Imperial Family Welcomes Guests to Garden Party, Celebrates Anniversaries

  October 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm by

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko welcomed 1,699 distinguished guests to their annual Autumn Garden Party at the Akasaka Gyoen garden. Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko, Princess Takamado and Princess Akiko of Mikasa attended the party as well.

The guests included actress Mitsuko Mori, astronaut Koichi Wakata and director Yojiro Takita. The Emperor broke the rule of never inquiring about a lady’s age and asked Mitsuko Mori: “You’re almost 90, aren’t you?” Mori, however, didn’t appear to mind: she smiled and replied, “Yes, next year.” Mori also spoke of her memories of the night the Emperor was born, when all the sirens in Kyoto sound to announce the birth of the Heir. The Empress, meanwhile, had a conversation with Wakata. The astronaut spoke of his experience of the “perfect darkness” of space – a reference to a poem read by Empress Michiko at the 1997 New Year’s poetry reading. “When I was on the International Space Station, the ‘perfect darkness’ of space seemed to be filled up with dreams and hopes,” he said.

The Imperial Family has yet more causes for celebration.

October 22 marks the 68th wedding anniversary of Takahito, Prince Mikasa (Emperor Hirohito’s younger brother) and Yuriko Takagi, the daughter of Viscount Masanori Takagi. Prince Mikasa is Emperor Akihito’s only surviving paternal uncle.

On October 23, Princess Mako turns 18. Mako is the elder daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko and the first grandchild for the Emperor and Empress. Mako is currently a student at Gakushūin High School.

Princess Yoko of Mikasa turns 16 on October 25. Yoko is the younger daughter of Prince Tomohito of Mikasa and Nobuko Aso. Prince Tomohito is the eldest son of Prince and Princess Mikasa and Heir to the Princely House of Mikasa-no-miya. Nobuko, Princess Tomohito is the daughter of Takakichi Asō and Kazuko (the daughter of former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida), as well as the sister of former Prime Minister Tarō Asō. Princess Yoko has graduated Gakushūin College with a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Relations and has been a practitioner of the traditional Japanese martial art of kendō from an early age.

To learn more about Imperial Family of Japan, visit this thread.

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