Tag Archives: Princess Mako

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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Photo from Sankei


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100 Days Anniversary

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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.

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HIH Princess Yuriko of Mikasa

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HIH Prince Fumihito and HIH Princess Kiko of Akishino

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HIH Princess Mako and HIH Princess Kako of Akishino

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HIH Princess Kako of Akishino

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HIH Princess Hanako of Hitachi

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HIH Prncess Akiko and HIH Princess Yoko of Mikasa

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HIH Princess Hisako and HIH Princess Tsuguko of Takamado

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HIH Princess Ayako of Takamado

Photo from Sankei


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DAVIS CUP

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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

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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)

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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
Sanagarani
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.

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Photo from Asahi and Sankei


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Imperial New Year’s Lectures

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photo from Asahi


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New Year’s Celebration

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On 1st January 2016, the members of Imperial Family attended the Ceremony of New Year’s Celebration took place at Imperial Palace.

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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.

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HIH Crown Princess Masako and HIH Princess Aiko also visited Imperial Palace to greet Their Majesties.

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Photo from Asahi


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Celebration of Emperor’s Birthday

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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.

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

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

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Photo from AsahiMainichi and Sankei


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