Tag Archives: Takamadonomiya

Abdication of Emperor Akihito

On 30th April, the Ceremony of the Abdication of HM Empero Akihito at the Seiden (State Hall) was held.
Upon abdication, HM Emperor Akihito becomes Emperor Emeritus and HM Empress Michiko becomes Empress Emerita.

Addresses by His Majesty the Emperor

Text from Imperial Household Agency

Today, I am concluding my duties as the Emperor.

I would like to offer my deep gratitude to the words just spoken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on behalf of the people of Japan.

Since ascending the throne 30 years ago, I have performed my duties as the Emperor with a deep sense of trust in and respect for the people, and I consider myself most fortunate to have been able to do so. I sincerely thank the people who accepted and supported me in my role as the symbol of the State.

I sincerely wish, together with the Empress, that the Reiwa era, which begins tomorrow, will be a stable and fruitful one, and I pray, with all my heart, for peace and happiness for all the people in Japan and around the world.

Photo from Mainichi

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International Orchid Festival

On 15th February, HIH Princess Tsuguko of Takamado attended the opening ceremony of Japan Grand Prix International Orchid Festival 2019 took place at Tokyo Dome.

Photo from Sankei

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Photograph by Ambassadors

On 5th February, HIH Princess Hisako of Takamado visited the exhibition of the photos taken by the ambassadors in Japan took place in Kanagawa Prefecture. HIH Princess Hisako is the Honorary President of the photo exhibition.

Photo from Sankei

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Flower Exhibition

On 1st February, HIH Princess Nobuko of Mikasa and HIH Princess Hisako of Takamado visited the 68th Kanto Tokai Flower Exhibition took place in Tokyo.

Photo from Sankei

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New Year’s Poetry Reading

On 16th January, the members of Imperial Family attended the Ceremony of the Utakai Hajime (Imperial New Year’s Poetry Reading) took place at Imperial Palace.

It became the last time for Their Majesties to attend the Ceremony of Utakai Hajime.

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 (2019) : HIKARI (LIGHT)

His Majesty the Emperor

These sunflowers grown
From seeds presented to us
How tall they now are
Their leaves spreading out widely
In the early summer light.

(Background of the poem)
Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress visited Hyogo Prefecture in 2005 to attend the Memorial Ceremony to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. On that occasion Their Majesties conversed with a girl representing the families of the deceased, who presented Them with some sunflower seeds called “Haruka’s Sunflowers.”* That year Their Majesties planted those seeds in the garden of the Imperial Residence, and ever since then, They have continued to grow those sunflowers every year, by planting the seeds taken after the flowering season. In this poem His Majesty describes how those sunflowers are thriving.

* “Haruka’s Sunflowers” are sunflowers which bloomed the summer following the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake at the site of the home of Haruka Kato, a sixth grade girl who lost her life in the earthquake. The local people collected the seeds and distributed them widely as a symbol of remembrance and reconstruction.

 

Her Majesty the Empress

For a while longer
I resolve to live my life
Each garden rose
So serene and beautiful
In the waning light of dusk.

(Background of the poem)
Her Majesty the Empress has now reached a venerable age, which at times makes Her heart feel weary. One evening She noted that the roses in the rose garden of the Imperial Residence were blooming beautifully, each bloom standing out clearly and three-dimensionally in the serene light of dusk, a sight which gave Her a deep sense of peace. In this poem, Her Majesty reflects upon that moment of quiet joy and serenity when She resolved, for a while longer, to live out Her remaining days, treasuring each day as it comes.

 

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince

Guided by the light
Breaking through the clouds,
I made my way up the ridges
Towards the peak of Mount Kinpu.

(Background of the poem)
His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince climbed Mount Kinpu, located on the boundary between Yamanashi and Nagano Prefectures, in July 1975 when he was in the first year of high school. On that day, it was cloudy but sometimes the sun shined through.
His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince composed this poem, recalling the impression he had when he made his way towards the peak of the mountain in such weather as if he were guided by the sunlight appearing from behind the clouds.

 

Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess

In the palace garden
Once cherished by our respected Majesty the Emperor
And my beloved mother-in-law the Empress,
Silver Birches glitter
Brightly in the morning sunlight.

(Background of the poem)
In the garden of The Crown Prince’s residence where Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress lived during Showa era, and where Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess now reside, there are silver birch trees, the symbol of Her Majesty the Empress, cherished by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress.
Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess composed this waka poem to describe the silver birch trees shining in the bright morning light, thankful for having been able to spend these twenty some years in the residence, appreciating the beautiful scenery of the garden.

Photo from Sankei1, 2 and Asahi

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Imperial New Year’s Lecture

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

This is an annual ceremony in which Their Majesties listen to experts’ explanations in the fields of human, social and natural sciences in their respective field. It became the last time for Their Majesties to attend the Ceremony of Kosho Hajime before the abdication of HM Emperor Akihito on 30th April.

Photo from Mainichi

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Remembering Emperor Showa

On 7th January, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko attended the memorial service for commemorating the 30th anniversary of the death of Emperor Showa (Emperor Hirohito) (1901-1989) took place at the Mausoleum of Emperor Showa in Tokyo. The other members of Imperial Family also attended the Ceremony.

On that day, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako attended the ritual for commemorating the 30th anniversary of the death of Emperor Showa at Imperial Palace Sanctuaries.

Photo from Asahi and Sankei

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Final New Year’s Greeting

On 2nd January, HM Emperor Akihito and the other members of Imperial Family appeared 7 times at People’s Greeting of New Year at Imperial Palace. About 154,800 people gathered at Imperial Palace and it is the largest number of the visitors during the reign of HM Emperor Akihito (1989-). It became the last time for HM Emperor Akihito to attend the People’s Greeting before his abdication on 30th April.

At the first appearance on that day, all adult members except HIH Princess Yoko of Mikasa appeared at the balcony of Imperial Palace.

Photo from Sankei

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New Year’s Celebration

On 1st January, the Imperial Family greeted the New Year.

On that day, the Ceremony to Celebrate the New Year 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.

Photo from Asahi1, 2 and Sankei

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Celebration of Emperor’s Birthday

On 23rd December, the several ceremonies to celebrate the birthday of HM Emperor Akihito took place at Imperial Palace.

Public Greeting

Luncheon

Tea Party with the ambassadors

At the evening, the grandchildren of HM Emperor Akihito also visited Imperial Palace to celebrate the Emperor’s Birthday.

Photo from Sankei

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