empress when he reflects again on the paths they have taken.
The Crown Prince said he will keep the figures of the Emperor and Empress firmly in his heart and will always remember them when engaging in activities. He added he will also perform his duties while working hard to improve himself.
The Crown Prince talked about what an Emperor in the coming new era should be like.
He said it is important to maintain the long tradition of the Imperial Family and steadfastly fulfill the Emperor’s role as the symbol of the state, as stipulated in the Constitution.
He added that he believes another role of the Imperial Family is to think about duties in light of changes in society and act.
The Crown Prince expressed condolences to people who were affected by natural disasters in the past year. The phenomena include heavy rain in northern areas of the Kyushu region in July, the eruption of Mount Kusatsu-Shirane in January, and the heavy snow this winter.
The Crown Prince also referred to Japanese athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
He said he saw gold medalists Yuzuru Hanyu and Nao Kodaira congratulate foreign rivals they have known for a long time.
The Crown Prince said he sensed deep, cross-border friendships and the presence of Japanese athletes in the world.
Photo from Asahi1, 2 and 3
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