Tag Archives: Princess Mako

100 Days Anniversary


On 3rd February, the memorial service to commemorate the 100 days anniversary of the death of late Prince Takahito took place at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Tokyo.


HIH Princess Yuriko of Mikasa


HIH Prince Fumihito and HIH Princess Kiko of Akishino


HIH Princess Mako and HIH Princess Kako of Akishino


HIH Princess Kako of Akishino


HIH Princess Hanako of Hitachi


HIH Prncess Akiko and HIH Princess Yoko of Mikasa


HIH Princess Hisako and HIH Princess Tsuguko of Takamado


HIH Princess Ayako of Takamado

Photo from Sankei

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On 2nd February, HIH Princess Mako of Akishino attended the lottery ceremony to fix the tournament bracket of DAVIS CUP took place in Tokyo. HIH Princess Mako is the Honorary President of Japan Tennis Association.

Photo from Sankei

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Imperial New Year’s Poetry Reading


On 13th January,  the members of Imperial Family attended the Ceremony of the Utakai Hajime (Imperial New Year’s Poetry Reading) took place at Imperial Palace. This is a ceremony to read a collection of poems on a common theme to a wider audience. This Year’s Theme was “Field (“No” in Japanese)”.

About Imperial New Year’s Poetry Reading (Imperial Household Agecy)



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

Text from Imperial Household Agency

His Majesty the Emperor

To hear the sound
Of tree crickets singing
In the field of Nasu
We gathered together
How fondly I recall that night.

Kantan no
Naku ne kikanto
Nasu no no ni
Tsudoishi yoru wo
Natsukashimi omou

(Background of the poem)
In the summertime Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress spend a few days at the Imperial Villa in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture. In response to His Majesty’s wishes, an annual fauna and flora survey of the grounds of the Imperial Villa was carried out for two five-year periods, over a total of 10 years from 1997 to 2007, with the Tochigi Prefectural Museum playing a central role, and the results of the surveys were compiled in the form of two reports. In this poem His Majesty recalls how, near the Omei Pavilion* at night, He heard the explanation from the researchers and listened to the sound of the singing of the tree crickets, Oecanthus longicauda.

*Omei Pavilion, one of two pavilions on the grounds of the Nasu Imperial Villa, was built in celebration of the 1926 accession to the throne of Emperor Showa, the father of the present Emperor, as an offering from the civil and military officials throughout the country at the time.

Her Majesty the Empress

Picking field horsetails
Plucking wild rocamboles
Here we have lived
In the heart of the city
As if living in the field.

Tsukushi* tsumi
Nobiru* wo hikite
No ni aru gotoku
Koko ni sumikoshi

(Background of the poem)
A wide variety of wild plants grow in the garden of the Imperial Residence, the residence of Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress. Here Their Majesties have enjoyed the fruit of nature offered by the changing seasons, such as looking for field horsetails, Equisetum arvense, in the spring, gathering ginkgo nuts*, Ginkgo biloba, in the autumn, sometimes inviting the Imperial Household staff to join Them. In this poem, Her Majesty looks back, full of deep emotion, on the life She has led at the Imperial Residence, where She has lived close to nature albeit right in the centre of the city, as if living in the field in the countryside.

*Tsukushi field horsetail Equisetum arvense
*Nobiru wild rocambole Allium macrostemon
*Ginnan ginkgo nuts Ginkgo biloba

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince

Down through the shade of the rocks
Water-drops from the mountain grow into a river
Flowing through the plain

(Background of the poem)
In May of 2008, His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince visited Koshu City in Yamanashi Prefecture to climb Mount Kasatori, where he had an opportunity to see the water conservation forest of the Tokyo Waterworks Bureau. There His Imperial Highness saw how each drop of water which trickles down from the mountain rocks grows into a stream which then becomes the source of the Tamagawa River. This poem reflects His Highness’s imagining of the destination of each of those drops.

Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess

As we three, parents and child, wander through the fields of Nasu,
I teach my daughter the names of the autumn flowers

(Background of the poem)
When Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess stay at the Nasu Imperial Villa in summer, they enjoy walking around the estate from time to time. Last summer, they had many occasions to take a walk in the estate together with Her Imperial Highness Princess Aiko, who is now a ninth grader. This poem was composed to describe the joy of teaching Princess Aiko the names of blooming autumn flowers, such as purple scabious, golden lace, and grass-of-Parnassus, when the three strolled around Okinagaoka, a site in the estate.



Photo from Asahi and Sankei

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Imperial New Year’s Lectures


On 11th January,  the members of Imperial Family attended the Ceremony of the Kousho Hajime (Imperial New Year’s Lectures) took place at Imperial Palace.


This is a ceremony in which Their Majesties and the other members of Imperial Family 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.

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 96,700 people gathered at Imperial Palace.







Photo from Asahi

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New Year’s Celebration


On 1st January 2016, 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.




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 Emperor’s Birthday


On 23rd December, the members of Imperial Family greeted the people gathered at Imperial Palace to celebrate the His Majesty’s Birthday. 38,588 people visited Imperial Palace and it was the largest number ever since 1989.









On that day, the luncheon to celebrate His Majesty’s Birthday took place at Imperial Palace.




On that day, the tea party with the ambassadors and their spouses also took place at Imperial Palace.



Photo from AsahiMainichi and Sankei

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President of Singapore


On 30th November, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko attended the welcoming ceremony for the State Guests, HE Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, the President of the Republic of Singapore and the First Lady took place at Imperial Palace.



HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako also welcomed the President and the First Lady.










Imperial Audience




At the evening, Their Majesties held the Imperial Banquet for the President and the First Lady at Imperial Palace.







Remarks by His Majesty the Emperor at the State Banquet in Honour of H.E. President Tony Tan Keng Yam and H.E. Mrs. Mary Tan of the Republic of Singapore (Wednesday, November 30, 2016)

Text from Imperial Household Agency

I wish to extend my heartfelt welcome to His Excellency President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Her Excellency Mrs. Mary Tan of the Republic of Singapore on the occasion of Your State Visit to Japan in this commemorative year marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. It is my great pleasure to be able to spend this evening together with You.

It was 46 years ago, in 1970, that the Empress and I first visited Singapore. We were honoured at that time to meet with then President Yusof bin Ishak and Mrs. Toh Puan Noor Aishah, and to be invited to a banquet hosted by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Mrs. Kwa Geok Choo. We visited Singapore again in 1981 and in 2006 as State Guests, when we commemorated the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two nations. We then received warm hospitality from then President S. R. Nathan and Mrs. Urmila Nandey, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mrs. Ho Ching, and many other people of your country.

At the time of our first visit, Singapore was still in its early days, having gained its independence just five years before, and setting out on its course of nation-building. Every time we visited Singapore since then, we witnessed the dramatic progress that you had made in the intervening years. Now, more than half a century since Singapore’s independence, you have succeeded in creating a beautiful, affluent nation. It pleases me greatly to note that your national development has been accompanied by similarly striking advances in the bilateral relations between our two countries.

We are happy that Japan-Singapore relations have grown firm and strong, just like the Japanese cycad seedlings the Empress and I planted in the Japanese garden in the Jurong district on our first visit to Singapore those many years ago.

Recent years have seen the passing of great figures from Singapore’s history: former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in March 2015 and former President Nathan in August of this year. I would like to express my deepest condolences once again for the loss of those two figures who led Singapore in its early years soon after its independence and greatly contributed to the fostering of friendly and cooperative ties with Japan.

Your Excellencies President Tan and Mrs. Mary Tan, I understand that, as part of your visit to Japan this time, you will be visiting the town of Shichigahama in Miyagi Prefecture, which suffered great damage in the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami of March 2011. When this disaster struck five and a half years ago, Singapore provided valuable aid to Japan, such as sending emergency supplies and dispatching a search and rescue team. Thanks to the generous donations from Singapore, various recovery projects were implemented in Shichigahama and other areas impacted by the disaster. I wish to express my deepest gratitude to the people and Government of Singapore for the warm support they offered us in our time of need.

In 1966, the year after Singapore’s independence, Japan established diplomatic relations with your country. In the 50 years since then, our two nations have maintained and developed a close, friendly, and cooperative relationship. At the same time, I believe that we must never forget the many precious lives that were lost in Singapore during World War II, and the many hardships suffered by the Singaporean people during that time.

Last year, the Japanese Association, Singapore, celebrated the 100th anniversary of its foundation. Today nearly 40,000 Japanese citizens make Singapore their home, being active not just within Singapore but throughout the neighbouring countries in the region, using Singapore as their base.

The ties between Japan and Singapore go well beyond political and economic ones to encompass a broad range of fields, including cultural and intellectual exchange. With the cooperation of the Singaporean authorities, there is a center operating to share Japanese culture with the people of Singapore, further promoting the cultural exchange between us.

Our two nations have also been working together to help ensure the peace and prosperity of our region and the world. Since 1994, for instance, Japan and Singapore have engaged in various forms of technical cooperation, including accepting trainees from third countries. To date, more than 6,000 trainees from some 90 nations have benefitted from this assistance.

Here in Japan, we are now nearing the end of autumn and entering the winter season. Your Excellencies President Tan and Mrs. Tan, I am told that you will be visiting Kyoto as well as the Tohoku region of Japan. I sincerely hope that your visit will be a memorable and fruitful one which will help to further deepen the mutual understanding and friendly cooperative relations between Japan and Singapore towards the next half-century.

I would now like to propose a toast to the good health of Your Excellencies, and to the happiness of the people of Singapore.





On 2nd December, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko visited State Guest House to bid farewell to the President and the First Lady.



Photo from Asahi1, 2, 3 and Sankei

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Day after the Funeral


On 5th November, the rite at the grave of late Prince Mikasa took place at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Tokyo.






Previous to the rite, Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress visited the grave of late Prince Mikasa.





The grave of late Prince Mikasa are open for the general public on 6the and 7th November.

Photo from Asahi

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Funeral of late Prince Mikasa


On 4th November, the Funeral of late Prince Takahito of Mikasa took place at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Tokyo and 582 people attended.


Departure from Mikasanomiya Residence





Arrival at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery


HIH Princess Yuriko of Mikasa, the chief mourner











The funeral site was open to the general public after the funeral


After the cremation, the rite of burial took place at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery.


HIH Princess Yuriko of Mikasa


HIH Princess Kako of Akishino


HIH Prince Masahito and HIH Princess Hanako of Hitachi


Takamado Family


HIH Princes Hisako of Takamado, the daughter-in-law of late Prince Mikasa

Photo from Asahi, Mainichi and Sankei1,2 and 3


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