I am so happy to see Crown Princess Masako being a part of Queen Margrethe's visit. It's a small step forward and I really like what Empress Michiko said. By the way, was Princess Kiko present in any of the activities of the Danish visit?
Friday November 19, 1:44 PM Princess Masako's grandmother dies at 88
(Kyodo) _ Crown Princess Masako's maternal grandmother, Suzuko Egashira, died Friday at a hospital in the city of Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, the Imperial Household Agency said. She was 88.
Crown Princess Masako visited Egashira at the home of the princess' family in Tokyo's Meguro Ward in October, the agency said.
She is survived by her husband Yutaka Egashira, 96, a former chairman of chemical maker Chisso Corp.
Polfoto 30-11-2004 In this photo released by the Imperial Household Agency, Princess Aiko, right, smiles as she plays with her parents Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako in the garden of their residence Togu Palace in Tokyo Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2004. Aiko, the only child of Japan's imperial heir Naruhito, will turn three-year-old Wednesday, Dec. 1. (AP Photo/Imperial Household Agency, HO)
TOKYO, JAPAN - DECEMBER 1: Crown Prince Naruhito (R) and his daughter Princess Aiko (C) arrive at the Imperial Palace to greet the Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Princess Aiko's third birthday December 1, 2004 in Tokyo, Japan.
Polfoto 29-11-2004 In this photo released by the Imperial Household Agency, Kuwait's Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, right, smiles with Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito as he pays a courtesy call at the prince's residence, Togu Palace, in Tokyo Monday, Nov. 29, 2004.
Polfoto 08-12-2004 In this photo distributed by the Imperial Household Agency Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2004, Crown Prince Naruhito, left, and Crown Princess Masako, right, smile with their three-year-old daughter Princess Aiko in the garden of their residence Togu Palace in Tokyo Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2004. Masako who has withdrawn from her official duties after breaking down under the stress of place life late last year celebrates her 41st birthday Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004.
The Associated Press
Crown Princess Masako joined the rest of the Imperial family in greeting the public at the start of 2005 on Sunday after missing the annual ritual last year to recover from a psychological disorder brought on by the stresses of royal life.
Dressed in a sequined, blue velvet dress accented by a sparkling pendant, the Crown Princess smiled and waved gently from a glass-enclosed balcony on the Imperial Palace grounds.
Emperor Akihito briefly addressed the estimated crowd of 19,000 people, which responded with shouts of "Banzai" -- or long life -- while waving flags.
"I am sincerely delighted to be able to celebrate the new year with you," the Emperor told the crowd. "I hope for your happiness and pray for world peace."
The 41-year-old Crown Princess has largely stayed out of the public eye since December 2003, when she was hospitalized and diagnosed with shingles -- a viral infection that typically results in pain and a rash.
About eight months later, palace officials said the Harvard and Oxford-educated former diplomat was suffering from adjustment disorder, a stress-induced condition marked by bouts of depression and anxiety, and was receiving counseling and medication.
She said she was suffering from accumulated stress, while her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, noted the enormous pressures on her to produce a royal heir.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko's only daughter, Princess Nori, meanwhile, participated in the greeting for the last time ahead of her expected marriage this year to Tokyo Metropolitan Government official Yoshiki Kuroda.
As a woman born in the Imperial family, the 35-year-old Princess Nori will lose her royal title, move out of the palace and become a commoner after she weds. The Japan Times: Jan. 3, 2005
__________________ It's clever, but is it art? ~Rudyard Kipling