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  #101  
Old 12-01-2018, 02:36 AM
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Here's another gallery of the reception:


** gettyimages gallery **
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  #102  
Old 12-13-2018, 02:52 AM
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The private 61st Imperial Household Agency Staff Cultural Festival runs December 13-15. Some Imperial family submissions from Asahi:

1. Close up of Prince Hisahito's dragonfly model
2. Princess Aiko's photos of her UK study abroad
3. Emperor Akihito submitted poetry
4. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko's poetry
5. Empress Michiko's photo crafts
6. Empress Michiko's poetry or calligraphy
7. Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako's photography
8. Princess Hisako's photography of flowers
9. Princess Akiko's dyed fabric
10. Princess Nobuko's photographs
11-12. More of Prince Hisahito's dragonfly model. Photo 11, photo 12
13. Prince Akishino's photography
14. Exhibition

Princess Mako and Prince Hisahito visited the exhibition on the morning of December 13th.

ETA: Prince and Princess show works at cultural festival | Nippon TV NEWS24 JAPAN

ETA: Princess Aiko also submitted her summer school certificate and Eton College crest. Notice her full name appears as "Aiko Toshinomiya"
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DuWWgnFV4AEKnzI.jpg
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  #103  
Old 12-15-2018, 03:59 PM
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On December 14th, Princess Akiko and Princess Hisako attended duck netting with foreign diplomats at Saitama Imperial Wild Duck Preserve in Koshigaya City, Saitama Prefecture.

Instagram photos from Alejandro Posada Baena, Plenipotentiary Minister at the Embassy of Colombia in Japan:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BraoUrfAU9O/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BraokFmAOBT/
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  #104  
Old 12-17-2018, 02:52 AM
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On December 17th, Emperor Akihito invited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, ministers and deputy ministers for an end-of-year lunch at the Imperial Palace. Crown Prince Naruhito also attended.

AP Images, Getty Images
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  #105  
Old 12-24-2018, 08:11 PM
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2019 New Year's Poetry Reading Utakai Hajime will be held on January 16th. The last theme of the Heisei era is 光 "light"

The IHA announced 10 entrants' poems from the general public to be sung with poems from the Imperial family and others. The oldest winner is an 89-year old former cook from Kochi, Kochi Prefecture and the youngest is a 16-year old high school student from Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture. There were 21,971 submissions from 23 countries and regions including 32 Braille poems.

Source: Sankei


On December 17th, Imperial family members attended Kashikodokoro-mikagura at the Imperial Palace. Mikagura music is performed to calm the spirits of the gods.

Crown Prince Naruhito arrival and departure: https://youtu.be/5w3KThX5suc
Mikasa, Takamado and Akishino arrivals and departures: https://youtu.be/F1P_jEqOSFE
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  #106  
Old 12-27-2018, 02:03 AM
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On December 27th, members of the Imperial family visited the Emperor and Empress for end-of-year greetings and a family lunch.

AP Images

Although not pictured, Mikasa and Takamado princesses also attended according to Asahi's schedule.

ETA: Jiji reports former royals and relatives are invited to the luncheon as well. About 30 attended. Princess Nobuko cancelled due to a cold.

ETA: Jiji photos copied to Twitter
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dvd8mOdU8AAz2g0.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dvd8naaVYAETSCF.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dvd8onnUwAER8pY.jpg
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  #108  
Old 12-31-2018, 08:50 PM
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The last poem by the Empress was very moving; so sweet that she still sees her husband that way after all these years.

Very interesting watching the body language and interactions in the videos.
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  #109  
Old 12-31-2018, 09:09 PM
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Interesting to see Mako standing with Aiko on the other side from her parents. Has this happened before?
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  #110  
Old 12-31-2018, 11:48 PM
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Yes, Mako stood with Aiko for 2017 New Year family photo

Another return for Crown Princess Masako! She attended the greeting ceremony from the heads of government for the first time since 2003, see Sankei. No word yet about her attendance at the ambassador greetings are in the afternoon...

ETA: I took screenshots from NHK video

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In the morning on January 1st, the Imperial couple received formal New Year's greetings from the Crown Prince couple, Akishino couple, and Princesses Mako and Kako.

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1010016-p1.jpg
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1010016-p2.jpg
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1010016-p3.jpg
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1010016-p4.jpg
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1010016-p5.jpg

ETA: more screenshots from FNN video
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DvzsmPpU0AA8MCn.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DvztKAFVYAALJ4U.jpg

ETA: more photos at AP Images

ETA: Mainichi, Asahi, Getty Images
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  #111  
Old 01-01-2019, 09:35 AM
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It's wonderful to see Masako taking part in this, and it would be even more impressive if she had been able to take part in the afternoon event, although it wouldn't surprise me if she had to sit that one out.

She's made so much progress recently. It makes me wonder if she has a new medical team who have been more supportive and proactive than in the past. We'll probably never know, but there has definitely been a huge change in the last few years.
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  #112  
Old 01-01-2019, 04:56 PM
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Wonderful! Who is the lady in blue? She clearly stood out!
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  #113  
Old 01-01-2019, 06:33 PM
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Princess Yoko of Mikasa wore blue! Love it!

Ista, you're correct. Masako skipped the afternoon reception for ambassadors, seen in NHK and ANN videos below. I don't know about a new medical team. Seems risky to change. Her improvement has been steady since the Dutch inauguration or Dutch state visit.

There were no plans to seek further help in 2013 when CP Naruhito was asked about getting a second-opinion for Masako, see Press Conference on the occasion of His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince's Birthday (2013) - The Imperial Household Agency

Quote:
Related Question 3
This is a question concerning the medical treatment of Her Imperial Highness The Crown Princess. In the field of medicine there is a growing tendency to seek opinions from doctors other than the primary physicians with regard to diagnosis and treatment methods. Opinions are being raised that with Her Imperial Highness' period of recuperation now in its tenth year, it may be beneficial to seek opinions from physicians other than the doctors to the Crown Prince's Household and thereby have a so-called second opinion. Does Your Imperial Highness intend to seek such a second opinion with regard to the treatment of Her Imperial Highness?

Answer 3
From what I have seen to date, I believe that the doctors to the Crown Prince's Household have done a very good job and I too am deeply appreciative of the treatment that has been provided. Therefore, at the present time we do not have any particular intention to seek a second opinion.
Emperor and Empress receive New Year greetings - News - NHK WORLD - English
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  #114  
Old 01-01-2019, 06:41 PM
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Thank you for posting those links, Prisma. I remember that press conference. Whoever the CP's medical team is, they have done a remarkable job, and I'm very happy for the entire CP family. I'm sure they are approaching the upcoming change in the CP's status with a lot of caution. Every time the team give a statement regarding the Crown Princess's health they urge patience and caution, so I have my fingers crossed that they have prepared for every possibility in the months to come.
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  #115  
Old 01-01-2019, 09:26 PM
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Thanks for the update!
Princess Yoko's blue dress was quite surprising. Princess Nobuko's dress had a beautiful pattern reminding me of a kimono one.
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  #116  
Old 01-02-2019, 01:34 AM
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New Year's greeting for General Public on January 2nd.

Getty Images, Getty Images 2, Sankei, Mainichi, AP Images 1, AP Images 2

ETA: AFPBB gallery

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dv4WhXeU0AA7uAR.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dv4WiimUUAE7wYq.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...00340_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...00301_comm.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dv4wVy9U8AA8hRQ.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dv4w7SVVAAAcY-E.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dv4zY6FUwAEBZ9Q.jpg

Emperor Akihito greets well-wishers in final New Year's address - The Mainichi
Quote:
"I hope this year will be a good year for as many people as possible," said the emperor, who waved to the crowd from behind the windows of a balcony at the palace together with his wife Empress Michiko and other members of the imperial family. "At the beginning of the year, I pray for the peace and happiness of the people of our country and the world."
Emperor greets well-wishers for last time - News - NHK WORLD - English (includes video)
Quote:
Following his address, many well-wishers expressed words of gratitude for his 30 years on the throne.

A 21-year-old man said the Emperor has remained close to the people by praying for the war dead and visiting disaster-hit areas.

He said he feels sad that the Emperor is abdicating, but that it cannot be helped considering his health. He said that seeing so many people has renewed his belief that the Emperor is loved by many in the public.


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  #117  
Old 01-04-2019, 04:12 AM
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Mainichi uploaded the FULL family greetings for the adult royals. Wow.
The Hitachi couple and Princess Yuriko attended the private portion on January 1st.

Bow on entering, bow and greet Emperor, bow and greet Empress, walk backwards to entrance and bow.

ETA: Record 154,800 people pay respects to Emperor, Empress in last New Year's address - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...] He appeared seven times on the day, two more than originally planned, to accommodate the large crowd.

Among the visitors, Toyoko Nosu from the western Japan city of Okayama said that she came to the palace "because I wanted to see the two for one last time." The 81-year-old woman who used a wheelchair attended by her son said she welcomed the Imperial Couple when the Emperor, then still the crown prince, and the Empress visited Okayama Prefecture. [...] "They have always thought about the people. I would like to extend my thanks for their hard work."

A 39-year-old female company employee said that attending the New Year's address was a good "opportunity for the people to express their gratitude" to the Emperor, who is "doing indispensable work."

Another well-wisher, Mitsuru Maeda, 55, a male company employee from the central Japan city of Himi in Toyama Prefecture, said he often felt close to Crown Prince Naruhito, who becomes the next emperor in May, and his wife Crown Princess Masako, because they belong to the same generation. "I want them to carry out their public duties without feeling pressured," he said.

A 29-year-old male company employee from the city of Ichikawa in Chiba Prefecture [...] "I was born in the Heisei era [...] and I wanted to see them with my own eyes at least once in my lifetime," he said. The man added that he wants peace to continue. "I was born and grew up in the Heisei era, which didn't have any wars. I want the next period to also be peaceful."
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  #118  
Old 01-07-2019, 12:34 AM
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On January 7th, the Imperial family marked the 30th anniversary of the death of Emperor Showa (Hirohito).

About 80 people including Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko, Princess Hisako, Prime Minister Abe, members of government, former royalty and others attended a memorial ceremony at Emperor Showa’s tomb at Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachiōji, Tokyo.

Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako worshipped at the Imperial Palace sanctuaries on behalf of the Emperor. It’s the first court ritual for Masako since April 2016 for the 2600th anniversary of Emperor Jimmu’s death.

Yomiuri reports Princesses Mako, Kako and other royalty also attended the Imperial Palace ceremony.

AP Images, Getty Images, Asahi, Sankei

https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1082132869688918016

CP Naruhito and CP Masako arrive at the Imperial Palace:
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...00849_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...00829_comm.jpg

Empress Michiko, Princess Kiko, and Princess Hisako
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...01499_comm.jpg
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2019/01...0122000p/9.jpg

ETA: Princess Akiko and Princess Tsuguko in the background
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...e-id1078464832
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...e-id1078464524

Ayako and Kei Moriya from fnn.jp video
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ETA: Imperial couple visits tomb of Emperor Showa - News - NHK WORLD - English
Quote:
[...] The Emperor walked up to the tomb with his second son Prince Akishino. They offered sprigs from the holy "sakaki" tree.

The Emperor read out a message in classical Japanese praying that the state and the nation will be protected and prosper further.

The Empress and members of the Imperial family then paid their respects to the late Emperor Showa. [...]
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  #119  
Old 01-09-2019, 02:17 AM
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Akihito, Michiko commemorate 30th year of Hirohito's death: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
At 10 a.m., a ceremony was also held at one of three imperial sanctuaries located on the premises of the Imperial Palace. About 40 people including imperial family members and relatives of Hirohito attended.
CP Masako wore traditional attire!

Ahead of abdication, Emperor Akihito commemorates 30th anniversary of his father's death | The Japan Times
Quote:
Wearing traditional attire, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako took part in another ceremony at the Imperial Palace on behalf of the Emperor and Empress. Prince Akishino’s daughters — Princess Mako and Princess Kako — joined them.
Topics and lecturers for the Kousho Hajime (Imperial New Year's Lectures) on January 11:

Cancer immunotherapy: Tasuku Honjo (76), Professor at Kyoto University and shared 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Japan’s Yokai culture: Kazuhiko Komatsu (71), Director-General at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies
Corporate governance in Japan: Kenjiro Egashira (72), Professor Emeritus at University of Tokyo

Source: Jiji

On January 3rd, the Imperial family attended Genshisai which "celebrates the headquarters and origin of the Imperial Throne at the start of the new year. The prosperity of the nation and the people are also prayed for at the Imperial Palace Sanctuaries." Arrival/departure videos below.

CP Naruhito: https://youtu.be/W9x-PIvUDN8
Akishino couple: https://youtu.be/c9IXQToAmJc
Princesses Mako, Kako, Nobuko, Akiko, Yoko, Hisako and Tsuguko: https://youtu.be/NTUe22_btbA
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  #120  
Old 01-11-2019, 03:49 AM
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Some info from Imperial Weekly 573
* Takako Shimazu and Sayako Kuroda also attended the ceremony at Musashino Imperial Mausoleum for the 30th anniversary of Emperor Showa's death.
* CP Masako arrived 90 minutes before the Imperial Palace ceremony to perform the purification rituals and change into traditional garments.
* On January 8th, CP Naruhito, Princess Aiko, the Akishino family, and the Kurodas had dinner with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. This private New Year's meal features traditional foods. Originally the dishes are served as breakfast to the Imperial couple and Crown Prince family from January 1-3. Their Majesties wish Prince Akishino and Sayako to taste the foods they had enjoyed until their independence (i.e. - marriage) and host a gathering every year. CP Masako had cold symptoms; she did not attend to prevent infection.


On January 10th, the IHA reported CP Masako has a cold and slight fever; she will not attend New Year's Lectures. She regrets missing the event.
Source: Sankei

On January 11th, the Imperial family attended Ceremony of the Kousho Hajime (Imperial New Year's Lectures)

Getty Images

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1110016-p1.jpg
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2019/01...0017000q/9.jpg
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2019/01...0019000q/9.jpg
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2019/01...0020000q/9.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DwnZaWjV4AAH7Sf.jpg

Emperor, Empress attend academic lectures - News - NHK WORLD - English
Quote:
[...] In the first lecture, the head of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kazuhiko Komatsu, explained the Japanese folkloric figures known as yokai, which are supernatural monsters, spirits and demons.

[...]

University of Tokyo Professor Emeritus Kenjiro Egashira spoke about Japan's recent efforts to reform corporate governance.

He said the reforms have not yet achieved clear results, and that Japan's lifetime employment system may be an obstacle.

Kyoto University Professor Tasuku Honjo, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine last year, explained the development of cancer treatments making use of the immune system.
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