Tag Archives: Princess Mako

Pacific Islands Leaders

On 17th May, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko held the tea party for the Pacific Islands Leaders who attend the 8th PALM (Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting) at Imperial Palace.
HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and the other members of Imperial Family also attended the tea party.

Photo from Sankei


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Dutch Children’s Literature

On 26th April, HIH Princess Kiko and HIH Princess Mako of Akishino visited the exhibition of Children’s Literature of Netherlands took place at International Library of Children’s Literature, National Diet Library in Tokyo.

Photo from Asahi


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Spring Imperial Garden Party

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


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King and Queen of Sweden Vol.1

On 23rd April, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko visited the exhibition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and the Kingdom of Sweden took place at INTERMEDIATHEQUE where HIH Princess Mako of Akishino works with HM the King Carl XVI Gustaf and HM the Queen Silvia of the Kingdom of Sweden.

HIH Princess Mako welcomed Their Majesties at INTERMEDIATHEQUE.

At evening, Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress held the dinner for Their Majesties the King and the Queen at Imperial Residence.

Photo from Asahi


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Calligraphy Exhibition

On 9th February, HIH Princess Mako of Akishino visited the 49th exhibition of 100 Modern Female Calligraphers took place in Tokyo.

Photo from Asahi


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Marriage will be postponed

On 6th February, Imperial Household Agency announced that the formal engagement and marriage of HIH Princess Mako of Akishino and Mr Kei Komuro will be postponed until 2020.

Princess Mako’s marriage to be postponed over ‘lack of preparation,’ Imperial Household Agency says

Text from Japan Times

The Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday that the formal engagement and marriage of Princess Mako – the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito – and her fiance, Kei Komuro, will be postponed until 2020 due to “lack of preparation.”

The couple, both 26, were supposed to be formally engaged in a traditional court ceremony called Nosai no Gi on March 4, ahead of their planned wedding on Nov. 4. The princess said through the agency she “came to recognize the lack of time to make sufficient preparations.”

The agency denied any link between the postponement and a recent weekly magazine report of a financial dispute – between Komuro’s mother and her former fiance – over her son’s education expenses, which were reportedly shouldered by the mother’s former partner.

The princess said she has reported the postponement to the Emperor and Empress Michiko, who have shown respect for the decision.

“Last May, there were reports about our engagement at an unexpected time,” she said. “We believe we have rushed various things.”

“I wish to think about marriage more deeply and concretely and give sufficient time to prepare our marriage and for after the marriage,” she added.

The princess said she wants to postpone the marriage and other related events until 2020, after a “series of ceremonies important for the Imperial family have ended smoothly.” That is an apparent reference to the Emperor’s planned abdication on April 30, 2019, and the accession to the throne the following day by Crown Prince Naruhito.

She added that the delay was caused by the couple’s “immaturity” and that they regret the situation.

“We feel extremely sorry for causing great trouble and further burden to those who have willingly supported us,” she said.

Komuro lives with his mother and grandfather in Yokohama. He met the princess at university and currently works as a paralegal at a law firm in the capital, where he attends Hitotsubashi University’s graduate school at night to study business law.

The agency had formally announced the planned engagement of the couple last September, confirming earlier news reports. The princess will renounce her status as a member of the Imperial family after marrying the commoner, in accordance with the Imperial House Law.

The princess and Komuro met at International Christian University in western Tokyo. They became close in 2012 when they participated in an orientation session for study abroad programs, the princess has said.

As a part of the exchange program, the princess studied at the University of Edinburgh while Komuro attended the University of California, Los Angeles.

Komuro has said the pair started dating before they went abroad. Komuro said he proposed in December 2013.

After graduating from ICU in 2014, the princess earned a master’s degree in art museum and gallery studies at the University of Leicester in England. She is now a researcher at a museum at the University of Tokyo.

In 2010, Komuro he served as a tourism promoter for the city of Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, which dubbed him a “Prince of the Sea.”

The princess is the first of the Imperial Couple’s four grandchildren to get engaged.

The engagement has highlighted the dwindling size of the Imperial family. Under the Imperial House Law, princesses can’t become reigning empresses and are obliged to leave the family upon marrying commoners. When she gets married, it will reduce the Imperial family to 18 members, including the Emperor himself. Only a male in the paternal line has the right to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Photo from Asahi


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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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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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