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  #61  
Old 04-25-2018, 11:50 AM
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Thank you for posting all the links to the garden party.

Very interesting that Hanyu donated funds for reconstruction of his hometown.

I wonder how far along the line CP Masako made it this year?
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  #62  
Old 04-26-2018, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Thanks eya!

Asahi, Mainichi, Getty Images galleries ... [snipped]
Thanks for the detailed update!
Princess Akiko was the best dressed. Grilled chicken was a surprising choice of foods.
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  #63  
Old 04-28-2018, 08:19 PM
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You’re welcome!

I haven't found anything about how long CP Masako stayed this year. Yuzuru Hanyu dominates the news. The 2011 earthquake is particularly close to Hanyu’s heart. His home was damaged and he suffered survivor’s guilt. He has skated in numerous ice shows and auctioned his belongings to raise funds for reconstruction. Initially Hanyu didn't even want parades because that would divert taxpayer’s money from reconstruction. Instead, both parades were funded by sponsors and Hanyu merchandise. Apparently, the city made a profit which will be donated to other recovering cities and prefectures.

Grilled chicken skewers, yakitori, is a popular street food in Japan. For the garden party, the meat comes from the Imperial private farms.
https://twitter.com/Iron_Klaus/statu...05111107227649

English subtitles of Hanyu's chat with the Imperial couple and press conference. Notice the IHA staff managing the chats and moving guests into position.

ETA: The interviewer asks about his clothes because he's known for ill-fitting suits. Hanyu's fans were pleasantly surprised he wore a decent suit this time.
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  #64  
Old 05-13-2018, 07:12 PM
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CP Naruhito and Prince Akishino visited the Imperial Palace on May 11th for their monthly meeting with Emperor Akihito.
Source: fnn.jp

The President of Vietnam will pay a state visit to Japan at the end of May. This could be the last state banquet for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
Source: Sankei
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  #65  
Old 05-16-2018, 08:56 AM
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Empress Michiko, Crown Princess Masako, Princess Kiko, Princess Nobuko and Princess Hisako attended the Japanese Red Cross Society Annual Meeting in Tokyo today, May 16:


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** ntv.co video **


** the-japan-news: Empress attends meeting of Red Cross Society **
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  #66  
Old 05-16-2018, 09:04 AM
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Lovely to see the imperial ladies at the Red Cross Annual Meeting. Especially nice to see CP Masako there and greeting people, since she had to withdraw from the engagement last year due to illness.
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  #67  
Old 05-16-2018, 12:21 PM
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I'm so glad Masako was able to go (first time in 15 years). The bad cold last year must have been super frustrating.

From Asahi: Since becoming Empress, Michiko has donated hundreds of towels via the Red Cross. She worked with the organization to gather interpreter volunteers for the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 1964.

Few more photos from Jiji:
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027065545.jpg
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027065367.jpg
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  #68  
Old 05-17-2018, 02:45 PM
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At the end of the Red Cross Society ceremony, Empress Michiko beckoned to CP Masako so they could make their bows together. [news.tv-asahi.co.jp]

Lovely, gracious gesture. Kyodo News and Jiji captured the moment below:


On the afternoon of May 17th, the Imperial couple, accompanied by members of the Imperial family, hosted a tea ceremony at the Imperial Palace for leaders of countries attending the 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM). 17 leaders and their wives attended the 30 minute tea.

The summit, which meets every 3 years, will be held in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture May 18-19.

news24.jp video (I wish I could see Princess Ayako's kimono better!)

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DdbZa4xUQAAgxWh.jpg
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027075130.jpg
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  #69  
Old 05-17-2018, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for the update!
The gesture was gracious, indeed. It was nice that Crown Princess Masako could attend the event.
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  #70  
Old 05-18-2018, 01:50 AM
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Here's a gallery of yesterday's tea party at the Imperial Palace:


** gettyimages gallery **
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  #71  
Old 05-20-2018, 06:54 PM
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On May 20th, the CP couple and Akishino family visited the Imperial Palace to seed rice and millet with the Emperor and Empress. Princess Aiko did not participate this time because she's studying for a midterm exam.

Source: Jiji

Arrival photos: Sankei
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  #72  
Old 05-20-2018, 07:06 PM
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Is this the first time that the CP family and Akishino family have done this? I wish the arrival photos were a little clearer, but I suppose we're lucky to have them at all!
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  #73  
Old 05-21-2018, 01:04 AM
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No, the family gathers for sowing and harvesting every year. Sometimes the IHA released clips for the Emperor's birthday video.

2013 harvest and 2008 sowing
2014 harvest
2004 and 2008

More 2013 photos at this Princess Aiko fansite: 【動画キャプチャで大特集】天皇誕生日2013年12月23日天皇ご一家陸稲狩り - Kaiserin AIKO

English video of tea for Pacific Island Leaders Meeting on May 17: Imperial Couple hosts Pacific island leaders | Nippon TV NEWS24 JAPAN
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  #74  
Old 05-28-2018, 03:41 PM
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State President Tran Dai Quang and spouse to pay state visit to Japan | Vietnam Investment Review
Quote:
Vietnamese State President Tran Dai Quang and his spouse will pay a state visit to Japan from May 29 to June 2, 2018 at the invitation of the Japanese government. [...]
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  #75  
Old 05-29-2018, 01:44 AM
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Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, CP Naruhito, Prince Akishino, and Princess Kiko watched Dakyu, a traditional equestrian sport similar to polo, on May 29th at the Imperial Palace.

Photos: Getty Images, Sankei, Asahi

Traditional Horsemanship in Japan - The Imperial Household Agency
Quote:
Dakyu is said to have begun in Central Asia, and travelled west to Europe to become the modern day game of polo. The same ancient game however is said to have also travelled east to China where it became Dakyu, and finally reached Japan via the Korean Peninsula during the 8th or 9th centuries.

[...]

Dakyu is played on a field 20m by 50m, on which five riders on each team attempt to score "goals" against each other. There is only one goal post, on which banners (red and white) are raised when a team scores a goal. The game is concluded when 12 balls (11 balls and one final goal) have been played.
ETA: Imperial couple’s galloping good time at ancient ‘dakyu’ game:The Asahi Shimbun

Imperial Family enjoys ancient equine sport dakyu | Nippon TV NEWS24 JAPAN (includes footage of the family playing dakyu in the 70s)
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  #76  
Old 05-30-2018, 12:30 AM
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State visit welcome ceremony for Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang and his wife Nguyen Thi Hien at the Imperial Palace on May 30th.

Photos: Getty Images, Mainichi
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027185350.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...01595_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...01421_comm.jpg

ETA: jnn.jp video

ETA: ANN video and English articles

Vietnam president meets emperor, possibly Akihito's last banquet guest - Kyodo News
Quote:
Visiting Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang met with Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Wednesday, as the two countries mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.

[...]

Emperor Akihito asked Quang during their meeting whether Vietnamese people in Japan are "living happily," to which Quang responded many people are studying and working actively, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

"Such exchanges, I believe, are extremely important," the emperor was quoted as saying.

[...]

The visit by Quang, which started Tuesday, is a reciprocal move after the imperial couple visited Vietnam as state guests in February last year.

[...]
Emperor and Empress welcome Vietnam's president - News - NHK WORLD - English (includes video)
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  #77  
Old 05-31-2018, 03:17 AM
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state banquet photos were added to the Getty link above.

Emperor Akihito welcomes Vietnamese president in what may be his final state banquet | The Japan Times
Quote:
[...] As a result of that burden, the Imperial Household Agency has asked the Prime Minister’s Office to invite fewer state guests. There are currently no plans to welcome any more state guests prior to the Emperor’s abdication.

At the banquet at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the Emperor said in front of about 150 people, “I sincerely hope that … the mutual understanding and friendly cooperative relations between Vietnam and Japan will continue to develop further.”

[...]

Since Emperor Akihito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne in January 1989, the Imperial family has hosted 63 state banquets. The Emperor could not attend two of the banquets due to illness and in those cases Crown Prince Naruhito took over the role of host.

The Emperor usually gets briefings from senior Foreign Ministry officials about the guest country and also reads books and documents. He has also been seen adding final touches to his speech up to the night before an event.

“The Emperor has not cut corners. And because of that, he sometimes seemed tired. I have felt that he is reaching his limit,” a senior Imperial Household Agency official said.
There was a small hiccup during Emperor Akihito's speech. The google translation was a bit odd; it appears he accidentally skipped a page and read the event schedule for a bit. [Asahi]

news24.jp video and screenshots of CP Masako and Princess Mako:
https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1001966744850849792
https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images...89128f6f48.png
https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images...576f43ab9f.png
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  #78  
Old 05-31-2018, 10:25 AM
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Another probable "last" for this outgoing emperor and empress. There did seem to be a tiny moment of confusion during the posted video when the emperor was looking at his papers; I wonder if that's when he realized the speech was out of order.

The kimonos worn by the imperial ladies were lovely, as always.
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  #80  
Old 06-10-2018, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, CP Naruhito, Prince Akishino, and Princess Kiko watched Dakyu, a traditional equestrian sport similar to polo, on May 29th at the Imperial Palace.

Photos: Getty Images, Sankei, Asahi

Traditional Horsemanship in Japan - The Imperial Household Agency

ETA: Imperial couple’s galloping good time at ancient ‘dakyu’ game:The Asahi Shimbun

Imperial Family enjoys ancient equine sport dakyu | Nippon TV NEWS24 JAPAN (includes footage of the family playing dakyu in the 70s)
Quote:
Dakyu is said to have begun in Central Asia, and travelled west to Europe to become the modern day game of polo. The same ancient game however is said to have also travelled east to China where it became Dakyu, and finally reached Japan via the Korean Peninsula during the 8th or 9th centuries.

Subsequently, in the Nara and Heian periods, Dakyu came to be played at the Imperial Palace around the time of the Tango Boy's Festival (May 5). During the Kamakura period the game declined, but by the time of the Edo period, Tokugawa Yoshimune, the eighth Shogun of Tokugawa government, promoted the game as a form of exercise for warfare on horseback and new methods of competition were devised, leading to its resurgence.

From the Meiji period, ancient traditional forms of equestrianism were increasingly challenged by more practical European forms, and Dakyu once again underwent a transformation and was modernized somewhat, but in the stables of the Imperial Household Agency, Dakyu is still practiced and preserved in the former popular mid-Edo period style.
It is excellent that dakyu has modernized so much, but it is equally excellent that the IHA is working to pass down the ancient forms. Frankly, I suspect most other 1300-year-old sports have gone extinct by now, with or without modernization.

Quote:
During this trip, we visited the capital city of Hanoi and the ancient capital of Hue and we were able to acquaint ourselves with the long history of exchanges between Viet Nam and Japan. The music and dance which were brought to Japan from your country in the eighth century are still preserved here as part of gagaku, our imperial court music, under the name Rin’yugaku, meaning “music of Champa.” At the palace of the Nguyen dynasty in Hue, we enjoyed a performance of Nha nhac, which shares the same roots as gagaku. In Hue we also visited a memorial house dedicated to Phan Boi Chau, where we were able to retrace the steps of the man who initiated the Dong Du movement at the start of the twentieth century, paving the way for many Vietnamese youths to study in Japan.
It is not the first time that the Emperor referenced the foreign influences on the imperial family. Very different from the ultranationalists' concept of the Japanese monarchy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
There was a small hiccup during Emperor Akihito's speech. The google translation was a bit odd; it appears he accidentally skipped a page and read the event schedule for a bit. [Asahi]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ista View Post
There did seem to be a tiny moment of confusion during the posted video when the emperor was looking at his papers; I wonder if that's when he realized the speech was out of order.
Something in a similar vein occurred a few years ago. Soon afterwards his desire to abdicate was leaked. Hopefully, future emperors will be granted permission to retire before they "reach their limit" as the IHA official stated.
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