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Mandy 05-26-2005 11:26 PM

Imperial Family of Japan: News & Photos III
Please post news and pictures of the members of the Japanese Imperial Family. Have fun!

Here is the link to the old thread

merampo 05-27-2005 12:22 AM

*Princess Kikoku Takamatsu's pictures Part1*
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Mandy,Thank you!:)

Princess Kikoku Takamatsu was born on December 26,
1911 as the daughter of Duke Tokugawa,
and she was the granddaughter of the last of the shoguns,
Japan's feudal rulers until the Meiji Restoration of 1868
which gave power to the emperor and marked the start of Japan's modernization,and died on December 17, 2004.
She married Prince Takamatsu(1905~1987),brother of Emperor Hirohito(1901~1989),
on February 4, 1930, and became Princess when she was 18 years old.
Her marriage with Prince Takamatsu was planed in her age of two,so she was brought up like a princess.

1.Her childhood
2.Before her wedding,with her mother,Mieko Tokugawa(born as Princess Mieko Arisugawa)
3.On their wedding day.(1930-2-4)
I like silhouette and skirt part of her wedding dress very much:) .

They honeymooned from April 21, 1930 to June 11, 1931 two months after the marriage.
They said thier honeymoon, as revalued on the current price basis,
cost them nealy 5.5 million dollars, and additional 1.6 million dollars for her clothing.
She had fittings for many clothes day by day,
standing all the day. And she was often down with anemia.

4.In London,they paraded to the Buckingham Palace with the carriage. (1930-6-26)
It is my avator now.

5.In Paris(1930-6-7)
She have took the train in Paris for a firstime, because she went to school by jinrikisha.
Then, she hadn't took the train for a long time, till that she went out with her friend in her private 1990's.
Finally, it was only two times that she took the train.

6.In New York(1931-4)
7.In Hawaii(1931-6-2) a married couple
9.with a traditional Japanese hairstyle(1936-11)
10,After WWII,they invited the serviceman in the United States
to home and frequently had a party to please them.

Mandy 05-27-2005 12:52 AM

What an interesting life story. Thank you for sharing it with us Merampo.

mandyy 05-27-2005 01:03 AM

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Accompanied by Brazilian First Lady Marisa Letila Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is welcomed by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko upon their arrival at the Imperial Palace for a luncheon in Tokyo, 27 May 2005.

mandyy 05-27-2005 05:51 AM

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Visiting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva talks with Japanese Emperor Akihito before their luncheon at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo May 27, 2005. Lula called on Thursday for more permanent seats on the Security Council, saying the U.N. body should reflect a diverse world or risk losing its legitimacy.

mandyy 05-27-2005 04:01 PM

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The Emperor, Empress and Princess Sayako invited 560 employees of the Imperial Household Agency to a tea reception during the evening to celebrate the Empress' 70th birthday on May 27, 2005.

mandyy 05-28-2005 12:01 AM

The Emperor, Empress and Princess Sayako will visit Hayama Imperial Villa on May 28, 2005 and stay there for a rest until May 31.

Elsa M. 05-29-2005 03:31 PM

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May 26th
Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Princess Sayako received the Portuguese President, Jorge Sampaio, and his wife, Maria José Ritta, upon their arrival for a luncheon at the Imperial residence. The presidential couple flew to Japan to attend Expo Aichi.
Photo from GettyImages:

merampo 05-31-2005 01:32 AM

*Empress Nagako(Kojun)'s pictures*
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The Empress Kojun was born on 6 March 1903 in the Azabu district of Tokyo, the eldest daughter of Late Prince Kuniyoshi of Kuni and was given the name Nagako.

On 26 January 1924 Empress Kojun married Emperor Showa, who was Crown Prince at the time. On 25 December 1926 upon the demise of Emperor Taisho, Emperor Showa ascended to the throne and Empress Kojun became Empress.

Empress Kojun counted painting, calligraphy and poetry among her pastimes, and Her Majesty’s paintings and poetry were published and also displayed in exhibitions.
On becoming Empress Dowager upon the death of Emperor Showa on 7 January 1989, Empress Kojun was often visited by members of the Imperial Family, including Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and spent quiet days recollecting the days she spent with Emperor Showa. During the night of 14 June 2000, Her Majesty began to ail from respiratory problems and received medical attention, but on 16 June, Her Majesty's condition suddenly worsened, and she passed away at 4:46pm due to old age at the Fukiage Omiya Palace. Her Majesty was 97 years old and was posthumously named Empress Kojun.

1.her childhood
2.with her sister,Princess Satoko Kuni(1908)
3.with her mother ,Princess Chikako Kuni(June 12, 1922 )
4.her family.The second from the left of the front rank is her.
5.after wedding ceremony 1925
7.Prince (later Emperor) Hirohito of Japan and his wife, Princess (later Empress) Nagako of Japan, in their home, ca. 1925
I like this picture. the coronation ceremony(Nov,1928)
9.her formal portrait
10.with her first boy,Crown Prince Akihito(1934-7-10)

mandyy 06-01-2005 01:40 PM

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Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Kristiani Herawati arrive at the Imperial Palace to meet Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo June 1, 2005.

Emperor expresses condolences to Indonesia over tsunami

(Kyodo) _ Emperor Akihito expressed sympathy and condolences over the earthquake and tsunami disaster when he met Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Imperial Palace on Wednesday, the Imperial Household Agency said.

Yudhoyono, in a meeting with the emperor and Empress Michiko, expressed gratitude for support from Japan.

"There are many children who lost their families and relatives. We will do our best (to recover)," Yudhoyono said, according to the agency.

The earthquake and tsunami on Dec. 26 is believed to have left 250,000 people dead or missing in countries on the Indian Ocean including Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia. In Indonesia alone some 164,000 people were killed or went missing and the country's economy was severely damaged.

mandyy 06-01-2005 01:41 PM

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New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark (L) shakes hands with Japan's Emperor Akihito before their talks at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan June 1, 2005.

Meeting of Emperor, PM cloaked in tradition
02 June 2005 by COLIN ESPINER

Prime Minister Helen Clark has met Japan's Emperor Akihito in a ceremony cloaked in tradition.

Clark, who controversially wore trousers to meet the head of Britain's Royal Family, appeared in a conservative eggshell blue two-piece jacket and matching skirt. Akihito, a frail-looking 71-year-old, greeted her in a plush reception room of the Imperial Palace, an imposing block building surrounded by lush greenery in the heart of downtown Tokyo.

The ritual demanded Akihito enter the room precisely 15 seconds before Clark, in a pause that seemed to be timed by officials. Clark, who is considerably taller than the Emperor, did not bow or curtsy.

Only three New Zealand media representatives were allowed to witness the meeting, and were given just 90 seconds to take photographs. They were not allowed to make sound recordings, hold notebooks or walk on the carpet.

Officials objected to the dress of two of the reporters, in one case because the jacket was of too light a shade.

The head of palace etiquette, Yutaka Kawashima, said only dark clothes were allowed on men in the Emperor's presence, and only light clothes on women. Holding a pen or a notepad would make the Emperor "uncomfortable", Kawashima said.

The Emperor's wife, Empress Michiko, materialised from behind a bamboo screen precisely two minutes before Clark's visit was scheduled to end. Clark told reporters afterwards Empress Michiko had been very engaging, and had wanted to talk for longer.

The ceremony and rules surrounding imperial audiences date back to pre-World War 2 times, when the Japanese considered their royal family to be gods. That changed after the war, but many of the traditions live on.

Clark and the Emperor talked briefly about New Zealand's presence at the Aichi Expo in Nagoya and environmental and cultural matters.

mandyy 06-01-2005 02:01 PM

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Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Mrs. Yudhoyono meet with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace on June 1. The emperor expressed sympathy and condolences over the earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit Indonesia on Dec. 26.

mandyy 06-02-2005 12:43 AM

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Princess Kiko visits the International Red Cross Red Crescent Pavilion at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi Prefecture on June 2.

HMQueenElizabethII 06-02-2005 12:54 AM

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Prince Akishino and his wife Princess Kiko look at flowers displayed at the Shizuoka International Garden and Horticulture Exhibition in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on April 7th 2004 after an opening ceremony for the event. The exhibition will be open to the public from April 8 through Oct. 11 at the 56-hectare Lake Hamana Garden, featuring a total of 5 million plants. (Kyodo)

mandyy 06-02-2005 01:28 PM

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Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko welcomes Romanian President Traian Basescu and Maria Basescu wife of the Romanian president at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo June 2, 2005.

mandyy 06-02-2005 10:08 PM

Friday June 3, 8:26 AM

Princess Hisako to visit Germany, Jordan, Britain

(Kyodo) _ Princess Hisako will make a weeklong trip to Germany, Jordan and Britain in late June, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday.

The princess, widow of Prince Takamado, will leave Tokyo on June 21 and watch a Confederations Cup soccer match between Japan and Brazil in Germany.

On June 23, the princess will travel to Jordan where she will attend the wedding of Princess Badiya, the third daughter of Jordan's former Crown Prince Hassan bin Talal, the agency said. Princess Hisako will then fly to Britain to visit her friends before returning to Japan on June 28, the agency said.

lapopdiva 06-03-2005 10:10 AM

Emperors receive Princes of Asturias in Imperial Palace

The Emperors of Japan, Akihito and Michiko, received late this to Princes de Asturias in the Imperial Palace, where they offered a supper to them that ended the first day of stay of Don Felipe and Doña Letizia in Tokyo

The supper also attended princess Sayako, the small one of the three children of the Emperors, whom this year marriage with a municipal civil employee of plebian origin will contract, reason by which will lose her dynastic rights.

At seven o'clock of afternoon, when it began to grow dark in Tokyo, after a cloudy day and tempering, the car arrived at the Imperial Palace that transferred to Princes de Asturias from the hotel in which they are stayed until the residence of the Emperors, located in downtown and surrounded by a leafy one and taken care of park.

The Emperors and their daughter Sayako , who greeted with an inclination the presence of the Spanish press,waited to the Princes in the main entrance of their house, a building with little appearance of palace, sober and of dimensions more than discreet.

An Imperial Palace from which the bullicio of the streets from Tokyo was not listened to those hours of afternoon of Friday, in the beginning of the weekend.

Prince de Asturias presented his wife to the Emperors, before whom Doña Letizia made a ceremonious genuflexión. On a gesture of little common familiarity and for the customs of Japan, the Michiko Empress kissed the Princess, like her daughter Princess Sayako did, Both also saluted with a kiss to Don Felipe.

The Empress and Princess de Asturias agreed in the election of the color of their dresses: rose. Michiko dressed long skirt and short jacket and Doña Letizia a short dress - the first suit premother who she shines in public who covered a shelter with the same tone with embroiderings gilded in the low one.

After putting smiling for the Spanish photographers, Emperors, their daughter and her guests they enter to the interior of the Palace, whose lobby of entrance presented/displayed a sober decoration extremely: only two bonsáis centennial. 3724.htm

lapopdiva 06-03-2005 10:12 AM

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Originally Posted by Elsa M.
In these last photos of Letizia in pink, are they going out of the hotel to have dinner with the Emperor?

yes elsa i yust put an article about that topic.;)

Photos from Terra:

Elsa M. 06-03-2005 10:24 AM

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Originally Posted by planetcher
Whoa, Felipe will definitely tower over the Japanese Imperial family.

Indeed he seems a giant, near the Imperial family :D

Photo from EFE:

marezdote 06-03-2005 10:57 AM


Originally Posted by Elsa M.
Indeed he seems a giant, near the Imperial family :D

Photo from EFE:

Oh my goodness! He does indeed look like a giant:D

Elsa M. 06-03-2005 11:09 AM

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More photos, from Terra:

zarzuela 06-03-2005 12:02 PM

Letizia looks so beautiful in that dress! Both the Princes and the Japanese royal family seem to be delighted to meet each other.

lucys 06-03-2005 12:18 PM


Originally Posted by zarzuela
Letizia looks so beautiful in that dress! Both the Princes and the Japanese royal family seem to be delighted to meet each other.

I saw the greeting on the news and it was very warm. I was sort of surprised since I always understood Japanese protocol to be very formal, but both the Empress and the Princess gave Princess Letizia kisses. The dress is even more beautiful on video--you can see the lovely pink color. She looked radiant--the Empress also looked very elegant.

cute_girl 06-03-2005 01:22 PM

standing in a line like this picture they make a triangle!

zarzuela 06-03-2005 05:36 PM

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It seems like Princess Letizia and Princess Sayako are having an interesting conversation.

Mandy 06-03-2005 06:17 PM

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Polfoto 03-06-2005 In this photo released by Imperial Household Agency, visiting Spanish Crown Prince Felipe, center, and his wife Prince Letizia, second left, are greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito, second right, Empress Michiko, far right, and Emperor's daughter Princess Sayako at the Imperial residence in Tokyo Friday, June 3, 2005 for their dinner. The Spanish royal couple is currently on a four-day visit in Japan. (AP Photo/Imperial Household Agency,HO)

Victoria1999 06-03-2005 09:33 PM

Next to Felipe, the Japanese Imperial family has disappeared:D :)

Alexandria 06-03-2005 09:53 PM

I've noticed Princess Sayako taking on a greater role in welcoming foreign guests and royal duties alongside her parents lately. Is there a particular reason for her increased role -- is it because Crown Princess Masako is still not resuming duties?

And after her marriage this fall, will Princess Sayako continue to carry a title and what role will she and her husband have within the royal family's formal obligations?

Mandy 06-03-2005 10:16 PM


Originally Posted by Alexandria
I've noticed Princess Sayako taking on a greater role in welcoming foreign guests and royal duties alongside her parents lately. Is there a particular reason for her increased role -- is it because Crown Princess Masako is still not resuming duties?

And after her marriage this fall, will Princess Sayako continue to carry a title and what role will she and her husband have within the royal family's formal obligations?

From what I have read, Princess Sayako will lose her title to become only Mrs Kuroda and her children will be born commoners.

mandyy 06-05-2005 12:52 AM

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The Emperor and Empress in the Ikabari Prefecture to celebrate the 56th National Arbor Day on June 5, 2005.

lapopdiva 06-05-2005 03:00 AM

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NAGAKUTE, JAPAN: Spanish Prince Felipe (L) and his pregnant wife Princess Letizia (R) pose during a photo session with staff of the Spain Pavilion at the 2005 World Exposition in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture, 05 June 2005. The royal couple is on a four-day visit to Japan. AFP PHOTO/Kazuhiro NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

lapopdiva 06-05-2005 03:03 AM

I did It!! My first attachments Thumbnails !! Thanks to mazerdote and Elsa for the Help!!

lapopdiva 06-05-2005 03:22 AM

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NAGAKUTE, JAPAN: Japanese Princess Takamado (R) greets Spanish Prince Felipe (L) and his pregnant wife Princess Letizia (C) during a tour of the 2005 World Exposition in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture, 05 June 2005. The royal couple is on a four-day visit to Japan.

lapopdiva 06-05-2005 03:29 AM

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NAGAKUTE, JAPAN: Japanese Princess Takamado (2nd-R), Spanish Prince Felipe (L) and his pregnant wife Princess Letizia (C) take a tour of the 2005 World Exposition in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture, 05 June 2005. The royal couple is on a four-day visit to Japan.

lapopdiva 06-05-2005 04:26 AM

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NAGAKUTE, JAPAN - JUNE 5: Spanish Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Princess Letizia and Japan's Princess Takamado (R) are escorted at the Spanish Pavilion at the 2005 World Exposition on June 5, 2005 in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The Spanish royal couple are on a four-day trip to Japan during which they visit the World Expo at Aichi. Princess Letizia, the future Queen of Spain, is pregnant with the royal couple's first child and the baby is due in November.

Sue- 06-05-2005 05:38 AM

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some more from Terra and the last one from dpa

lucys 06-05-2005 10:44 AM

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Some more of the always elegant couple from AAP.

lucys 06-05-2005 10:45 AM

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And a few more from AAP.

Elsa M. 06-05-2005 02:53 PM


Originally Posted by lapopdiva
I did It!! My first attachments Thumbnails !! Thanks to mazerdote and Elsa for the Help!!

:D You're welcome, dear Lapopdiva!

mandyy 06-06-2005 05:39 AM

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Spanish Crown Prince Felipe of Borbon & Crown Princess Letizia visited Spain Pavilion in Expo 2005 Aichi, JAPAN with Princess Hisako of Takamado -05/06/2005.

Mandy 06-06-2005 10:16 AM

Thanks everyone for the great pictures and news of Letizia & Felipe's trip to Japan. Too bad, we didn't get to see Masako, but Letizia looks radiant.

Congratulations lapopdiva on your first attachment success. :)

lucys 06-06-2005 12:58 PM

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Spanish Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Princess Letizia and Japan's Princess Takamado (R) are escorted at the Spanish Pavilion at the 2005 World Exposition on June 5, 2005 in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. (Most of the photos are of Felipe and Letizia, but I understand I should post them in this thread.)

From Seegergrass:

lucys 06-06-2005 01:00 PM

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More from Seegergrass

mandyy 06-08-2005 03:08 PM

Schieffer to represent U.S. on emperor's trip to Saipan

Sunday, June 5, 2005 at 06:15 JST
WASHINGTON — U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer will receive Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during their June 27-28 trip to Saipan as the U.S. government representative, a U.S. official said Saturday.

Along with Schieffer, Rust Deming, former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, will be sent to the western Pacific island as the State Department representative, the official said. (Kyodo News)

mandyy 06-08-2005 03:11 PM

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Another photo of Spain's Crown Prince and Princess' visit

Bubbette 06-08-2005 03:19 PM

Wow the Japanese royals are so short next to Felipe!

mandyy 06-09-2005 03:30 AM

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Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and his wife Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Abdullah al-Misnad are welcomed by Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo June 9, 2005. Al-Thani is in Japan on a three-day visit.

Thursday June 9, 5:42 PM

Emperor meets with Qatari emir

(Kyodo) _ Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko met with Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his wife at the Imperial Palace on Thursday, Japanese government officials said.

Responding to a question from Hamad about how Japan has dealt with environmental problems, the emperor said, "There were times when economic growth resulted in deterioration in the environment and people's lives. It's necessary to overcome the environmental problems that the public is aware of and work for solutions."

Crown Prince Naruhito and other imperial family members later joined a luncheon with the emir.

Hamad also visited the crown prince's residence to see his wife Crown Princess Masako and their daughter Aiko. Qatar is a major supplier of crude oil to Japan.

mandyy 06-09-2005 03:32 AM

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Japanese royals stub out custom of giving cigarettes

TOKYO: Japan's imperial palace will end a century-old custom of presenting gifts of cigarettes bearing the royal Chrysanthemum emblem to officials, staff and palace volunteers, bowing to global efforts to discourage smoking.

Traditionally, the cigarettes, which are marked with a golden 16-petal Chrysan-themum, used to be given to soldiers heading off to war or to those injured in battle.

In more modern times, however, they have been presented to volunteers who tend the palace gardens or to local officials, both Japanese and foreign, involved in visits by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

“The custom of giving cigarettes will end in March 2007,” a spokesman at the Imperial Household Agency said yesterday.

“This reflects the trend of the time,” he said. “The smoking rate is falling and people are talking about the harms of smoking.”

Japan Tobacco Inc said it began producing the current type of royal cigarettes, which are made from locally-grown tobacco, in 1934.

Supply to the palace peaked in 1944, the year before Japan's World War II surrender, with 28 million cigarettes and cigars produced as royal gifts or for palace guests, according to Japan Tobacco.

But the supply has since plunged to 1.4 million cigarettes a year.

The company, which is Japan's sole cigarette producer, said it regretted the palace's decision.

“It is very regrettable historically and culturally as there are still people who are happy to have the gift cigarettes,” spokesman Kazunori Hayashi said.

The percentage of Japanese adults who smoke fell to a record low of 29.4%, according to a survey released last October by Japan Tobacco. Akihito is not known to smoke. He had surgery for prostate cancer in January 2003. – AFP

mandyy 06-09-2005 02:11 PM

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The Emperor and Empress visits the Kingdom of Children's nature park in Yokohama on June 9, 2005.

mandyy 06-09-2005 02:53 PM

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Prince and Princess Takamado
1.May 10, 1998 at the wedding of Infanta Cristina
2.US First Lady Laura Bush (C) reads "Curious George" for second grade school children through an interpreter (L,unidentified), at Akashi Elementary School in Tokyo, 18 February 2002. At right is Japanese Princess Hisako.
3. Feb 18, 2002.
4-5. Japan's Prince Takamado and his wife, Princess Hisako, wave 29 May 2002 upon their arrival at Incheon airport. The Japanese couple arrive here for a six-day visit to the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan finals.
6-7. Japan's Princess Hiseko and her husband, Prince Takamado, visit the national cemetery in Seoul 29 May 2002.
8-9.Japan's Prince Takamado , a cousin of Emperor Akihito, accompanied by his wife Princess Hisako, tour Chang-Duck Goong, an old palace in Seoul, 30 May 2002.
10.Japan's Prince Takamado and his wife Princess Hisako wave from their car May 29, 2002 on their way to Seoul, South Korea

mandyy 06-09-2005 03:07 PM

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More photos
1.Heading to Korea from Japan June 3, 2002.
2.Japan's Prince Takamado and his wife Princess Hisako speak to the press in Pusan, South Korea June 2 before winding up their visit to South Korea.
3.Japanese Prince Takamado (2nd from R) and his wife Princess Hisako (3rd from R) visit Myong Hie Won, a facility for the handicapped outside Seoul on May 31. It was established mainly by Lee Masako, who was from the Japanese imperial family and later married the late Korean Prince Lee Un.
4.Japan's Prince Takamado and his wife Princess Hisako, in South Korea to attend the World Cup finals' opening ceremony, watch a student work with a computer on a visit to a primary school May 30 in Seoul.
5-6.Japanese Prince Takamado (L), cousin of Emperor Akihito and Princess Hisako (R), watch a 2002 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup match between Japan and Tunisia at Nagai Stadium June 14, 2002 in Osaka, Japan.
7.Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz met Prince and Princess Takamado at the Belgian Embassy in Tokyo on October 13, 2000.
8.Argentina's Boca Juniors defender Jorge Hernan Bermudez raises the Intercontinental Cup as Boca Juniors defeated Spain's Real Madrid during the Toyota Cup, Europe/South America football club championship in Tokyo, 28 November 2000, while Japanese Prince and Princess Takamado celebrate from the podium.
9.Prince Takamado looks on during the FIFA World Cup Finals 2002 Group H match between Japan and Tunisia played at the Osaka-Nagai Stadium, in Osaka, Japan on June 14, 2002.
10. Prince Takamado of Japan during the FIFA World Cup Finals 2002 Second Round match between Japan and Turkey played at the Miyagi Stadium, in Miyagi, Japan on June 18, 2002.

mandyy 06-09-2005 03:21 PM

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1. Prince Takamado (L) and his wife, Princess Hisako, outside the Imperial Palace in December l984 after meeting Emperor Hirohito, posthumously called Emperor Showa, following their wedding.
2-4.Japan's Imperial Highness Prince and Princess Takamado view Japanese pottery by artist Tsugio Yasum as they tour an East/West Design Show at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center on December 13, 1997 in Los Angeles.
5-7.Japan's Prince and Princess Takamado listen to an explanation during the royal couple's visit to the Japanese soccer team's training camp in Aix-les-Bains on June 16, 1998.
8.Prince Takamado (2nd from L) and his wife Hisako (L) visited Nagano in central Japan in February 1998 to watch a Nagano Winter Olympics event.
9.Japanese Prince Takamado, cousin of Emperor Akihito, left, and Princess Hisako are accompanied by FIFA President Sepp Blatter at a ceremony prior to the kick off of the 2002 World Cup Group H match between Japan and Russia in Yokohama, Japan, Sunday, June 9, 2002.
10. undated photo of the Takamado family

mandyy 06-11-2005 05:23 AM

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Japanese Empress Michiko puts silkworms onto beds to make cocoons at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo 10 June 2005. It is part of Japanese tradition that the Empress raises silkworms for sericulture, and some of this silk is used in the revival of old textile materials of historical value.

mandyy 06-11-2005 05:28 AM

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The newest issue of the "Our Imperial Family" Magazine.
You can go to the following website and it has the english table of contents at the bottom of the page.

ladybelline 06-11-2005 01:26 PM

Here is an article I found quite interesting, about the Succession Law in Japan, and its future. (link coming from Archivesgotha)

Reigning empress just a matter of time

Shinya Ajima and Miya Tanaka

The Japanese public knows little about what the government panel on imperial succession is discussing. But the people, whether interested or not, will witness a historic change in the world's oldest hereditary monarchy when the panel releases a key report in a few months.

The panel, established in January, has been tasked with discussing whether to allow a female to ascend the throne in light of the fact that no male child has been born to the imperial family in the past 40 years.

At the center of the 10-member panel's discussion is whether to revise the Imperial House Law, which stipulates that only male heirs can succeed to the Imperial Throne.

Analysts believe the panel reaching a decision in favor of revising the law is a foregone conclusion. They add Japan having a female monarch is simply a matter of time.

The panel meets only once or twice in month despite its mission of compiling a proposal for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, possibly in several months. In addition, it includes only a few experts on imperial household affairs.

This has spawned speculation that the panel is just playing for time while floating a trial balloon to assess public sentiment on the sensitive issue of whether to enable female imperial family members to ascend the throne.

"We are discussing the issue from perspectives of Japanese citizens," said Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, a former president of the University of Tokyo, who heads the panel.

"We will focus on ways to ensure a stable imperial succession," Yoshikawa, also a specialist of robotics, said after the panel first met in January.

Japan's imperial system dates back to the fifth century and has been perpetuated in a male line of descent, with eight female monarchs between the sixth and 18th centuries among Japan's 125 emperors including legendary ones.

But the eight women, two of whom reigned twice under different names, existed before the law went into force in 1947. The law mandates that only male heirs who have emperors on their father's side can succeed to the throne.

Historians say most of those reigning empresses have emperors on their father's side, and that their ascensions resulted from emergency situations, such as when a crown prince was too young to reign or was forced to postpone enthronement for political reasons.

The scarcity of male successors in the current imperial family has increasingly exposed 3-year-old Princess Aiko, the only child of Crown Prince Naruhito, 45, and Crown Princess Masako, 41, to intense public attention as a possible future reigning empress.

If the Imperial House Law is revised and Princess Aiko gives birth to a child whose father is a commoner, the child may become the first monarch in Japan who has no emperors on his or her father's side for more than a thousand years, in what historians see as having a critical impact on Japan's history.

"We are firmly resolved to make history," Yoshikawa said in a news conference in January.

In February, speculation that the panel is set to propose a revision to the law intensified as a government source said Princess Aiko will be second in line to the Imperial Throne after her father.

The source said the focus of panel debate is whether Princess Aiko's future children, be they male or female, should be allowed to ascend the throne.

Having such children ascend the throne would have significant impact on the history of the imperial family because that would mean a departure from the tradition of allowing only heirs who have emperors on their father's side to succeed to the throne.

After the comments were disclosed to the general public by news media the following day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said nothing has been determined on Princess Akio's future status, adding all options are open.

At the third meeting of the panel in March, its members agreed that the male-dominant imperial succession being favored historically cannot be backed by any particular documents.

"There are no proper historical documents that clearly explain why the male line has been favored," Yoshikawa said.

In May, panel members acknowledged they are studying the feasibility of five options being presented by the government as models of a new imperial succession system.

Four of the five proposed allowing a female to ascend the throne under certain conditions while the fifth option calls for the current system of preserving a male line to be maintained.

The revision to the Imperial House Law would allow the Imperial Household Agency, which is responsible for the personal, ceremonial and official affairs of the imperial family, to start educating Princess Aiko to prepare her for becoming a monarch.

Analysts say the princess is not too young to start receiving such education.

One of the four options in support of female monarchs is designed to give precedence in imperial succession to the emperor's firstborn regardless of sex.

In the remaining three options, however, males are given precedence over females in ascending the throne, which spawned speculation that the government is still looking for ways to preserve the male-dominant line in the event that the crown prince and princess eventually have a son, analysts say.

Despite the perceived efforts being made by the government to preserve a male line, analysts believe the panel is likely to reach a decision to revise the law.

"We can easily guess how the panel will conclude its discussion," said Yasuhiro Okudaira, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, who specializes in the Constitution.

But he is critical of the recent developments surrounding imperial succession, saying the general public would be wrong if they blindly opt to enable females to succeed to the throne just to maintain the imperial system.

"People should discuss the question of whether the imperial system itself should be kept intact before they discuss if a female monarch is to be allowed," Okudaira said.

Some people in Japan are strongly opposed to the continued maintenance of the imperial system, saying it was responsible for Japanese militarism during World War II.

An opinion poll released in March showed 81% of the general public supports revising the law to allow a female successor to ascend the throne against 5% who want to see the male-dominant line sustained.

The finding represented a remarkable shift from a similar survey in 1975, which found 54% were against a reigning empress, while 31% supported gender equality.

Hidehiko Kasahara, a professor at Keio University, suggested the panel most fears its conclusion deviating from the sentiment of the general public.

"The panel is on a course to reaching a conclusion which is not far away from the average public opinion," said Kasahara, who teaches Japanese political history.

"In addition there is no doubt they cannot help but think of, first of all, allowing a female monarch due to lack of male heirs," he said.

In the last two sessions May 31 and June 8, the panel invited a total of eight experts on imperial household affairs to hear their opinions on the succession issue.

Some of the experts proposed the government maintain the current male-dominant system by arguing, for example, that Japanese tradition needs to be protected, the majority insisted reigning empresses be allowed for the sake of the imperial family's survival.

Hiroshi Takahashi, a professor at Shizuoka University of Welfare, who was invited to express his views, said before joining the panel that the general public may think the panel is hastily reaching a foregone conclusion.

"But I actually don't know whether the panel could win support from the public for a conclusion without process," said Takahashi, who argued for successions by firstborns. (Kyodo News)

June 11, 2005

mandyy 06-14-2005 01:45 PM

Tuesday June 14, 4:22 PM

FOCUS: Emperor to visit Saipan amid disputes over Japan's past

(Kyodo) _ Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit Saipan on June 27-28 as part of their long-held wish to pay homage to victims at sites of battles between Japan and the United States during World War II.

But the Japanese government is apparently trying to keep the imperial couple's visit to the western Pacific island, which the Japanese military once occupied, low-key against the backdrop of recent disputes between Japan and Asian neighbors over its recognition of war-related issues.

"This time, the visit by the imperial couple is only aimed at expressing condolences to the victims who died in the Battle of Saipan. It will be different from their usual goodwill visits to foreign countries," said an official of the Japanese Consul General's office on Guam, which is near Saipan.

"The tour will be as simple as possible," the Japanese official said.

Saipan was a site of fierce fighting between Japan and the United States in 1944 during the war. Some 43,000 Japanese troops, 12,000 civilians, 5,000 American soldiers and 900 locals died on Saipan and the nearby island of Tinian during the three-week battle from June to July 1944.

Many Japanese soldiers and civilians had moved to the islands after Japan took them over in 1920.

After the United States won the battle, it used both Saipan and Tinian as a base to launch air raids on Japan's main islands. The B-29 bomber that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima took off from Tinian.

Peter Callaghan, the press secretary for Gov. Juan Babuta of the U.S. Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, said, "We understand the solemnity of their visit...but at the same time we are anxious to show the beautiful island of Saipan to the people of Japan." "And now we are proud to show the transformation Saipan has undergone in the past 60 years. We will welcome Their Majesties with open arms," Callaghan said in a written comment.

The imperial couple's visit to Saipan, which coincides with the 60th anniversary in 2005 of the end of World War II, is part of their visits to locations related with war. They have already visited Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Okinawa and Iwojima Island.

Saipan will be the first foreign destination the imperial couple will visit solely for the purpose of expressing condolences to war victims.

The couple have a strong desire to visit Saipan as no imperial family members have ever done so, according to the Imperial Household Agency. Their hope has strengthened especially after a plan to visit the area was canceled last year for security reasons.

During the visit, they are scheduled to pay a visit to a monument the Japanese government erected in 1974, a memorial park for American soldiers and a cultural facility for the aged, where they will talk with local people.

The emperor and empress are also expected to see cliffs on the island from which hundreds of Japanese soldiers and civilians jumped to their deaths after refusing to surrender.

One of the cliffs, now a famous tourist spot, is called Banzai Cliff, which was named after those Japanese who committed suicide while shouting the traditional "banzai" (long live) cheer for the late Emperor Hirohito. The late emperor, who headed the Japanese military during the war, was the father of the present emperor.

Before Japan's defeat in the war, it was decreed that the emperor was all powerful and descended from gods.

In 1946, however, Emperor Hirohito, known posthumously as Emperor Showa, denied his divinity and was innocuously given a position as "the symbol of state" under the postwar Constitution, rather than being held responsible for the war at a tribunal.

The visit to Saipan will come amid tense relations between Japan and its Asian neighbors over war-related issues including recognition of history by Japanese leaders.

China and South Korea in particular have bitter memories of then Japanese military's colonial rule and have strongly protested the repeated visits to war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo by Japanese leaders, including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Convicted Japanese war criminals are enshrined at Yasukuni along with the Japanese war dead.

They have also blasted a Japanese government decision to approve some history textbooks they say whitewash Japan's militarist past.

Japanese and South Korean historians have recently failed to reach a common understanding about history between the two nations after three years of research.

The Japanese emperor is prohibited from being involved in any political activity under the postwar Constitution.

But analysts point to concerns that the visit to Saipan might be seen in other Asian countries as being highly politicized and glossing over Japan's past even though the tour is only designed to comfort the spirits of war victims and pledge war renunciation, the main pillar of Japan's postwar Constitution.

"It's likely that people in other Asian countries cannot tell the difference between the emperor's visit to Saipan and visits to Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese lawmakers," said Motofumi Asai, head of Hiroshima City University Hiroshima Peace Institute.

The Saipan visit "might provoke misunderstanding," added Asai, also a former director of the China division at the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Kitti Prasirtsuk, an assistant professor on Japanese studies at Thammasat University in Thailand, believes the emperor might be seen as paying attention only to Japanese victims, saying, "I think Saipan is virtually the place to comfort the spirits of the Japanese, rather than those who suffered from the Japanese aggression."

"Most Southeast Asians don't know what happened in Saipan. People will ask why the emperor chose Saipan, while other places in Asia suffered more clearly during the war," he said.

On Saipan, preparations are under way to welcome the 71-year-old emperor and his wife, 70, but in a low-keyed mood.

"I think it's an honor for him (the emperor) to be here," said Chuck Sayon, manager of American Memorial Park Visitors Center, a recently opened exhibition hall for the Battle of Saipan. "The emperor's trip obviously makes people ask a lot of questions about what happened during that time. And it's basically up to people to find out for themselves what to learn about what happened," Sayon said.

mandyy 06-14-2005 02:15 PM

10 Attachment(s)
His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium with Prince and Princess Hitachi of Japan at the World Expo on Belgium National Day in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, 14 June 2005.

mandyy 06-14-2005 02:26 PM

3 Attachment(s)
a few more

mandyy 06-15-2005 02:05 AM

Close royal ties feature in Belgium's ceremony

Hiroko Ihara / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer

NAGAKUTECHO, Aichi--The black, yellow and red Belgian flags being waved throughout the packed 2,500-seat Expo Dome starkly contrasted with the venue's colorless decor during the country's national day ceremony Tuesday at 2005 World Exposition Aichi.

Among the guests was the economy, energy, foreign trade and science policy minister, Marc Verwilghen, as well as Prince Philippe and Prince Hitachi, who serves as the honorary president of the Japan-Belgium Society, along with his wife, Princess Hitachi.

Their presence stood testament to the close ties between the Belgian and Japanese royal families.

Verwilghen said the expo had prompted all the participating countries to think about protecting the global environment and offered them support.

A 200-member Belgium delegation comprising government officials and business people will meet with their Japanese counterparts next week to discuss bilateral relations, including agreements concerning technology and resources, he added.

To mark the sister city relationship between Waterloo in Belgium and Nagakutecho, which dates back to 1992, about 800 primary and middle school students sang a song after performances by an orchestra and a Belgian flutist.


Small towns can make it big

"All past expos were hosted by towns with populations of 500,000 or more, but ours has only 45,000 people. We've proven that a small town can host an expo," said Kenji Tanaka, Expo promotion division director of the Nagakutecho town government.

The expo has lifted the town's profile across Japan and in the international community as a comfortable compact town that offers a great environment as well as urban convenience. This premise was supported by the 300 or so expo workers from overseas who registered that they were residing in the town rather than Nagoya, as of Tuesday.

"We've been sincere and offered them help because we want them to think of our town as a place worth living in," he said.

Speaking of the future, Tanaka said the site might become a memorial park. "It could revitalize the region by attracting more visitors and ensure that the transport systems built for the expo, such as the maglev trains, continue to operate," he said. "We've actually received an offer from a major entertainment business firm in Osaka to create an amusement park here," he added

rchainho 06-18-2005 06:47 AM

Emperor Showa was an avid supporter of U.S. military, documents show Friday, 17 June 2005 the U.S.-imposed pacifist Constitution stripped him of his god-like status, Emperor Hirohito apparently spent the remainder of his life strongly supporting close ties with the United States, according to recently uncovered documents.

Researchers said six documents dating from between 1953 and 1972 record conversations Hirohito had with U.S. diplomats and military officers. He died in 1989 and is known posthumously as Emperor Showa.

Among the comments attributed to Emperor Showa was his desire to see a continued U.S. military troop presence in Japan. He also expressed his gratitude for U.S. efforts to help Japan rebuild itself from the devastation of World War II.

Past research has shown that Emperor Showa had a strong personal interest in Japan-U.S. relations and national security during the Allied occupation. The latest discoveries show that he continued to make such comments long after the occupation was over.

Koji Nakakita, professor of Japanese political history at Rikkyo University, found a document at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. The rest were tracked down at the National Archives and Records Administration by Kosuke Yo****sugu, associate professor of diplomatic history at Okinawa International University.

Because all the documents are in English, it is not known precisely what Emperor Showa said.

The document found at the Hoover Institution was written by Ambassador Robert D. Murphy and describes a lunch Murphy had with the emperor on April 20, 1953. Murphy touched upon remarks the emperor made about South Korea and the possible effects of a cease-fire in the Korean War.

Murphy wrote that the emperor "views the current development with anxiety and wonders what the impact of it will be on Japan's future."

He said the emperor "expects that there would be increasing pressure on the part of some Japanese elements for the departure of U.S. forces from Japanese territory and in his opinion this would be unfortunate as he believes that the continued presence of American forces is urgently necessary for Japanese security."

Murphy also wrote about the emperor's distrust of the Soviet and Chinese leaderships, while expressing a favorable response to a planned anti-Communist coalition between Japan, South Korea and Taiwan proposed to Murphy by Taiwan Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

The documents include a telegram sent by Jacob E. Smart, then commander of United States Forces, Japan. It is dated Oct. 31, 1962, immediately after the Cuban missile crisis. Smart had attended the annual garden party hosted by the emperor and empress the previous day. It describes how the emperor approached him after leaving the procession line.

Smart wrote: "The emperor then stated he, like people everywhere, followed closely recent events and was both relieved at the peaceful outcome. He added that he had great personal admiration and respect for the strength of the United States and the fact that the United States used its strength for peace. He expressed hope that the United States would continue to use its strength for the peace of the world."

A telegram believed sent on March 2, 1972, to U.S. Secretary of State William P. Rogers from the U.S. Embassy describes a meeting Ambassador Armin H. Meyer had with the emperor that day. U.S. President Richard Nixon had just made his groundbreaking trip to China.

Meyer described how "Emperor Hirohito showed visible gratification when he was assured that U.S.-China detente will in no way diminish the importance which the United States attaches to its relationship with Japan in the interest of peace in Asia."

Researcher Yo****sugu said more work had to be done to determine what effect the emperor's words and deeds may have had on Japan's diplomacy.

"The important point is that throughout the Cold War the emperor consistently placed extreme importance on the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the continued presence of the U.S. military in Japan," Yo****sugu said.

He added: "However, in order to more specifically determine what influence the emperor actually had on diplomacy and what changes occurred in his thinking and actions as the times changed, there will need to be more disclosure of historical documents from both the Japanese and U.S. governments, and in particular from Japan."

Narahiko Toyo****a, professor of international politics at Kwansei Gakuin University, said further disclosure of historical documents would allow for a more complete appraisal of the role the emperor played in politics.

"It is very interesting that a number of documents have come out about Emperor Showa's words and deeds after the end of the occupation," Toyo****a said. "It can be said that what has become clear is that a check was placed consistently on the Japan-U.S. security structure at times when U.S. strategy appeared to waver."(IHT/Asahi: June 17,2005)

By YUKI ISHIDA The Asahi Shimbun

mandyy 06-18-2005 08:47 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Belgian Crown Prince Philippe is greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial residence in Tokyo 17 June 2005. Crown Prince Philippe is here on a week-long visit to Japan.

mandyy 06-18-2005 12:36 PM

1 Attachment(s)
A rare photo of the Emperor (the then Crown Prince Akihito) holding his children in this handout photo celebrating Prince Aya's 6th birthday.

kei893265 06-19-2005 06:26 AM

Thank you for the pictures mandyy!:)

mandyy 06-21-2005 03:01 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Tuesday June 21, 2:06 PM

Emperor meets survivors of Pacific islands battles before trip

(Kyodo) _ Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Tuesday met nine Japanese survivors of battles on Pacific islands during World War II, before the imperial couple visit Saipan, one of the islands, next week to pay homage to war victims of both sides.

The emperor and empress talked at the Imperial Palace with the survivors, including former Japanese soldiers and civilians who moved to those islands following Japan's occupation, the Imperial Household Agency said.

The emperor spoke words of appreciation, one of the nine said in a press conference after the meeting.

"When I talked about my experience, the emperor expressed his sympathy for my hardship," said Choken Ginoza, 74, a civilian who lost 10 members of his family in the battle on Tinian between Japanese and U.S. forces.

Former soldier Seiichi Oike, 87, said he was surprised that the emperor looked "quite like an ordinary person." The late Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa and the father of the present emperor, headed the Japanese military before and during the war.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will make a two-day visit to Saipan in the Western Pacific starting from next Monday to express condolences for those who died on both sides in the battle on the island in 1944.

On the island, they will see the Monument for the Dead in the Mid-Pacific, built by the Japanese government in 1974, and two cliffs from which hundreds of Japanese soldiers and civilians jumped to their deaths rather than surrender. They will also visit the American Memorial Park.

Saipan, the capital of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is the first foreign destination in a series of trips by the emperor and empress to commemorate victims of the war. They have previously visited Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa.

Some 43,000 Japanese troops, 12,000 civilians and 900 local islanders died on Saipan during the battle that lasted from June 15 to July 9, 1944, according to data compiled by the Japanese government. About 5,000 American soldiers were killed on Saipan and Tinian. After the U.S. forces won the battle, the Allies used Saipan and Tinian as bases to launch air raids on Japan's main islands. The B-29 bombers that took off from Tinian dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the run-up to Japan's unconditional surrender on Aug. 15, 1945.

kei893265 06-23-2005 09:37 AM

Old pictures of imperial family
7 Attachment(s)
*Old pictures of imperial family*

1. Princess Teiko Fushimi (1885-1966)
2. Princess Tomoko Fushimi (1907-1947)
3. Princess Satoko Kuni (1906-1989?)
4. Princess Masako Takeda (1888-1940)
5. Princess Fusako Kitashirakawa (1890-1974)
6. Princess Hiroko Kitashirakawa (1895-??)
7. Princess Hisako Yamashina (1874-1938)

kei893265 06-23-2005 12:56 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Japanese Princess Takamado and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter attend the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup football match Japan vs Brazil, 22 June 2005 at the Rhein-Energie stadion in Cologne.

mandyy 06-23-2005 01:39 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Japan's Princess Takamado, left, talks to FIFA President Joseph Blatter prior to the Confederations Cup group B soccer match between Brazil and Japan in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 22, 2005.

mandyy 06-23-2005 01:40 PM

3 Attachment(s)
#1:Tunisia's Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi (L) talks with Japan's Emperor Akihito (R) at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo June 22, 2005.

#2-3:Czech Republic Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek talks to Japanese Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo June 23, 2005.

mandyy 06-23-2005 01:41 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Thursday June 23, 1:10 AM

Princess Sayako to quit work at bird laboratory

(Kyodo) _ Some 50 colleagues at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology in Chiba Prefecture held a farewell party Wednesday evening for Princess Sayako, Emperor Akihito's only daughter, who will marry in November, as she will quit her work as a part-time researcher at the laboratory, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The 36-year-old princess has decided to quit because she has wrapped up her research at the facility, they said. She is scheduled to marry Tokyo metropolitan government employee Yoshiki Kuroda, 40, in a ceremony on Nov. 15.

A photo album from Kyodo dedicated to Princess Sayako's engagement

Poppy 06-24-2005 07:08 AM

I LOVE the OLD pictures of the imperial family!! I love seeing them bejewelled!!

Amira 06-24-2005 09:23 AM

Prince Akishino and his wife Princess Kiko receive a stuffed toy elephant as they arrive at a cinema at Roppongi Hills to watch the film "Shining Boy And Little Randy" on June 24, 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. The movie was filmed largely in Thailand and will open on July 16 in Japan.

rchainho 06-24-2005 11:41 AM


Originally Posted by mandyy
Thursday June 23, 1:10 AM

Princess Sayako to quit work at bird laboratory

(Kyodo) _ Some 50 colleagues at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology in Chiba Prefecture held a farewell party Wednesday evening for Princess Sayako, Emperor Akihito's only daughter, who will marry in November, as she will quit her work as a part-time researcher at the laboratory, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The 36-year-old princess has decided to quit because she has wrapped up her research at the facility, they said. She is scheduled to marry Tokyo metropolitan government employee Yoshiki Kuroda, 40, in a ceremony on Nov. 15.

A photo album from Kyodo dedicated to Princess Sayako's engagement

Another one about this subject.

Princess Sayako prepares For married life by quitting work at bird laboratory Friday, 24 June 2005's Princess Sayako has quit her job in anticipation for married life.

The 36-year-old royal, who will wed commoner Yoshiki Kuroda later this year, joined a leaving party in her honour at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology on Wednesday (22.06.05) evening.

The princess, who worked part-time at the centre, said she had decided to terminate her contract because she had completed her research before her wedding to 39-year-old Kuroda, who works in the capital's city planning department, takes place in November.

The smitten couple, who have shared a two-year romance, will marry at Tokyo's Imperial Hotel on November 16th, according to the Imperial Household agency, after announcing their engagement in December.

As well as resigning from working life, the princess will also relinquish her royal title after her wedding and be forced to move out of the royal palace.

June 23, 2005, Female FIrst News

mandyy 06-24-2005 05:47 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Prince Akishino and his wife Princess Kiko arrive at a cinema at Roppongi Hills to watch the film "Shining Boy And Little Randy" on June 24, 2005 in Tokyo, Japan.

kei893265 06-25-2005 06:32 PM

Thanks so much for the news and pictures, everyone.

kei893265 06-25-2005 06:34 PM


Originally Posted by Poppy
I LOVE the OLD pictures of the imperial family!! I love seeing them bejewelled!!

Thank you, I also love the old pictures of the imperial family!:)

mandyy 06-27-2005 01:25 AM

10 Attachment(s)
Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko head for their special flight to Saipan at Tokyo's Haneda airport June 27, 2005 Akihito headed for Saipan, the site of one of World War Two's most decisive battles, on Monday to pay tribute to those who died in a conflict that still haunts Tokyo's ties with Asian neighbours, 60 years after its end.

mandyy 06-27-2005 01:28 AM

3 Attachment(s)
more pic from the airport

kei893265 06-27-2005 06:43 AM

Old pictures of imperial family
6 Attachment(s)
* Other old pictures *
1. Princess Tomiko Kita-shirakawa (1862-1936)
2. Princess Teiko Fushimi
3. Princess Kaneko Higashi-fushimi (1876-1955)
4. Emperor Taisyo, Empress Teimei and crown prince Hirohito
5. Princess Atsuko Fushimi (1907-1936) and her husband.
6. Prince Yoshimaro Yamashina (1900-1989) and his wife.

ACBonelli 06-27-2005 01:19 PM

Thanks for the photos
Thanks for the nice photos!
Do you have photos of Princess Mako and Kako, daughters of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko?

mandyy 06-27-2005 03:20 PM

10 Attachment(s)
Japan's Emperor Visits WWII Battlesite

By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Writer Mon Jun 27, 4:51 AM ET

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands - Emperor Akihito arrived on this tiny U.S. territory Monday to pray for the thousands of Japanese and American combat deaths, in the first visit by a Japanese monarch to a World War II battlesite abroad.

The visit comes amid growing anger in China and the Koreas over what many there see as Japan's failure to make amends for wartime atrocities, and over repeated visits by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to a war shrine in Tokyo that is a powerful symbol of Japan's pre-1945 militarism.

Akihito and Empress Michiko were to spend two days on this semitropical island, where some of World War II's fiercest fighting marked the beginning of the end for Japan's war machine in the Pacific.

One scheduled stop was "Banzai Cliff," where Japanese fearing capture by American troops plunged to their deaths after shouting "banzai," which means long life, for Akihito's father, the late Emperor Hirohito.

"Our hearts ache when we think of those people who fought at a place where there was no food, no water, no medical treatment for the wounded," Akihito said in a statement at Tokyo's airport.

The royal couple also planned to place wreaths at monuments to the U.S. troops and the local islanders who were killed.

At least 30,000 Japanese troops — some Japanese estimates go as high as 43,000 — and 12,000 civilians died in the battle. More than 5,000 Americans, about half of them Marines, and 1,000 or so islanders also were killed on Saipan or nearby islands.

Akihito attends an annual ceremony in Tokyo marking Japan's 1945 defeat. He has been to China and has expressed remorse for the past during visits to Japan by South Korean leaders. But he has never made a trip to offer condolences at a former battlefield overseas.

"This time on soil beyond our shores, we will once again mourn and pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the war and we will remember the difficult path the bereaved families had to follow," he said in the statement. "And we wish to pray for world peace."

But anger over Japan's militarist past still runs deep in Asia, where many believe Tokyo has failed to atone.

Though Akihito was expected to receive a warm welcome here — Saipan's economy relies heavily on Japanese tourism, and flag-waving crowds braved a downpour to line the path of his motorcade — such sensitivities hung over the visit.

A small minority of Koreans living here threatened to stage protests because the imperial couple was not expected to pay their respects at a memorial to the Koreans who died here. Korea was a Japanese colony from 1910 until 1945, and many Koreans were forced to fight for Japan.

Operation Forager, which began on June 15, 1944, has been called the D-Day of the Pacific. The fall of Saipan three weeks later allowed American B-29 bombers to pound Japan's cities, weakening the country's defenses and will to fight.

Atomic weapons were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August 1945, and Hirohito announced Japan's defeat on Aug. 15 that year.

Today, about 50,000 people live on Saipan, the capital of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory about 1,400 miles southeast of Tokyo.

Roughly 75 percent of the 500,000 tourists who come each year are Japanese. Signs in Japanese are almost as common as those in English, and the local economy depends on tourism.

Most here welcomed Akihito's visit, if only for the publicity.

Cab driver Javier Atalig has his horror stories of relatives who were brutalized or killed by the Japanese. But he said he is also realistic. Most of his fares are from Japan. "What's done is done," he said. "It's the past already. It was something my grandparents or great-grandparents had to go through."

mandyy 06-27-2005 03:28 PM

10 Attachment(s)
more photos from their visit to Saipan

mandyy 06-27-2005 10:29 PM

10 Attachment(s)
The Emperor and Empress visited the Monument of the War Dead in the Mid-Pacific, the Banzai Cliff and Japanese WWII veterans on the beach on June 28, 2005.

mandyy 06-27-2005 10:31 PM

10 Attachment(s)
more photos from June 28

mandyy 06-27-2005 11:44 PM

10 Attachment(s)
and more pics

mandyy 06-27-2005 11:50 PM

10 Attachment(s)
and more photos from the 28th of June

mandyy 06-27-2005 11:56 PM

Japan emperor visits Korean war memorial on Saipan

By Linda Sieg 15 minutes ago

SAIPAN (Reuters) - In a gesture of reconciliation, Japanese Emperor Akihito made a surprise visit on Tuesday to a Korean war dead memorial during a pilgrimage to the island of Saipan where a decisive World War II battle was fought.

Akihito's journey, his first trip outside Japan to honor war dead, coincides with a chill in Japan's ties with China and South Korea, still tormented by the wartime past 60 years later....

Full story:

mandyy 06-28-2005 12:49 AM

10 Attachment(s)
more photos from Saipan

lynn 06-28-2005 01:31 AM

Thanks for all these lovely photos. I especially like the ones on the beach. It's a nice change to see them in less formal attire. :)

mandyy 06-28-2005 01:42 PM

10 Attachment(s)
some news photos

mandyy 06-28-2005 01:49 PM

10 Attachment(s)
just a few more from their trip

rchainho 06-28-2005 01:56 PM

Emperor prays for peace - and for the victims of Suicide Cliff
By Richard Lloyd Parry

When Tazu Sato was growing up in the 1940s on the remote Pacific island of Saipan, every school day began with the same ritual. Standing in rows, facing north in the direction of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the pupils would bow deeply three times and shout aloud: “Tenno Heika Banzai!

The words mean, literally, “May His Majesty the Emperor live 10,000 years”, and they were heard repeatedly during the vicious three-week battle for Saipan in 1944. Japanese soldiers shouted them as they charged into combat, armed with daggers and sharpened bamboos in suicide raids.

Miss Sato herself heard a young soldier scream them as he joined hundreds of others in jumping to his death from Suicide Cliff. Last night Emperor Akihito — the son of the late Hirohito, in whose name so many people died — and Empress Michiko arrived in Saipan to pray for peace on a foreign battlefield for the first time....

Full story:,00.html

rchainho 06-28-2005 01:58 PM

Emperor, empress pay tribute in Saipan


The Asahi Shimbun

SAIPAN-In their first trip overseas to pay tribute to victims of World War II, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko offered condolences Monday in Saipan to the families of the war dead....

mandyy 06-29-2005 11:20 PM

There's a video clip in English which reports about the Emperor and Empress' visit to Saipan.

mandyy 06-29-2005 11:30 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The Emperor and Empress visited the Silk Science Research Institute in Shinjuku, Tokyo on June 30th, 2005.

rchainho 06-30-2005 11:28 AM


Originally Posted by rchainho
Another one about this subject.

Princess Sayako prepares For married life by quitting work at bird laboratory Friday, 24 June 2005

June 23, 2005, Female FIrst News

rchainho 06-30-2005 11:47 AM


Originally Posted by rchainho
Emperor Showa was an avid supporter of U.S. military, documents show
By YUKI ISHIDA The Asahi Shimbun

mandyy 06-30-2005 01:55 PM

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Prince Akishino visited Shiga Prefecture on June 30th, 2005.

Bubbette 06-30-2005 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by rchainho

That just seems bizarre--since when are women who marry forced to give up their jobs? And for marriage to a city planner? She has a far more exciting job than him.

rchainho 07-01-2005 11:11 AM

Film about Emperor Hirohito wins Russian film fest prize

pdas1201 07-01-2005 12:36 PM

8 Attachment(s)
July 1, 2005: Lalla Salma and Japanese Princess Takamado attend the national day ceremony of the 2005 World Expo Aichi at the Expo Hall.
Moroccan musicians also performed for the Japanese audience.

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