Tag Archives: Princess Mako

Bhutan Visit of Princess Mako

From 31st May to 8th June, HIH Princess Mako of Akishino visited Kingdom of Bhutan and Singapore. HRH Princess Euphelma Choden Wangchuck, the sister of HM King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck welcomed HIH Princess Mako at the Airport.

On 2nd June, HIH Princes Mako met with HM King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and HM Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck. Their Majesties visited Japan in 2011 as the State Guests.

On 4th June, HIH Princess Mako attended the Bhutan Flower Exhibition with Their Majesties the King and the Queen.

On 6th June, HIH Princess Mako visited Taktsang Monastery.

On 7th June, HIH Princess Mako left Bhutan from Palo International Airport.

On 8th June, HIH Princess Mako arrived at Tokyo International Airport.

Photo from Asahi1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

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[NEWS] Princess Mako to be engaged

Text from The Yomiuri Shimbun

Princess Mako, the 25-year-old eldest daughter of Prince Akishino and his wife, Kiko, will become engaged to a man she met while attending International Christian University in Tokyo, it has been learned.

The Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday evening that it is making preparations for the engagement. In keeping with the current Imperial House Law, Princess Mako will leave the Imperial family when she is married.

Her prospective fiance is Kei Komuro, 25, a former fellow student at the university who now lives in Yokohama.

Shinichiro Yamamoto, grand steward of the agency, started answering reporters’ questions at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, saying, “Concerning the unofficial engagement, we were planning to announce it at the appropriate time.” Yamamoto said that at the moment he wanted to refrain from saying when the announcement will be made.

According to Yamamoto, Komuro is studying business law at Hitotsubashi University’s graduate school while also working at a law firm in Tokyo. Prince Akishino and his wife approve of the relationship, and the Emperor and Empress have been informed about it, Yamamoto said.

Following the announcement of the unofficial engagement, there will be a traditional rite of betrothal called Nosai no Gi, the equivalent of the ceremony traditionally held to exchange betrothal gifts among the general public.

This will be followed by other ceremonies held shortly before the wedding ceremony, including a ceremony in which Princess Mako and Komuro’s marriage is reported to the Imperial ancestors and gods at three palaces within the Imperial Palace grounds, and Choken no Gi, in which the princess will bid farewell to the Emperor and Empress.

This will be the first engagement in 12 years of a naishinno princess – a daughter or granddaughter of the Emperor – since the engagement of the Emperor and Empress’ daughter, Sayako Kuroda. It will also be the first time a female Imperial family member has become engaged in three years, since the wedding of Noriko Senge, the second daughter of the late Prince Takamado.

Princess Mako and Komuro met at a discussion meeting about studying abroad in June 2012 in Tokyo, and began to see each other, according to sources.

The princess was born in October 1991, making her the first grandchild of the Emperor and Empress. After entering Gakushuin Primary School in 1998, she went on to Gakushuin Girls’ Junior and Senior High School. In 2010, she enrolled at the ICU College of Liberal Arts, where she majored in art and cultural heritage.

She studied at the University of Edinburgh in 2012, and after her graduation from ICU in 2014 participated in the University of Leicester’s postgraduate program to study museology for about a year.

She is now an affiliate researcher at the University Museum of the University of Tokyo. In the summer of 2011, shortly after the nation was struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake, the princess visited affected places including Yamada and Otsuchi in Iwate Prefecture and Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture and volunteered in activities to support children.

Since returning from Britain in September 2015, she has actively carried out such public duties as visiting facilities for people with disabilities and attending an international tennis tournament.

Komuro lives with his mother and grandfather. When he was a university student, he took part in tourism promotion activities for Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, serving as a “prince of the sea in Shonan Enoshima.” His future dreams of “engagement in diplomacy” and hobbies including playing the violin, skiing and cooking were listed on the city’s tourist association website.
Future fiance gives few details

Komuro, the soon-to-be fiance of Princess Mako, spoke with reporters Wednesday morning in Tokyo.

Because their engagement has not yet been officially announced, Komuro was restrained in answering questions about his relationship with the princess.

“When the right time comes, I would like to speak [with you all] again,” he told the press.

Nevertheless, Komuro smiled when describing a phone conversation he had that morning with Princess Mako before leaving for work.

Also on Wednesday morning, Princess Mako smiled and nodded to reporters when leaving the Akasaka Estate in Minato Ward, Tokyo, where she lives.

Komuro was accompanied by an official from the Imperial Household Agency when he spoke with reporters in front of the building that houses the law office where he works in Chuo Ward, Tokyo.

Looking somewhat tense, he bowed deeply for about two seconds, saying, “I apologize for making you wait for so long.”

Komuro gave only brief answers when asked about his feelings, how he stayed in touch with Princess Mako and other matters.

“When the right time comes, I would like to speak [with you all] again,” and “I apologize [but I cannot comment] at this time,” he said.

When asked about media reports of his engagement, which appeared suddenly on Tuesday evening, he seemed perplexed by the sudden coverage.

“To be honest, I totally forgot where I saw it. I don’t remember,” Komuro said.

However, his expression softened when a reporter asked him what it was about Princess Mako’s character that attracted him. He again avoided the question, but did reveal that the two had spoken briefly by phone before leaving for work that morning. He said he told her, “I’m off,” and she responded, “Have a good day.”

Asked about his current occupation, Komuro said he worked as a paralegal and is assisting lawyers. The legal office where Komuro belongs specializes in business turnaround and corporate law.

Komuro, who is proficient in English, deals with translations of contracts and research on the practice of law at the firm.

After taking a barrage of questions from the media for about six minutes, Komuro bowed deeply again and left with a smile.

Princess Mako left the Akasaka Estate a little after 10:30 a.m. by car for her job at a facility connected to the University Museum of the University of Tokyo. When she leaves the residence for private matters, she usually keeps the windows closed, but this time a rear window opened as the car passed through the gates.

She gave a shy smile and nodded in recognition to shouts of “Congratulations!” from the press corps.

The couple has already started preparing for their life after marriage, sources said.

Princess Mako is scheduled to make an official visit to Bhutan at the end of this month, so the agency is preparing to officially announce the engagement after she returns.

Under the current Imperial Household Law, princesses who marry must leave the Imperial family, which means Princess Mako would become a private citizen after marrying Komuro.

A senior agency official said the couple has already started preparations regarding a future residence.

Photo from Yomiuri Shimbun and Mainichi

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Spring Imperial Garden Party

On 20th April, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko held the Spring Imperial Garden Party at Akasaka Imperial Garden and about 2,000 guests are invited.
All female members of Imperial Family who attended the party wore Kimono.

Photo from Asahi and Sankei

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Home-coming of Imperial Couple

On 6th March, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko finished their visit to Viet Nam and Thailand and arrived at Tokyo International Airport.

Following the custom of Imperial Family, the members of Imperial Family welcomed Their Majesties at the airport.

Photo from Mainichi

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Imperial Visit to Vietnam Vol.1


On 28th February, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko started the official visit to Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
Their Majesties will also visit Kingdom of Thailand to express their condolences to late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Their Majesties will come back to Japan on 6th March.


Remarks by His Majesty the Emperor at the Time of Their Majesties’ Departure for the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the Kingdom of Thailand (February 28, 2017)

Text from Imperial Household Agency

I shall be visiting Viet Nam for the first time together with the Empress at the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Tran Dai Quang, the President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and also making a stopover in the Kingdom of Thailand on our way back to Japan.

In our relations with Viet Nam, we welcomed as state guests to Japan, His Excellency President Nguyen Minh Triet in 2007 and His Excellency President Truong Tan Sang in 2014, and we have been kindly offered invitations to visit Viet Nam. During this visit, in the capital city of Hanoi, we will be attending a welcoming ceremony and other official events as well as meeting with persons involved in Japan-Viet Nam relations. Later, in the ancient city of Hue, arrangements have been made to allow us to familiarize ourselves with the history of Viet Nam. It is our hope that our visit to Viet Nam will contribute to the further development of the mutual understanding and friendly relations between our two countries.

On our way back to Japan, we are making a stopover in Thailand to bid farewell and pay our last respects to the late King of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and offer our condolences to the new king, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The Empress and I enjoyed a close friendship of over 50 years with the late King, who passed away in October last year.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to the Prime Minister and those who helped to make this visit possible.






On 28th February, Their Majesties arrived at Noi Bai International Airport of Vietnam.



On 28th February, Their Majesties met with Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers in Hanoi City.

Photo from Asahi1 and Asahi2

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Nara Visit of Akishino Family


On 20th February, HIH Princess Kiko and HIH Princess Mako of Akishino visited Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara City, Nara Prefecture. Kasuga Taisha Shrine was widely repaired last year.



Photo from Sankei

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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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