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  #161  
Old 05-13-2018, 09:14 AM
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Here are some photos of the exhibition visit:


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** Pic 4 ** Pic 5 **
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  #162  
Old 05-16-2018, 08:03 AM
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The Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Neioti Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi and his wife Gillian Muriel Malielegaoi were received by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace today, May 16:


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 **
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  #163  
Old 05-17-2018, 01:26 AM
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In the third picture there is no translator between the Empress and Mrs. Malielegaoi. So either she speaks Japanese or the two of them have a third language in common, I'm guessing.
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  #164  
Old 05-17-2018, 01:55 AM
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Probably English. I believe Empress Michiko's still fluent.

On May 16th, Empress Michiko attended a concert by Argentine classical pianist Martha Argerich at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. She enjoyed Ms. Argerich's performance of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No.3 and met her after the concert.

Photo: news.tv-asahi.co.jp, Getty Images

ETA: Emperor, Empress Discuss Climate Change with Samoan PM - JIJI PRESS
Quote:
[...]

According to the agency, Tuilaepa told the Imperial couple that the South Pacific island nation's biggest challenge is land subsidence caused by the rise in sea levels, adding that in his hometown seawater flows into a river at high tides.

After listening with great interest, the Emperor asked particularly about ocean pollution in Samoa.

[...] the Emperor voiced concern about the difficulty of a single nation tackling such an international maritime problem [...]
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  #165  
Old 05-21-2018, 11:57 AM
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Portrait of Emperor, Empress unveiled - News - NHK WORLD - English
Quote:
[...] This is the first time the couple's portrait was created with their approval.

The oil painting was produced by Hiroshi Noda, a leading artist of realism. It was completed in January and delivered to the Imperial Palace in March.

[...]

Eighty-one-year-old Noda has been close to the couple since they were crown prince and princess.

The agency says the idea of the Imperial portrait was raised 8 years ago. Noda produced the painting based on a photo taken 4 years ago.

[...] the Emperor and Empress are delighted with the painting. [...]
Asahi gallery of the portrait


Empress Michiko Feeds Silkworms in Her Last Act of Sericulture - JIJI PRESS
Quote:
Japanese Empress Michiko fed silkworms mulberry leaves at a sericulture facility in the Imperial Palace on Monday [...]

Media organizations were also allowed to watch the Empress weave waramabushi, a traditional straw bed where silkworms spin cocoons. She has made one bed for each season, using straw as material in line with her wish to keep the old tradition alive.

[...]
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...03411_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...03413_comm.jpg

ETA: English articles/video

Portrait of Emperor and Empress painted almost 30 yrs after succession - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...]

The Imperial Household Agency said Monday it has no plans to show the painting to the public.

[...]

The emperor and empress had only been painted in 1974, as a crown prince and princess, while there are 31 portraits of previous imperial couples from the Meiji era (1868-1912), according to the agency.
Empress Michiko feeds mulberry leaves to Imperial silkworms - The Mainichi

Empress Michiko's silk farming nears end | Nippon TV NEWS24 JAPAN
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  #166  
Old 05-22-2018, 01:58 PM
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For some reason, watching the Empress do these tasks for the last time really brought home that the abdication is definitely going to happen. Obviously, we all knew it was, but from now on there will be an increasing number of these "lasts." I would love to know how the Empress feels about passing on these tasks to Masako, and if she has any worries about that.
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  #167  
Old 05-23-2018, 01:01 AM
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She and probably everyone has worries. Articles mentioned Empress Michiko saying she believes Masako can perform sericulture work as much as she can handle. IHA announced the staff will do sericulture next year as the abdication/ascension is April 30/May 1. Thus, Masako wouldn't be taking on the work until 2020.

A bit more about 1974 painting: First portrait of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko since enthronement unveiled | The Japan Times
Quote:
The [other] portrait of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko was drawn when they were still Crown Prince and Princess in 1974, at the request of a group of Japanese Brazilians. It is not held at the Imperial Palace.
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  #168  
Old 05-24-2018, 12:31 AM
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Is there any reason Masako would not be able to do the sericulture work? I did a quick internet search and find several articles saying that Masako has said she wants to continue it.
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  #169  
Old 05-24-2018, 11:18 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko watched the Japanese movie "Hitsuji to Hagane no Mori" in Tokyo today, May 24:


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** Pic 4 **
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  #170  
Old 05-24-2018, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JSH View Post
Is there any reason Masako would not be able to do the sericulture work? I did a quick internet search and find several articles saying that Masako has said she wants to continue it.
If sericulture causes her stress then Masako shouldn't do it. It's a good sign Masako and her medical team are making sericulture a goal. I'd like to think the Crown Prince household thoroughly considered the activity and her health before approaching Empress Michiko.

Earlier on the 24th, Empress Michiko transferred silkworms to straw beds, waramabushi, where they will spin cocoons to be harvested in about a week.

Photos: Sankei, Jiji

ETA: video of the Hitsuji to Hagane no Mori" (A Forest of Wool and Steel) movie screening and meeting the actors and pianist afterwards. Getty Images
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  #171  
Old 05-25-2018, 12:27 AM
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I just can't imagine why sericulture would cause Masako stress. It seems like it would be a very calming activity, if anything.
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  #172  
Old 05-26-2018, 12:24 AM
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The same could be said about photo-ops in front of Togu Palace and other activities. We don't fully know Masako's condition or treatment plan.

On May 25th, Emperor Akihito planted 90 rice stocks in the paddy field at the Imperial Palace.

Photo: Sankei

ETA: Emperor Akihito sent congratulations for the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

APA - Japan’s Emperor Akihito congratulates President Ilham Aliyev
Quote:
...I have great pleasure in sending Your Excellency my heartfelt congratulations and sincere good wishes for your happiness and for the prosperity of the people of your country...
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  #173  
Old 05-28-2018, 06:34 PM
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On May 28th, Empress Michiko harvested the first silkworm cocoons. The IHA reports some of this year's Koishimaru silk will be used to restore the strings of an ancient biwa from the Shosoin Treasures repository.

Photos: Sankei
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  #174  
Old 05-29-2018, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
On May 28th, Empress Michiko harvested the first silkworm cocoons. The IHA reports some of this year's Koishimaru silk will be used to restore the strings of an ancient biwa from the Shosoin Treasures repository.

Photos: Sankei
I always wonder how much of the actual work the Empress (or Emperor, in the case of the rice planting) does. Michiko seems very adept at the weaving, which is not an easy thing to do, and which makes me think that she does a lot more of the work than we see on camera.
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  #175  
Old 06-01-2018, 11:01 PM
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On June 1st, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a reception celebrating 45 years of diplomatic relations with Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang and his wife Nguyen Thi Hien.

Photos: Sankei, Getty Images
jnn.jp video

On June 2nd, the Imperial couple visited Akasaka Imperial Palace to bid farewell to President Tran Dai Quang and his wife at the end of the state visit.

Photos: Sankei, Asahi, Getty Images

ETA: First Lady Nguyen Thi Hien's suit is made from the silk gifted by Empress Michiko when the Imperial couple visited Vietnam last year. [Jiji]


Later on June 2nd, the Imperial couple enjoyed a performance by the Cleveland Orchestra at Suntory Hall in Minato, Tokyo. The orchestra is one of five American orchestras informally known as the "Big Five." Their Majesties appreciated Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in the second half of the concert.

Photos: Jiji, Nikkei
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  #176  
Old 06-02-2018, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
On June 1st, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a reception celebrating 45 years of diplomatic relations with Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang and his wife Nguyen Thi Hien.

Photos: Sankei, Getty Images
jnn.jp video

On June 2nd, the Imperial couple visited Akasaka Imperial Palace to bid farewell to President Tran Dai Quang and his wife at the end of the state visit.

Photos: Sankei, Asahi, Getty Images

ETA: First Lady Nguyen Thi Hien's suit is made from the silk gifted by Empress Michiko when the Imperial couple visited Vietnam last year. [Jiji]
That's a lovely little nugget of background information about the silk for the First Lady's suit!
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  #177  
Old 06-04-2018, 11:49 AM
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Getty Images gallery of Cleveland Orchestra concert on June 2nd.

On June 4th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the 70th anniversary ceremony of the Japan Coast Guard held at Palace Hotel Tokyo.

Photos: Jiji, Mainichi, Nikkei

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  #178  
Old 06-07-2018, 08:10 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko viewed the exhibition "Turner and the Poetics Landscape" in Tokyo today:


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** Pic 4 ** Pic 5 **
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  #179  
Old 06-07-2018, 11:04 PM
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  #180  
Old 06-09-2018, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
[...]

The Imperial couple will visit Fukushima June 9-11 to attend the National Tree Planting Festival in Minamisōma and to inspect the reconstruction situation.
June 9: meeting with evacuees from Tomioka, Okuma, Namie, and Futaba at Iwaki City's public reconstruction public housing complex, watch dance performance
June 10: National Tree Planting Festival in Minamisōma, may view Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from the car if weather permits
June 11: visit Soma and offer flowers at memorial monuments

[...]
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrived at JR Koriyama station in Koriyama, Fukushima on June 9th.

Photos: Asahi


On June 6th, Emperor Akihito sent a telegram to President Morales of Guatemala following the volcano eruption and lives lost on the 3rd. [Sankei Imperial Weekly #542]

Imperial family helps at-risk archive in Sao Paulo museum: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
SAO PAULO--More than 100,000 items documenting the lives of the first Japanese immigrants to Brazil over a century ago are deteriorating in quality, putting their preservation for posterity and future research prospects at risk.

[...]

To help it overcome the challenge and preserve the historically important articles, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have sent a donation to the museum as parts of efforts to provide encouragement for local Japanese-Brazilians.

Brazil is home to the world’s largest population of Japanese immigrants, with 1.9 million people of Japanese origin currently residing in the nation.

[...]

IMPERIAL FAMILY SUPPORT

Fortunately for the museum, it has friends in very high places. When it opened in June 1978 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Japanese emigration to Brazil, Akihito and Michiko, then crown prince and princess, attended its opening ceremony.

After ascending to the throne, the imperial couple visited there again in 1997, and their three children have also dropped in at the museum.

Portraits of Akihito and Michiko, painted when they were the crown prince and princess, are shown at the exhibition space on the facility’s ninth floor.

Crown Prince Naruhito, who visited there in 2008, handed a donation to a museum official in line with the emperor and empress’s desire “to do something concrete to help the community of Japanese immigrants.”

The fund is to be used for constructing the archives.

“I am pleased that imperial family members remember the existence of Japanese immigrants here,” said Yamashita. “I want to work hard to pass down the history of Japanese-Brazilians.”
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