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  #21  
Old 03-27-2007, 08:20 PM
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Does anybody get the feeling that there is a lot more coverage on Prince Akishino's family duties and lives as of late? And very little if no coverage on the Crown Princely family?
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  #22  
Old 01-02-2008, 02:15 PM
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Smile Daily Life & usual Diet of The Imperial Family, please?

Greetings, and Happy New Year to you all!

I have always been very curious as to HOW members of this family spend their days, after awakening, and what they usually eat. I am not referring to "State Dinners" now, and other special occasions. I am referring to what their day-to-day eating habits are, please.

About the daily activities: What does one DO as a Japanese Royal, from day to day after waking up in the Akasaka Palace? You know, do they watch TV, work out, what meetings do they attend, etc.
Also, are they allowed out at all to shop, run errands, go to the cinema, meet their past friends, and family?

Thank you.

I hope to be referred to Articles that cover these subjects IN ENGLISH if at all possible.

-- Abbie
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  #23  
Old 01-09-2008, 12:57 PM
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Hi Abigail,

I wish I have seen this question of yours earlier

According to a Chinese online news article: ձ""-йרҵ

Bascially it says:

The Imperial couple lives like an overstructured gold fishes living in a pot.

Every morning the couple gets up at 6:30am. They will then watch tv news and will also take a walk in the palace garden. The palace is situated in the centre of Tokyo city. There are occasionally guests. The palace itself can not be compared to the grandness of European palaces.

It is said that if the Emperor wants to go to another building in the palace complex he would usually walk. If raining, he would drive his fourteen year old Honda car. He persists to drive according to the driving rules, put on his seat belt, updating his licence every few years, though the avenues in the palace complex are all private.

After a busy day, in the night after everything else, they would either watch tv programs about natural ecology or video tapes about the same theme. They have neither dvds nor internet. They would also read newspapers and magazines.

Because of their busy life, they dont have much time to see their friends or for leisure. Their chef for over 10 years commented that if their majesties have one day in a week free, then it would be considered lucky. Their majesties belong to the generation of hard-working. They almost vew leisure and luxury as sinful.

The Emperor loves tennis and cello. However his greates interest has to be gobies (a type of fish). Ever since 1967, the Emperor has written 38 essays on gobies. This has made him an expert in gobies. This great interest comes from his youth when he would often visit his villa with his father to collect samples of gobies.

Once, the natural science organization of United Kingdom asked Akihito to give a speech on his research of gobies. The Emperor was grateful about this and humbly said "he feels he is not so qualified". The Empress during a press conference, once said "not so long after our engagement, the then Crown Prince chatted with me about fishes. He was able to give out very specific names of fishes such as Tilapia mossambica. I was so surprised by him!"

Another artical, which I could not find on the internet anymore says that the Empress gets up around 5:30 am every morning and would power walk in the palace straight after before breakfast is served.





Quote:
Originally Posted by HRH Abigail View Post
Greetings, and Happy New Year to you all!

I have always been very curious as to HOW members of this family spend their days, after awakening, and what they usually eat. I am not referring to "State Dinners" now, and other special occasions. I am referring to what their day-to-day eating habits are, please.

About the daily activities: What does one DO as a Japanese Royal, from day to day after waking up in the Akasaka Palace? You know, do they watch TV, work out, what meetings do they attend, etc.
Also, are they allowed out at all to shop, run errands, go to the cinema, meet their past friends, and family?

Thank you.

I hope to be referred to Articles that cover these subjects IN ENGLISH if at all possible.

-- Abbie
According to this Chinese online news article: ձӻʺԸѧﳵ_Ȥζʷ_й*Ҿ*Ż

On her 73th birthday press conference, the Empress said: one morning, during a walk in the palace garden, the Emperor and I discovered that the "job's tears" have rippened and so we picked some. We've decided to pick some every year so that when Princess Aiko is old enough, we can use them to play the game "making necklaces" with her.

Also the Empress said that Princess Mako and Kako are taking care of their little brother, Hisahito, like little mothers. They change his clothes with experience but also act a little mischevious, while the little Aiko would gently touch his little hands are quite a cute scene.

According to another Chinese article about Empress Michiko's background:
日本新华侨网 《日本新华侨报》——*日交流桥梁 在日华人家*平成皇后平民燕--美智*皇后

The article mentioned a bit about the then Miss Michiko Shoda's daily life:

Miss Michiko's daily life reflected an upper class maiden's lifestyle pattern.
Michiko was a student of the prestigious Tokyo Sacred Hearts School. This is a Catholic school which aims to polish every student into individual shiny diamonds with no residuals, developing them into a member of the upper society. Michiko remained a Buddhist.

Every morning, she went to school and came back home at 3pm. Then she would have afternoon tea followed by homework. Shoda family would have dinner at 6pm. At 8pm, Shoda family would be in their living room ready to listen to Michiko's mother's performance of Chopin and other famous composers' works on piano. Sometimes, the children would sing with the music.

Michiko's academic result was always amongst the top few. She was also interested in various school activities. She was chosen to be the school captain.

Michiko was a polite and sunny student. She was so excellent altogether to the point that once a teacher said to her: you are almost a perfect girl. perhaps your perfectness is your short-coming.

Every summer, the whole family would go to Karuizawa. At there, Michiko would indulge herself in the surrounding nature and tennis.

According to Times article: The girl from outside: Michiko loved playing tennis in Karuizawa. She would play almost everyday there. She also enjoyed dropping into the little village shops for rice balls and noodlesa passion that absorbed nearly all her monthly allowance of $2.78.

Also according to another article: Michiko loved mashamellows.

Forgot to mention that the Imperial Family only harvest from the Imperial farm. Milk, egg, vegetables. I'm not sure about grains and meat.
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  #24  
Old 01-09-2008, 02:46 PM
HRH Abigail's Avatar
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Wink Oh, my! How very educational this is :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
Hi Abigail,

I wish I have seen this question of yours earlier

According to a Chinese online news article: ձ""-йרҵ

Bascially it says:

The Imperial couple lives like an overstructured gold fishes living in a pot.

Every morning the couple gets up at 6:30am. They will then watch tv news and will also take a walk in the palace garden. The palace is situated in the centre of Tokyo city. There are occasionally guests. The palace itself can not be compared to the grandness of European palaces.

It is said that if the Emperor wants to go to another building in the palace complex he would usually walk. If raining, he would drive his fourteen year old Honda car. He persists to drive according to the driving rules, put on his seat belt, updating his licence every few years, though the avenues in the palace complex are all private.

After a busy day, in the night after everything else, they would either watch tv programs about natural ecology or video tapes about the same theme. They have neither dvds nor internet. They would also read newspapers and magazines.

Because of their busy life, they dont have much time to see their friends or for leisure. Their chef for over 10 years commented that if their majesties have one day in a week free, then it would be considered lucky. Their majesties belong to the generation of hard-working. They almost vew leisure and luxury as sinful.

The Emperor loves tennis and cello. However his greates interest has to be gobies (a type of fish). Ever since 1967, the Emperor has written 38 essays on gobies. This has made him an expert in gobies. This great interest comes from his youth when he would often visit his villa with his father to collect samples of gobies.

Once, the natural science organization of United Kingdom asked Akihito to give a speech on his research of gobies. The Emperor was grateful about this and humbly said "he feels he is not so qualified". The Empress during a press conference, once said "not so long after our engagement, the then Crown Prince chatted with me about fishes. He was able to give out very specific names of fishes such as Tilapia mossambica. I was so surprised by him!"

Another artical, which I could not find on the internet anymore says that the Empress gets up around 5:30 am every morning and would power walk in the palace straight after before breakfast is served.
Wow! I have read your posts under this Thread of mine, and fine your replies very helpful and educational!

I cannot thank you enough.

Now, I don't speak nor read a word of Chinese, Japanese or any of the other Asian languages. I regret this.
So, I especially THANK you for your translation of it all

Poppy, would you know of any ENGLISH Articles about daily life and living, of The Imperial Family, that are in English?

Feel free to respond as much as you like or care to, to my Thread!

This is so COOL !

-- Abbie (PLEASE, you may call me Abbie if you wish to)
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  #25  
Old 01-10-2008, 12:52 PM
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Hi Abbie, I am glad that you enjoyed my responses^^

I have just found a English website about the Imperial family which I am pretty sure that was where I got my information about the Empress does power walk. Just scroll down to where you see "The Daily Life of The Imperial Family : japan imperial family families pacific far east japan constitution emperor court garden daily life
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  #26  
Old 01-10-2008, 01:10 PM
HRH Abigail's Avatar
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Thumbs up Oh, wow ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
Hi Abbie, I am glad that you enjoyed my responses^^

I have just found a English website about the Imperial family which I am pretty sure that was where I got my information about the Empress does power walk. Just scroll down to where you see "The Daily Life of The Imperial Family : japan imperial family families pacific far east japan constitution emperor court garden daily life
Wowza, this is terrific!

Just terrific ... THANK you so much for this, Poppy.

Yes, I have read the page and enjoyed it immensely. In fact, I have just bookmarked it, too!

Anything else you can find and post here would be much appreciated, too.

I just wish that Chinese Article to which you linked us, earlier in this Thread could be fully translated, that's all.

I am surprised at how early everyone gets up, aren't you?

-- Abbie
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  #27  
Old 01-10-2008, 02:10 PM
Al_bina's Avatar
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Poppy,
Thanks a lot for providing information about daily life of the Imperial family.
Well... I have to say that their life is really, really structured
.
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To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands. To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds.
And, subtle shadows of bamboo on bamboo." Zeami Motokiyo
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  #28  
Old 10-30-2012, 05:22 PM
ChiaraC's Avatar
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Here is a piece that tells us a lot about the restricted life Japans royals lead but also serves to illustrate the fact that IHA officials sometimes disagree with each other :
Quote:
[...] No one is going to manage to snap a picture of a naked Crown Prince Naruhito or a topless Princess Masako. Why should pictures of a naked Prince Harry or a topless Kate Middleton be floating around? It is, as they say, an avoidable problem.

Of course, the Japanese imperials tend to stick to the private sphere, but I am reminded of the small role I and my family played in getting the current Crown Prince out a bit. My brother Keith was Naruhito’s best friend when they were students together in Oxford. (They have remained close ever since. Keith was one of the few Westerners at his wedding reception.)

I was a graduate student at Oxford at the time, as were two more of my brothers, Kent and Edward. Keith and the Prince (“Hiro” as he was then known) used to come over to my house sometimes — I was already married by then, and was the only one with a house — and that was considered by the Prince’s attendants (and security people) to be a big step into the outer world. We decided that the next step was to take him out to an old-fashioned English pub. That, of course, was a challenge. In fact, it was pretty clear that it was a cause of controversy among those responsible for looking out for the Prince. In the end, though, the “modernizers” won, and he went out with us for a pint of ale. At the end of the evening, I recall that he very deliberately reached into his pocket and pulled out a ten pound note to cover his share. I suspect that it was the first time in his life he had ever paid for something himself or even had money in his possession. He seemed to enjoy the entire evening, especially the paying!

The next step we had in mind was impossible—or so we were told. We cooked up a plan for him to visit our family at home in West Virginia. Hiro clearly wanted to do it, but this was a decision that could only be made by the powers in Tokyo. Again, there was division. Miraculously, though, the Chamberlain (a wonderful man named Dr. Fuji, who deeply believed that the younger royals should not be excessively sheltered from the world) prevailed and the trip was arranged. It happened in the summer after Keith and Hiro completed their studies. Wonderfully, the Prince and his entourage made a stop to visit my wife and me in Princeton on his way to West Virginia. We hosted a party for him with officials of the University and members of the faculty who were interested in Japanese history, culture, and politics.

I was a brand new assistant professor, and getting a visit from the Prince was, to say the least, a news item on campus. (I happened to know that the Prince was a fan of the actress Brooke Shields, who was a student here at the time. I arranged for them to be introduced, and they ended up forming a nice friendship. She even visited him in Japan, which caused something of a sensation. He was unmarried and unattached at the time.) We all (well, not Brooke) went together, then, to West Virgnia, followed by three busloads of Japanese reporters and photographers. We took him to see a coal mine and other sites, and had a reception at our home where we pulled out the banjos and guitars and played some bluegrass music. He is a classically trained violinist, and we tried our best that evening to convert him and Dr. Fuji, who accompanied him and also played the violin, into bluegrass fiddlers. In this, I must confess, we were not entirely successful. They gave it their best shot, though. I guess we hit what might be called a “cultural divide.”
Robert P. George, Thoughts on Royals
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(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperors statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #29  
Old 11-02-2012, 01:14 PM
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Thanks for additional insights into Crown Prince Naruhito's life. The life of any Asian royal is strictly governed by courtiers, who follow the established procedures and protocols.
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"To watch the sun sink behind a flower clad hill.
To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands. To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds.
And, subtle shadows of bamboo on bamboo." Zeami Motokiyo
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  #30  
Old 04-20-2013, 03:16 PM
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Well this list of the Imperial families degrees and interests makes me feel shabby in comparison. Researchers PHD cello and violas! I am admiring that family more and more.
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  #31  
Old 04-20-2013, 03:29 PM
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The Imperial family seem to study rather obscure non controversial subjects when at university in Japan and in the UK. Would a member of the family be allowed to study a subject like history of Japan during WWII or perhaps be allowed to study law or politics or even serve in the Japanese Defence Force?
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  #32  
Old 04-20-2013, 04:39 PM
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No, yes, no and no.

Japanese traditionalists, and, in particular, the Imperial Household Agency, have a dislike for historical research. In spite of scientists’ appeals who crave to examine the more than 400 tombs the Government asserts hold the remains of emperors, empresses and their relatives, in spite of their declaration that the scientific gain of excavations would be immeasurable, the IHA refuses to grant archaeologists access. Officially, the IHA maintains this is simply a matter of not wanting to desecrate the graves of the emperor’s ancestors. But the reasons for their lack of support to scientists are lying much deeper as the words of one retired IHA executive reveal: “The archaeologists’ job is to overturn the accepted, and this is the accepted history of Japan. If you let archaeologists in, it could cause confusion. Why is it so important to find out the truth?”

Naruhito insisted on studying history and received his bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Gakushuin University in 1982 and 1988, respectively. But he had to stick to rather innocuous subjects within his field of expertise. His thesis was called, “A Tentative Review of Maritime Transportation in the Seto Inland Sea in the Medieval Period”.

Prince Mikasas youngest son, Prince Takamado, was a graduate of the Department of Law of Gakushuin University. In the 1980s, for two and a half years, he wrote about ballet for the Tokyo Shimbun, an experience that demonstrated his curiously limited life.
Quote:
It would be unthinkable and scandalous for a Japanese prince to criticize a citizen; it would be outrageous if he criticized a foreigner. So the pieces he wrote every month on ballet were journalistic oddities, reviews with the negative parts left out. "I never called my writing criticism. Because I could not write anything bad or nasty, I tried to help people to appreciate the performance." There was a comic side to this, which he could appreciate as much as anyone: "Readers began to think that whatever I didn't mention must have been something that should have been criticized." To omit was to condemn. From his friends in the ballet world he often heard a question about something he'd ignored: "Was it that bad?" Eventually he found the work dull and gave it up.
Takamados father, Prince Mikasa, was called the “red prince” by some as he was very scientific-minded and did not support so-called ancient imperial tradition. (There is no reason to believe, as far as I know, that he ever held explicitly socialist or communist views. I think it is rather the way of people who are very conservative themselves to call everybody a communist who happens to disagree with them.)

In 1955, Prince Mikasa began teaching about the Ancient Middle East at a Christian College, the Tokyo Womens university. Specializing in Judaism and Christianity, Prince Mikasa was critical of the political use that was made of the Shinto myths and opposed the revival of the Kigensetsu – the prewar holiday celebrating the founding of Japan by the mythical first emperor Jimmu. The prince strode out of a general meeting of a historical society in disgust when a motion he had made that expressed opposition to Kigensetsu was ruled out of order. He said that as a member of the imperial family, a former army officer, and a scholar, he had a responsibility to denounce the prewar holiday as “without historical foundation”. A close friend said that the prince had worried over the fact that the emperor system had been exploited in prewar concepts of education. Prince Mikasa has been called a “thorn in the flesh of those who would like to turn the clock back and restore the imperial family to its old seclusion”. (Ottawa Citizen, July 11, 1958, “Japans Shy Son of Heaven”, via Googlenews)

It is important to mention that the debate about the Kigensetsu was highly political. The bill that was proposed to the Diet in the fifties was typical of the efforts of nationalists to return to the old pre-war ways. This sort of seemingly academic matters is also highly relevant in the present time. But after the shock of the defeat, it was possible in the fifties to say things in Japan that would be thought too controversial today.
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(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperors statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #33  
Old 04-21-2013, 12:52 AM
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Thanks for all this interesting information. I don't know much about the Imperial family. But I recall seeing the palace in Tokyo when I stayed at a hotel near it. One of my husband's fondest memories was going to Japan for Boeing, where he was an engineer.
He loved his trip to the shrines in Kyoto, and I have a wonderful picture of one of the shrines on my wall, and I remember him every time I look at it. I hope the Crown Prince and Princess have as much fun in Holland as they did the last time they were there. Perhaps they can just stay there for a long time, and forget the trouble at home?
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