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  #101  
Old 12-23-2017, 01:32 AM
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Here's another article from today:


** dailymail: Japan Emperor turns 84, thanks people over abdication plans **
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  #102  
Old 12-25-2017, 12:11 PM
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On December 25th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko had lunch with Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand at the Imperial Palace.

Photos: Asahi, Getty Images
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  #103  
Old 12-25-2017, 01:40 PM
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Ok my god! She needed two aides just to help with greeting and curtseying.. She is not in best of health for quite sometime I guess. Still it's great she continues high profile duties..
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  #104  
Old 12-30-2017, 03:04 PM
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According to Sankei Imperial Weekly #519, Princess Chulabhorn was visiting Japan in her role as advisory committee member of Tokyo University.
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  #105  
Old 01-01-2018, 01:42 AM
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Imperial couple may revisit symbolic places - News - NHK WORLD - English
Quote:
NHK has learned that Japan's Emperor and Empress may revisit places symbolic of World War Two and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami before the Emperor abdicates in April 2019.

Sources close to the Imperial family say Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko strongly hope to travel to those locations in 2018, to be close in thought to the war dead, the bereaved and survivors of the disaster.(..)
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  #106  
Old 01-09-2018, 06:22 AM
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Emperor Akihito held an investiture ceremony for the new Supreme Court judge at the Imperial Palace on January 9:


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  #107  
Old 01-11-2018, 02:22 PM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to skip sumo tournament after scandals | The Japan Times
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will not be attending sumo’s new year tournament as the ancient sport deals with a string of deep scandals, the palace told local media Thursday.

Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward Shinichiro Yamamoto said the Japan Sumo Association had cancelled a customary invitation, issued in October, for the couple to watch the tournament later this month, citing “recent situations.”(..)
The New Year sumo tournament opens on the 14th. I wonder if the scandals will fade enough in some months so the Imperial couple can attend the summer or autumn sumo tournaments.
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  #108  
Old 01-12-2018, 06:36 PM
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Emperor, empress to visit Okinawa in March to pay tribute to war dead - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...]

During the three-day trip from March 27, the imperial couple are expected to visit Japan's westernmost island of Yonaguni for the first time, in addition to Okinawa's main island.

The trip is being arranged as the imperial couple strongly desire to revisit Okinawa ahead of the 84-year-old emperor's planned abdication in April 2019, the source said.

It would be their 11th trip to Okinawa, including visits the couple made as crown prince and crown princess. They last visited the southern island prefecture in June 2014 in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in 1945.

The emperor and empress have long felt sympathy for Okinawa, where around a quarter of local residents died in a three-month ground battle. The total death toll from the battle exceeded 200,000, including Americans.

[...] Resentment still runs deep over the continuing burden on the prefecture from hosting the bulk of U.S. military forces in Japan.

The source said the emperor and empress will fly to Okinawa's main island and visit the National War Dead Peace Mausoleum in the city of Itoman on March 27 to pay respects to the war dead.

After staying overnight in the prefectural capital Naha, they are expected to make a one-day trip to Yonaguni Island to visit a stone monument marking Japan's westernmost point and to fly back to Tokyo on the third day.

Complex emotions swirled among Okinawans after the war.

During the couple's first trip to the prefecture in July 1975, three years after the reversion to Japanese control, activists threw a firebomb when the couple visited the Himeyuri war memorial in the southern part of the Okinawa battlefield.

The then-crown prince issued a statement saying, "I deeply reflect on wounds of prefecture residents from the Battle of Okinawa."

After ascending to the throne in 1989, he visited Okinawa in April 1993 to attend a national tree-planting ceremony, becoming the first Japanese emperor to visit the prefecture.

[...]
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  #109  
Old 01-13-2018, 06:01 PM
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On January 13th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited "90 Years of Kinderbook" exhibition at Tokyo's Printing Museum in Bunkyo Ward. About 300 picture books and original drawings are on display.

Getty Images, Asahi
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  #110  
Old 01-15-2018, 08:37 PM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko were out privately last week.
https://twitter.com/PS2y2/status/951744709013118976
https://twitter.com/PS2y2/status/951781885889282048
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTVGwwaV4AA5e0a.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTVojk7VQAAusPE.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTVojk8UMAAAOr9.jpg

On January 15th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the New Year's concert of the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra at Suntory Hall in Minato, Tokyo. The concert commemorates the 100th anniversary of Poland's independence after WWI, featuring Paderewski's "Overture E-flat Major" for Orchestra, Chopin's "Piano Concerto No. 1", and Dvořák’s "Symphony No.9 in E minor" and B178 "From the New World." Piano Concerto No. 1 was played by Nikolay Khozyainov; he was a finalist at the Chopin International Piano Competition in 2010.

Photos: Jiji, Getty Images
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  #111  
Old 01-19-2018, 12:54 AM
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On January 19th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko inspected Takanawa Imperial Residence in the morning. The couple will live at Takanawa residence for about a year and half following abdication. Then, they will move to Togu Palace which will be renamed Sento Palace.

When the Imperial couple will move to Takanawa residence is undecided although the IHA expects renovations, security, and privacy measures (there's a high-rise apartment complex in the vicinity) to be completed before abdication. Cost is estimated at 840 million Yen.

Photos: Asahi, Mainichi, Getty Images (updated)

ETA: Imperial couple check out home they will live in after abdication: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
[...]

Because numerous high-rise apartment buildings look down on the Takanawa Imperial Residence, there are concerns about the couple’s privacy.

For this reason, trees will likely be planted to shroud the couple from prying eyes.

[...]
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  #112  
Old 01-19-2018, 09:15 PM
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Thank you for posting the news, Prisma!

With or without planted trees, it is difficult to imagine Japanese paparazzi photographing the former emperor and empress in their residence.

What is the meaning of Togu and Sento, and what is the reason for the change of name?
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  #113  
Old 01-20-2018, 12:59 AM
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Togu means 'Crown Prince' so that is not appropriate as a residence for a retired Emperor. Sento is the name of a palace complex in Kyoto that was used in the past for retired emperors, so my guess is they are duplicating that name in Tokyo.
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  #114  
Old 01-22-2018, 11:20 AM
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Emperor Akihito officially opened the 196th Ordinary Session of the Diet in Tokyo today, January 22:


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  #115  
Old 01-24-2018, 01:04 AM
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On January 17th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko observed a moment of silence at the time of the Great Hanshin earthquake (1995). [Asahi]

They made a donation to the Japanese national team for the PyeongChang Winter Games. The Imperial Household Agency's Vice Grand Steward, Yasuhiko Nishimura, gave the undisclosed amount to Japanese Olympic Committee President Tunekazu Takeda. [Asahi]

Empress Michiko's 'waka' poetry published in German: The Asahi Shimbun
Getty Images
Quote:
[…]

A book launch was held at the Japanese Embassy in Berlin on Jan. 16 to celebrate the collection, published by Herder.

The book is titled "Nur eine kleine Maulbeere. Aber sie wog schwer" (Just a little mulberry, but it weighs heavily).

Manuel Herder, president of the publishing house, found out about waka poetry Michiko penned right after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that expressed her heartfelt sympathy for the people affected by the disaster.

He was deeply moved by the work and contacted the Imperial Household Agency with the idea of publishing a book of her poems in German.

The 50 poems compiled for the book were selected by the agency and include “Kono Toshi no Haru” (This spring), which was composed in the aftermath of the 2011 disaster.

[…]

The German translation is accompanied by the original Japanese of the poems written by professional calligrapher Hakko Ishitobi. There are also short explanatory texts.

[…]
Vietnam: Funeral for wife of WWII Japanese soldier - News - NHK WORLD - English
Quote:
[…]

Nguyen Thi Xuan died on Thursday at the age of 93.

The couple had 3 children. In the early 1950s, Xuan's husband had to return to Japan due to growing political instability. Xuan raised the children by herself.

[…]

In 2017, Xuan met with Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during their visit to Vietnam.

Japan's ambassador was among the mourners who bid farewell to Xuan at the funeral on Saturday.

Her son said she was a hard worker and always took care of her children. He added his mother had been very proud to meet the Imperial Couple last year.
Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko talk with Nguyen Thi... News Photo | Getty Images
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  #116  
Old 01-26-2018, 07:24 PM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko received routine health check ups January 23-25 at the IHA hospital within the Imperial Palace. Both are in good health.

On January 26th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko met with representatives of 7 organizations that won the 2017 Emperor's Cup at the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Festival.

Source: Sankei Imperial Weekly #523

http://www.sankei.com/images/news/18...1270005-p1.jpg
http://www.sankei.com/images/news/18...1270005-p2.jpg
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  #117  
Old 02-01-2018, 12:47 AM
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On February 1st, Empress Michiko visited the 27th Asahide Gakuen Craft exhibition at the Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Department Store in Chuo, Tokyo. The exhibit features about 4000 items made by students with intellectual disabilities. The Empress purchased a frog badge, a chopstick rest in the shape of a cherry blossom petal, and a wall hanging with an owl design. Mainichi reports she visits this exhibition every 2 years.

Photos: Asahi, Getty Images

ETA: Actually the exhibit is held every 2 years. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended for the first time in 1976. Since 1998, Empress Michiko has attended solo. [Jiji]
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  #118  
Old 02-02-2018, 06:51 PM
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On January 29th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko received a lecture related to this year's 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration from Professor Emeritus Takenori Inoki of Osaka University at the Imperial Palace. Professor Inoki specializes in economic history and participated in New Year Lectures in 2016.

On January 31st, the Imperial couple invited some (former? Google translation was odd here) House of Representatives to dinner at the Imperial Palace. The group also observed the lunar eclipse from the garden.

On February 2nd, they invited former Secretary of the National Police Agency Masayoshi Sakaguchi to tea at the Imperial Palace. Mr. Sakaguchi retired on January 18th.

Source: Sankei Imperial Weekly #524
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  #119  
Old 02-07-2018, 02:14 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko receive the Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on February 7

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  #120  
Old 02-15-2018, 06:07 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko watched a traditional Japanese performance at the Kabukiza Theatre in Tokyo on February 14:


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