Tag Archives: Emperor Akihito

Medical Dedicators

On 12th March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko met with the recipients of the 46th Yomiuri Awards for Medical Dedication which commend people dedicated to medical care in remote regions, developing countries and other challenging environments at Imperial Palace.

Photo from Sankei


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Remembering Great East Japan Earthquake Vol.1

On 10th March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko attended the charity concert to support the reconstruction of the area affected by Great East Japan Earthquake and the massive tsunami occurred on 11th March 2011 took place in Tokyo.

Photo from Asahi


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Fire Defense System

On 7th March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko attended the ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of fire defense system of local governments took place in Tokyo.

Photo from Sankei


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President of Chile

On 26th February, HM Emperor Akihito met with HE Ms Michelle Bachelet Jeria, President of the Republic of Chile at Imperial Residence.

Photo from Asahi



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Imperial Vacation in Hayama

On 19th February, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko arrived at Hayama Imperial Villa in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Their Majesties will stay there until 22nd February.

Photo from Asahi


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President of Germany

On 7th February, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko met with HE Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany and the First Lady at Imperial Residence.

Photo from Asahi


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Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

On 26th January, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko met with the recipients of the Emperor’s Cup of the Festival of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries at Imperial Palace.

Photo from Sankei


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Opening Ceremony of Diet Session

On 22nd January, HM Emperor Akihito attended the opening ceremony of the 196th Ordinary Diet Session took place in Tokyo.

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Imperial New Year’s Poetry Reading

On 12th January, the members of Imperial Family attended the Ceremony of the Utakai Hajime (Imperial New Year’s Poetry Reading) took place at Imperial Palace.

Waka Poems by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess

Text from Imperial Household Agency

Theme for the New Year’s Poetry Reading (2018) : GO (WORD)

His Majesty the Emperor

In the garden
Conversing with each other
On our morning walk
We come across in the woods
Blossoms of kinran* blooming.

(Background of the poem)
Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress take a stroll together in the garden of the Imperial Residence early every morning as part of Their daily routine. On Sundays, They go as far as the East Gardens and walk around the gardens of Ninomaru and Honmaru. In this poem, His Majesty recalls seeing kinran in the course of Their walk in the springtime in the grove of the Ninomaru garden.

*Kinran, or helleborine, Cephalanthera falcata, is a woodland orchid, with small yellow flowers, which blooms from mid-April to mid-May.

*Honmaru is the site of the main compound of the Edo Castle.

*Ninomaru is the site of another compound on the east side of Honmaru, where a garden was laid out, using surface soil brought from a grove in the suburbs of Tokyo. The soil contained the seeds and roots of plants, insect eggs and soil organisms, which explains the existence of kinran in the Ninomaru Grove.

Her Majesty the Empress

On Your shoulders
Pours the early spring sunlight
Softly and gently
O, such a heavy burden
You bore, saying so little.

(Background of the poem)
His Majesty the Emperor has devoted Himself over the years to pursuing His life as the symbol of the state, fulfilling His heavy responsibilities quietly as a matter of course, without saying much. In this poem, Her Majesty the Empress expresses how, beholding His Majesty standing in the warm sunlight of early spring, She reflected on the path His Majesty has followed until now.

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince

I prayed for the happiness of the people
who had settled down in the reconstructed homes,
Listening to them talk of their lives after the disaster

(Background of the poem)
His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince, together with Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess, visited Yuriage Chuo Daiichi Danchi (the central apartment complex No.1) in the Yuriage area of Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture, in November 2017. There, Their Imperial Highnesses received a briefing on the situation of the reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake, such as the progress in the construction of public housing for the disaster victims. Then they conversed with the people affected by the disaster who had moved into the new public housing.
His Imperial Highness was relieved to hear that the reconstruction work had made steady progress, and the environment for the disaster affected people to live in peace had been improving. This poem depicts His Highness’s thoughts over the hardships of the people who suffered from the disaster and his sincere prayer for the happiness of each of them in their days ahead.

Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess

How relieved was I
To hear hopeful words
Coming from the people
in their new homes in Yuriage

(Background of the poem)
Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess, together with His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince, visited the disaster affected areas in Miyagi prefecture last November. The Yuriage area in Natori City, which was severely damaged by the tsunami, was one of these places. During the visit, she felt relieved to hear words of hope from the people who had moved into new public housing where their living environment is improving, helping them to find new hope for the future.
This waka poem was composed to express her feelings at the time, recalling the hardships that many people had to endure after the great earthquake and tsunami, and wishing for further reconstruction of the area.

Photo from Nikkei and Mainichi


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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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