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  #1  
Old 05-02-2019, 04:37 AM
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Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko Current Events 1: May 2019 -




Welcome to part 1 of the thread for the Current Events of Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko!


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** Emperor Akihito & Empress Michiko Current Events Part 4: May 2017 - April 2019 **


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Old 05-05-2019, 02:44 PM
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On May 5th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko privately visited Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club in Minato, Tokyo. They arrived around 4:20pm and enjoyed an hour with friends.

The retired Imperial couple have a long history with Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club. They played there before and after marriage and visited regularly around Children's Day (May 5) during their reign.

Photos: Asahi, Mainichi


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Old 05-05-2019, 03:32 PM
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Great to see them again. Clear sign that they don't intend to live completely in hiding from now on.

Isn't the tennisclub the place where they first met?
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:45 PM
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No, they met at a tennis court at Karuizawa near Nagano. They developed their relationship further at Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club.

Akihito, Michiko visit Tokyo tennis club, 1st outing after abdication: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
[...] The facility is well known as the venue where they cultivated their romance by playing tennis together before their marriage on April 10, 1959.

More than 100 members of the tennis club welcomed Akihito and Michiko and chatted with them, in turn, according to Kazuo Oda, 83, one of their tennis friends.

[...]

Although Akihito and Michiko did not play tennis this time, Akihito agreed when Oda suggested that he continue playing tennis to stay healthy, he added. [...]
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:58 PM
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I am sure tennis will always have a special place for them

I never read about how they met until now. I didn't realize the empress was raised a Catholic and was sent off to Brussels to discourage the relationship. I am sure King Baudouin will hold a special place for the couple, as he helped them remain in contact and later negotiate their marriage.

The 'love on the tennis court' was certainly news. Marriage to a commoner was rare even in Europe for a future ruler in those days. But in even more traditional Japan, it was shocking.
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:48 AM
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More information and details on how they met and the Empress Emerita's faith can be found here: Love Story and here: Empress Michiko and Her Faith

Their story is a fascinating one.
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countessmeout View Post
I am sure tennis will always have a special place for them

I never read about how they met until now. I didn't realize the empress was raised a Catholic and was sent off to Brussels to discourage the relationship. I am sure King Baudouin will hold a special place for the couple, as he helped them remain in contact and later negotiate their marriage.

The 'love on the tennis court' was certainly news. Marriage to a commoner was rare even in Europe for a future ruler in those days. But in even more traditional Japan, it was shocking.
Many were surprised when the Empress Emerita, back then the Empress attended in person the funeral of Queen Fabiola. It wasn't an random occurrence. Both the Emperor and the Empress also attended in person the funeral of King Baudouin after his sudden death in 1993
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:34 PM
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On May 17th, the IHA revealed a little about Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko since the abdication.

The retired Imperial couple are pleased the new emperor and empress successfully completed the many succession ceremonies and rituals. They watched the May 1 and May 4 events on TV at their residence, Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko continue to wake up early as before and walk in the morning. They are preparing to move to their temporary home, Takanawa imperial residence.

Empress Emerita Michiko enjoys playing the piano and reading. The couple have been viewing the guestbooks people all over the country signed for their 30-year reign.

They will enjoy a concert in Tokyo on May 24th.

Sources: NHK, Yomiuri
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:21 AM
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On May 20th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito visited the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno, Tokyo. He arrived after 2pm and stayed about two and a half hours for fish research and a mammalian exhibit.

Source: Jiji

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7EsGbUWsAArUUx.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7EsI7WXYAEmSEx.jpg
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:48 PM
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On May 24th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko enjoyed the "21st Beppu Argerich Music Festival" concert by Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, the Mito Chamber Orchestra, and conductor Seiji Ozawa at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. The concert supports Argerich's Pinocchio Project.

Source: Jiji

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7WtcvTU0AAPQux.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7WtdzKUcAAXgIF.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7Wte9dUwAAfZXa.jpg
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
On May 17th, the IHA revealed a little about Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko since the abdication.

The retired Imperial couple are pleased the new emperor and empress successfully completed the many succession ceremonies and rituals. They watched the May 1 and May 4 events on TV at their residence, Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko continue to wake up early as before and walk in the morning. They are preparing to move to their temporary home, Takanawa imperial residence.

Empress Emerita Michiko enjoys playing the piano and reading. The couple have been viewing the guestbooks people all over the country signed for their 30-year reign.

They will enjoy a concert in Tokyo on May 24th.

Sources: NHK, Yomiuri
It is interesting that the IHA still issues announcements regarding the couple's private activities and the press continues to cover their appearances, which I assume would not be happening without the implicit approval of the IHA and the new emperor.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:14 PM
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It's natural to be curious about the retired Imperial couple, especially only weeks since the abdication. I didn't expect them to disappear although we'll probably see them less and less as they get older. I wonder if the IHA will release birthday photos or limit photos to milestone birthdays? Also, will they appear in the new year group photo?

Best friend tells of Michiko’s final days as empress, Reiwa reaction: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
[...] “I was pleased to know so many people had such an interest in (the Japanese traditional era name),” Michiko told Chieko Suemori of Hachimantai, Iwate Prefecture, during a mid-April phone call.

Michiko sounded particularly surprised that young people showed interest when the new era name Reiwa was announced on April 1.

Suemori, a 78-year-old editor of picture books, talked to Michiko on the morning of April 17, shortly before Michiko left for Ise Jingu shrine in Mie Prefecture [...]

“I hope I can manage to carry out my duties for two more weeks,” Michiko, 84, told Suemori.

Suemori said she had never seen Michiko show any sign of weakness, but during the call, the then empress told her, "I don't know if I can go on," hinting of her hectic schedule and the effects on her physical strength.

The imperial couple had worked almost without a full day off since August 2016 [...]

[...]

Suemori said she thinks that Michiko also had accumulated “built-up fatigue in her body because she had continuously supported the emperor emeritus.”

Suemori has enjoyed a long relationship with the empress emerita and published a book compiling texts of Michiko’s lectures. Suemori was also the publisher when Michiko translated a collection of poems by famed Japanese poet Michio Mado into English.

[...]

When Suemori talked to Michiko on the phone again in mid-May, close to a month had passed since Akihito’s abdication.

"I want to see you again," Michiko said, sounding cheerful. Suemori was relieved.

Suemori said she hopes from now her best friend will “enjoy reading her favorite books and take it easy.”
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