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  #101  
Old 08-06-2019, 02:07 AM
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A truly thought-provoking article.

Especially the last bit...
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  #102  
Old 08-13-2019, 11:38 AM
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Yasukuni's bid for emperor to visit on 150th anniversary rebuffed - Kyodo News+
Quote:
Yasukuni Shrine, seen by critics as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, last fall sought a visit by then-Emperor Akihito to mark the 150th anniversary this year of its establishment, but his aides declined, Kyodo News learned Tuesday.

Yasukuni contacted the Imperial Household Agency last September regarding a visit, citing the examples of emperors who went to the Shinto shrine in Tokyo on its 50th and 100th anniversaries, according to officials at the two entities who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The rejection by the agency increases the possibility that the emperor will not visit the shrine in the future.

[...]

The agency's Board of Ceremonies replied to Yasukuni that then-Emperor Akihito was busy preparing for succession rites prior to his abdication in April and it declined to pass on the message from the shrine to the agency's chief, Shinichiro Yamamoto, or to the Board of Chamberlains, which handles the day-to-day activities of the imperial family, the officials said.

The shrine took the reply as a "no" and does not plan to approach the agency about a visit by newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito, a Yasukuni staff member said, adding, "We can only wait for his majesty to visit."

[...]

Emperor Taisho visited the shrine in 1919 on its 50th anniversary, while Emperor Hirohito, known posthumously as Emperor Showa, visited in 1969 for its 100th anniversary and again in 1975.

The visits stopped with the 1978 enshrinement of 14 Class-A war criminals including Japan's wartime prime minister, Gen. Hideki Tojo.

[...]
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  #103  
Old 08-13-2019, 12:07 PM
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This is very interesting, and quite reassuring as well. It's a consistent message, and the significance of it will not be missed by those ultra conservatives who long for a return to what they see as Japan's former (militaristic) glory.
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  #104  
Old 08-13-2019, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
A truly thought-provoking article.

Especially the last bit...
Indeed.

The entire article was very moving, and gave plenty of food for thought, both about where Japan is right now, and about the potential for the future if lessons from the past are forgotten.
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  #105  
Old 08-13-2019, 12:46 PM
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I've seen articles from the international media saying Kei and Ayako are expecting their first child this late autumn, is this news verified?
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  #106  
Old 08-13-2019, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by theroyalfly View Post
I've seen articles from the international media saying Kei and Ayako are expecting their first child this late autumn, is this news verified?
Prisma links to the report on the Takamado thread, post #496.
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  #107  
Old 09-22-2019, 12:56 AM
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Yomiuri's article about the Imperial family’s history with rugby.

Although Crown Prince Akishino is the honorary president of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the Chichibu and Mikasa Imperial branches are more closely connected to the sport in Japan.

Prince Chichibu was the first member of the Imperial family to love rugby. Known as the "Sports Prince," rugby immediately fascinated him. He recalled his excitement watching his first match in Osaka in May 1923. He attended university competitions and fought for rugby despite its financial difficulties. While traveling in Kansai in 1928, Prince Chichibu noticed many vacant lots along the train route and proposed a rugby field, which led to the construction of Hanazono Rugby Field in Osaka. He became president of Japan Rugby Football Association in 1947. When he died in 1953, Tokyo Rugby Field was renamed Chichibu-no-miya Rugby Field.

The next Imperial member to love rugby was Prince Tomohito of Mikasa who inherited the Presidency of the Japan Rugby Football Association. He actively got to know players. When Ippei Onishi retired, Prince Tomohito encouraged Onishi to cooperate with the political and business world to contribute to society through rugby.

Princess Akiko of Mikasa is the current president. She will attend the World Cup Pool D match between Australia and Fiji at Sapporo Dome on September 21st.

The association says "The history of Japanese rugby cannot be told without the existence of the Imperial family."
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  #108  
Old 10-03-2019, 12:47 AM
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Imperial family calendar for Reiwa 2 (2020)

http://www.kikuyou.or.jp/pdf/calender07.pdf

Kikuyou Court Culture Institute - Calendar

Why so many old photos?
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  #109  
Old 12-10-2019, 12:36 AM
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On December 10th, the Cabinet Office announced Grand Steward Shinichiro Yamamoto (69) will retire on December 17.

Yamamoto was born in Fukui Prefecture, graduated from Kyoto University, and entered the Ministry of Home Affairs (now the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) in 1973. He was Vice Minister of the Cabinet Office and served as Vice Grand Steward from June 2012 before becoming Grand Steward in September 2016.

Vice Grand Steward Yasuhiko Nishimura (64) will succeed Yamamoto as Grand Steward of the Imperial Household Agency. Nishimura was born in Mie Prefecture, graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1979, and entered the National Police Agency. Previous positions include head of National Security Agency, general manager of Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, and Cabinet Crisis Management Director before assuming the post of Vice Grand Steward in September 2016.

Kenji Ikeda (58) will become new Vice Grand Steward. Ikeda served under Emperor Emeritus' Household and was previously Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Sources: NHK, Sankei, Jiji
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  #110  
Old 12-10-2019, 11:09 AM
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It will be interesting to see if there are any noticeable shifts in the way the IHA is run. The internal workings of the IHA are fascinating to me. One can't help wondering how much the noticeable improvement in then CP Masako's health was related to both her new lady in waiting, and the Grand Steward Yamamoto taking over control of the IHA.
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  #111  
Old 12-10-2019, 02:51 PM
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Do either of you - or any other IHA watchers here - have any thoughts in regard to Mr. Yamamoto's leadership of the Agency? I only know that he was promoted to replace Noriyuki Kazaoka when Mr. Kazaoka was fired by the Abe government for permitting Emperor Akihito to express his wish to abdicate, and I remember wondering if the successor would toe the government line more than Mr. Kazaoka.
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  #112  
Old 03-01-2020, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
On April 21st, Atsuko Ikeda attended a ceremony celebrating the new entrance of Ikeda Zoo in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture.

Atsuko Ikeda is Emperor Akihito's older sister and formerly titled Princess Yori.

The zoo had a deficit of 250 million yen due to declining visitors. Experts, business circles and government officials created a reform plan to save the zoo. Besides the entrance and building renovations, new animals will be added. A white tiger will debut on April 26. Nippon Kabaya Ohayo Holdings donated for the zoo's survival. The reforms expect an increase of 8000 visitors and stable management going forward.

Photos: fnn.jp, sanyonews.jp

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D4vH1lGUEAAGgtJ.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D4vH3d0UwAAGW7A.jpg
Found video of last April's Ikeda Zoo new entrance ceremony
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  #113  
Old 04-01-2020, 03:09 AM
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Mainichi has a special gallery on the Imperial family's bonbonnière, candy boxes gifted at celebrations or banquets.

The Sannomaru Shozokan (The Museum of the Imperial Collections) published a book with 236 photos. The first bonbonnière was distributed at a banquet on February 11, 1889. Sadly, the IHA does not have the first candy box. However, the museum has about 420 bonbonnières donated from Chichibu and Takamatsu branches and others.

1. Globe, celebrating Crown Prince Hirohito's return from a European tour in 1921
2. Round, white with blue flower/motif to celebrate Princess Kako's birth (1995). Kako's personal emblem is Hibiscus tiliaceus.
3. Treasure ship to celebrate the 1935 visit of Puyi, ruler of Manchukuo, to Japan
4. Round, white with tiger, goldfish and pigeon toys to celebrate Princess Tsuguko's birth (1986)
5. Round, white with snowflake to celebrate Princess Akiko's coming-of-age (2001). Akiko's personal emblem is snow
6. Round, white with stars, circles and triangles to celebrate Princess Yoko's coming-of-age (2003). Yoko's personal emblem is star
7. Egg-shaped with flowers to celebrate Prince and Princess Hitachi's 25th wedding anniversary (1989)
8. bonbonnière with family crest of Yi Un (or Lee Eun) Crown Prince of Korea. Circa 1910-1930s. He's the husband of Yi Bangja (born Princess Masako of Nashimoto)
9. Round, white with blue flower to celebrate Princess Mako's birth (1992). Mako's personal emblem is Rosa banksiae.
10. Chestnut shaped (wood?) to celebrate the longevity of Princess Chichibu in 1990
11. Round, metal with ducks to celebrate Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako's marriage in 1993
12. Artillery shell shaped to celebrate Prince Nagahisa Kitashirakawa's rank as Lieutenant in 1931
13. Cranes for Emperor Taisho's 25th wedding anniversary in 1925
14. Traditional armor to celebrate Emperor Emeritus Akihito's birth in 1934
15. Gagaku drum shaped to celebrate Emperor Showa's enthronement in 1928

Asahi previously featured Imperial bonbonnieres in 2017
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Photos of the IHA's "The Imperial Family and Bonbonnieres - Tracing Their History" exhibition, July 15 - September 10.

Asahi gallery

1. Chakko-no-gi ceremonies: flower for Princess Sayako (1973), fan for Prince Akishino (1970), and Go board for CP Naruhito (1964).
2. Oval Crane and Turtle for Emperor Meiji's 25th wedding anniversary in 1894
3. Go board for Prince Mikasa's Chakko-no-gi ceremony in 1919
4. Hexagon with Pine Decoration for Emperor Showa's wedding in 1924
5. Cranes for Emperor Taisho's 25th wedding anniverary in 1925
6. Cart for Emperor Taisho early Showa era. (Not sure, maybe this means Emperor Showa was regent)
7. Armor in Taisho from early Showa era
8. Hand Drum with Young Pine and Star Design from private banquet hosted by Empress Dowager (Empress Teimei) celebrating the marriage of Prince Chichibu in 1928
9. Airplane celebrating the adulthood of Prince Takahiko of Asaka in 1932
10. Tank for Prince Takahiko of Asaka becoming lieutenant in 1933
11. Dog from a private banquet in 1934 celebrating Emperor Akihito's birth
12. Hand drum from a private banquet in 1935 celebrating Prince Hitachi's birth
13. Round Plum Blossom for Princess Shigeko's marriage to Prince Morihiro of Higashikuni in 1943
14. Overlap Box Shimomura Tsurum for Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun's 25th wedding anniversary in 1949
15. Shape of a Chrysanthemum Flower with Pair of Cranes from Private banquet celebrating the marriage of the Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in 1959
16. Flowers, leaves, and clouds for Prince Tomohito and Princess Nobuko's marriage in 1980
17. Fan shape with lotus for Princess Sayako in 1990 for her coming of age
18. Globe commemorating Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko's foreign visits in 1991
19. Cranes celebrating the marriage of CP Naruhito and CP Masako in 1993

[...]
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  #114  
Old 04-01-2020, 10:33 AM
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It is fascinating to see all the bonbonnieres, thank you for posting those links, Prisma!

Since the hand drum designed for Prince and Princess Chichibu's private wedding banquet in 1928 is listed (#8 in the Asahi gallery), here is an excerpt from Prince and Princess Chichibu, Two Lives Lived Above and Below the Clouds describing the bonbonniere in Princess Chichibu's own words:

"At the Japanese Court it is the custom to give small silver confection boxes--known by the French word bonbonniere--as mementos to mark special occasions. Much thought is given to their design, with the occasion in mind, so that each one is unique(.....)
.....Her Majesty called the Prince and me over to her and handed the gifts to each of us personally. She had designed the silver memento herself. It was a miniature tsuzumi, the ancient Japanese hand drum shaped like an hourglass. Fine rose colored silk cord had been used for the tension-adjusting drum-rope, and the body of the drum was embossed with a pattern of tiny young pines and stars. The young pines were the Prince's symbol, the rose colored cord was for England, where he had studied, and the stars were for the Stars and Stripes of America where I had been to school. Her Majesty's hope that our union would bring England, America and Japan closer together was beautifully expressed in her touchingly thought-out gift.

Looking at this ancient musical instrument reproduced in miniature I cannot help feeling how modern it seems today. The rose-colored cord has been replaced, but the silver is as bright as ever and I keep this treasured memento in a glass case in my drawing room. I often pick it up and marvel anew at Her Majesty's extraordinary originality and aesthetic sense. Sadly, the one I personally received was destroyed in the bombing during the Second World War. This is the one she gave the Prince, and it survived because it had been put away in the fireproof storehouse."
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  #115  
Old 04-01-2020, 12:43 PM
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Thank you Ista! I love learning more about Prince and Princess Chichibu's wedding bonbonniere. Her book is on my reading list.
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  #116  
Old 04-01-2020, 01:21 PM
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I highly recommend it, Prisma, I think you would enjoy it immensely. It is a rare glimpse into a very private world, and is rich with the kind of details that we usually have to speculate about.
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  #117  
Old 04-16-2020, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
More about superfan Fumiko Shirataki and her friends.

Fumiko lined up at 4am near Akasaka for a good spot on November 10 for the enthronement parade. She watched rehearsals in October. [fnn.jp]

Fumiko and her fellow royal fans Hisa Yoshida and Orie Hirokawa shared some of their photos with Asahi. (published in May and October 2019)

Asahi 1, Asahi 2 galleries

Fumiko (78) started following the Imperial family, specifically Masako and Michiko, in January 1993 after the Crown Prince's engagement announcement. She and a friend visited the Owada residence and although her friend only went once, Fumiko found herself visiting daily. Her first camera was a 10,000 yen compact camera without zoom. 6 months later, she upgraded to a camera with interchangeable lens. Fumiko took a break when Masako became ill but returned when Masako became active again.

Hisa Yoshida (50s) began following the Imperial family in June 1993. She got married in May 1994 and her husband is fully aware of her hobby. Masako's fashion has influenced her own style. To get the royal schedule, Hisa and her companions contact the prefecture or city. Hisa took a break for about 4 years after Masako became ill.

Orie Hirokawa (84) stopped chasing royals 6 years ago due to age and health issues (high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma). Her most memorable photo is of Masako at Hayama taken June 29, 1996.

About 12 people, mostly older women, regularly follow Empress Masako according to Fumiko. Recently she's seen some men in their 20s.

Fans used to be allowed inside Hanzomon gate but security became stricter after the Sarin attack in 1995. Recently, only 4 people are allowed in the front row along the pavement before the gate. Fumiko has waited 3 hours for a front row place.
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  #118  
Old 04-26-2020, 08:26 PM
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75% of Japanese positive about emperor: Kyodo survey
Quote:
[...]

In the mail-in survey that covered around 3,000 people aged 18 and older, 58 percent of respondents said they felt an affinity for Emperor Naruhito, higher than the 48 percent recorded for Emperor Akihito, the current emperor's father, in an interview survey in December 1989 about a year after his enthronement.

With another 17 percent stating they view him as "wonderful," a total of 75 percent of respondents felt positive about the 60-year-old emperor.

The survey, conducted since March, drew 2,003 responses by April 10, of which 1,899 were treated as valid -- a response rate of 63.3 percent.

The poll also found that 85 percent of respondents would accept a female monarch and 79 percent would accept an emperor descended from a female member of the imperial family, despite the country's law currently limiting succession to men from the paternal line.

Asked in a multiple-choice question about what they hoped the emperor would do, 56 percent said build international friendships, and 58 percent said the same for Empress Masako, 56, a former diplomat educated at Harvard and Oxford universities, while visiting disaster-hit areas to console those affected was also cited.

A total of 75 percent said they were interested in the imperial family to some or a great extent, while 21 percent said they were not very interested and 4 percent said they had no interest.

[...]

In November, a conservative grouping in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party proposed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that unmarried men in the now-abolished collateral branches of the imperial family be reinstated.

The latest Kyodo survey showed 70 percent opposed the proposal, however, with most saying allowing female members to become heirs would suffice.

In a multiple-choice question, 72 percent said the government should discuss having female monarchs, and 40 percent said emperors from the maternal line should be considered, while 18 percent called for discussing the reinstatement of members of the 11 collateral branches that left the imperial family in 1947.

[...]

Emperor Naruhito completed a slew of ceremonies accompanying his succession to the throne in December, including "Daijosai," a Shinto thanksgiving ceremony that has been criticized by some as going against the principle of separation of state and religion.

In the survey, 72 percent viewed the ceremonies as appropriate, while 12 percent said religious elements should have been eliminated and 10 percent said such ceremonies were unnecessary.
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  #119  
Old 04-27-2020, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
In the mail-in survey that covered around 3,000 people aged 18 and older, 58 percent of respondents said they felt an affinity for Emperor Naruhito, higher than the 48 percent recorded for Emperor Akihito, the current emperor's father, in an interview survey in December 1989 about a year after his enthronement.
I wonder if the difference could be attributed to the reduced amount of controversy over the monarchy (and the previous monarch's reign) in 2020 in comparison to 1989.
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  #120  
Old 04-27-2020, 06:03 AM
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Moved part two of my response here: https://www.theroyalforums.com/forum...ml#post2310496
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