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  #441  
Old 05-25-2020, 07:15 PM
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Following workshop cancelations due to the coronavirus pandemic, Shinyusha held its first online session on May 24. Princess Akiko and her panelists (chief priests or directors of various shrines) discussed the theme of "prayer" for an hour. Over 160 people attended the Zoom session which was open to Shinyusha members and non-members.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...63925633722262

The next online session is limited to Shinyusha members and is scheduled for June 6 at 3pm. Princess Akiko and her panelists (EN Tea president and others who participate in tea workshops) will discuss tea.
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  #442  
Old 06-01-2020, 03:04 AM
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On June 1st, Princess Akiko was appointed president of Ichimura Foundation for New Technology and honorary president of Classical Day Cultural Fund Awards Committee. Both organizations requested her patronage.

Her father Prince Tomohito was president of the Foundation from 1982 until his death in 2012.

Sources: Sankei, Jiji
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  #443  
Old 06-09-2020, 05:28 AM
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On June 6th, Princess Akiko and Shinyusha held an online seminar about tea. The organization also opened an online store to purchase Shinyusha tea and teaware.
https://shinyusha.stores.jp/

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...97943023653856

The next online session is scheduled for June 28 on the theme Nagoshi no Harae ("the Purification Ritual of Summer's Passing").

Japanese media FNN has taken noticed and reported Princess Akiko is the first Imperial family member to participate in an online session format. Public service cancellations continue through July so Princess Akiko has been catching up on reading and publishing papers.
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  #444  
Old 06-09-2020, 06:06 PM
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Thank you for the news on the Mikasas!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
In 2019, Princess Yoko supported a reasonable accommodation request to Kumamoto Prefecture Office of Education for teacher examinations. The request was successful; visual and auditory support were provided at the next examination.

Photo: http://blog.livedoor.jp/npousd
I'm not sure if I understand. Does that mean Princess Yohko helped an examinee to request accommodations from the school for their visual and auditory disabilities?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Japanese media FNN has taken noticed and reported Princess Akiko is the first Imperial family member to participate in an online session format. Public service cancellations continue through July so Princess Akiko has been catching up on reading and publishing papers.
Interesting observation from FNN and fodder for speculation. Are the scheduled activities of the other family members less amenable to the online format? Is videoconferencing too casual for the senior royals? Are Princess Akiko's foundation activities considered a private affair and not subject to royal protocol?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Following workshop cancelations due to the coronavirus pandemic, Shinyusha held its first online session on May 24. Princess Akiko and her panelists (chief priests or directors of various shrines) discussed the theme of "prayer" for an hour. Over 160 people attended the Zoom session which was open to Shinyusha members and non-members.
It sounds as if Shinyusha has drawn interest from high levels of religious society, although for all I know that may just be the consequence of Akiko's status as a royal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
On June 1st, Princess Akiko was appointed president of Ichimura Foundation for New Technology and honorary president of Classical Day Cultural Fund Awards Committee. Both organizations requested her patronage.

Her father Prince Tomohito was president of the Foundation from 1982 until his death in 2012.
I'm reminded of your discussion in the Takamado thread of the vagaries of the "requesting a patron" process. The eight-year gap between the loss of their former patron and the request for his "heiress" is interesting. I wonder if the organization and the princess perhaps had to create a working relationship before formalizing it with a patronage appointment.
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  #445  
Old 06-25-2020, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Thank you for the news on the Mikasas!

I'm not sure if I understand. Does that mean Princess Yohko helped an examinee to request accommodations from the school for their visual and auditory disabilities?
You're welcome! I'm not sure what level of support Princess Yoko provided. The examinee did interact with the princess and received encouragement at least. Maybe Yoko connected the examinee with the appropriate person(s) to facilitate the request. The man in the photos is NPO Japan Universal Sound Design Association President Shinichiro Nakaishi and developer of the "comuoon" communication system.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Interesting observation from FNN and fodder for speculation. Are the scheduled activities of the other family members less amenable to the online format? Is videoconferencing too casual for the senior royals? Are Princess Akiko's foundation activities considered a private affair and not subject to royal protocol?
I suspect the IHA doesn't know how to balance COVID-19 and public service yet. So far, events outside of the Imperial Palace/family rituals are simply cancelled or postponed. Yes, I agree Princess Akiko has freedom because Shinyusha is her foundation.

I am frustrated. How will the Imperial family connect with the people amid COVID-19? Simply more lectures for Emperor and Empress? The IHA released Princess Aiko's sericulture photos recently for the first time even though Aiko's been raising silkworms for years. Seems like the agency struggling to provide some news (but still ignoring the Mikasa and Takamado families... ) Given Akiko's activities for Shinyusha, I think the extended families are doing something during this pandemic.
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  #446  
Old 06-25-2020, 09:21 AM
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I suspect that maintaining relevance in the face of the ongoing pandemic is going to be a challenge for all the monarchies. It's complicated even more for the IHA because they are not noted for being particularly innovative or flexible to begin with. Interesting times ahead, that's for sure.
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  #447  
Old 07-04-2020, 02:44 AM
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I agree. Will be interesting to see how the IHA deals with the pandemic. I don't anticipate social media, they'd lose a lot of power over the press but I hope the agency figures out something by autumn/winter... even without social media, other royal families are doing some engagements outside palace walls with masks or social distancing.

Princess Akiko and her cultural organization Shinyusha held an online session on June 28. The panel discussed "Nagoshi no Harae" (Purification Ritual of Summer's Passing) traditionally performed on June 30 at Shinto shrines.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...53892621392229


Since in-person workshops cannot be held, Shinyusha seems to be adapting quickly to the pandemic. 5 online sessions have been added.

2020/07/07 19:00-20:30 Tanabata (Star Festival)
2020/07/25 15:00-16:00 Dictionary
2020/08/08 15:00-16:00 Japanese mythology
2020/09/05 15:00-16:00 Tea part 2
2020/09/19 15:00-16:00 Japanese sweets

Source: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...56688174446007
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  #448  
Old 07-09-2020, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
You're welcome! I'm not sure what level of support Princess Yoko provided. The examinee did interact with the princess and received encouragement at least. Maybe Yoko connected the examinee with the appropriate person(s) to facilitate the request. The man in the photos is NPO Japan Universal Sound Design Association President Shinichiro Nakaishi and developer of the "comuoon" communication system.
Interesting. I am curious about how Princess Yoko knew the examinee and became involved in their case and how the blog learned about it. It leads me to wonder if members of the imperial family unofficially intervene to help individuals on a regular basis.

In any case, it is lovely that the examinee was able to have a personal meeting with the princess. I imagine it is powerful to hear encouragement from someone who is not only a member of the imperial family but one with similar lived experiences.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ista View Post
I suspect that maintaining relevance in the face of the ongoing pandemic is going to be a challenge for all the monarchies. It's complicated even more for the IHA because they are not noted for being particularly innovative or flexible to begin with. Interesting times ahead, that's for sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
I agree. Will be interesting to see how the IHA deals with the pandemic. I don't anticipate social media, they'd lose a lot of power over the press but I hope the agency figures out something by autumn/winter... even without social media, other royal families are doing some engagements outside palace walls with masks or social distancing.
What would be the most serious risks of becoming more flexible with public engagements and/or increasing their use of social media? Could you explain how it would risk the IHA's power over the press?
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  #449  
Old 07-14-2020, 03:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
[...] What would be the most serious risks of becoming more flexible with public engagements and/or increasing their use of social media? Could you explain how it would risk the IHA's power over the press?
The IHA gives exclusives to the Imperial press club in return for nice coverage. If the agency simply posts on social media, there's less incentive to adhere to the IHA narrative. Major Japanese media still have a significant amount of deference for the Imperial family. Given the cultural differences, I don't think the Imperial press club will become like the UK royal rota (including tabloids or breaking embargoes) but the agency is probably wary of releasing content for "free."

Behind the Chrysanthemum Curtain - The Atlantic (November 1998)
Quote:
[...] On the second floor of the Imperial Household Agency headquarters is a work space for palace press-club members. All Japan's prestigious media outlets maintain palace correspondents. Until recently no foreign news agencies were allowed; even now they are excluded from many important conferences. The mainstream Japanese journalists enjoy exclusive access to the frequent briefings given by agency officials and also to the less regular press conferences of royal-family members. The journalists not only obey news embargoes; they also prepare their questions together, taking pains to avoid sensitive subjects. For one interview with Princess Masako the journalists collectively decided not to ask anything about her childbearing plans—the question obviously on everyone's mind. [...]
The usual "How to modernize vs. staying traditional? How does a monarchy stay relevant?" questions...

Japan's incoming imperial couple offers the nation something new - Reuters (April 2019)
Quote:
[...] “There were clearly two views. One, that, like Akihito, the emperor must be active and interact with people, and the other, that all he needs to do is pray,” said an ex-royal household agency official. “But considering the future, I don’t think we have both options. An emperor who simply exists would not gain the trust and empathy of the people.”

Though Naruhito, 59, intends to carry on his parents’ work, he also says the monarchy needs to adapt. Observers said that could mean speaking up and reaching out more, leveraging the family’s value as part of Japan’s identity.

“Given these times, the imperial family should use things like social networking to express their opinions to a certain degree,” said Rika Kayama, a psychiatrist and author of a book on the imperial women.

“If not words, then photos on Instagram,” she added, noting Naruhito has posed for selfies with bystanders overseas and Masako in particular may have things she wants to express. [...]
ETA: institutional taboos

Trouble at the Top: Japan's Imperial Family in Crisis | The Asia-Pacific Journal (June 2004)
Quote:
[...] For a family that prefers to keep a low profile and adopt a kind of bland civil servant image, these are trying times for the Imperial Household. Swathes of the world's dwindling forests have been felled to fuel media speculation on the health of Princess Masako, her relationship with her husband Prince Naruhito and their struggles to produce a male heir to the world's oldest hereditary institution. Much of the blame for this unwanted attention lies with Naruhito himself, who sparked the latest media feeding frenzy with a barbed press conference in May.[1]

[...]

But which media are responsible for these stories? Not the big news gathering organizations in Japan which despite (or as many prefer to argue, because of) their exclusive membership in the IHA press club seldom report major scoops. Famously, it was the Washington Post that first told the world about Princess Masako's engagement to Naruhito in 1993, after the local newspapers had sat on the story for months. It was the London Independent that suggested in 2001 that Princess Aiko was the product of in-vitro fertilization, although it was widely rumored in Japan. And it was The Times that carried most of the above detail about Masako's current condition in a May 21st piece called "The Depression of a Princess."

It's all part of a long tradition of royal reporting in Japan by Big Media: kid gloves lobbing the softest of softballs to an institution that still seems suspended somewhere between heaven and earth in the journalistic pantheon. [...]

As Richard Lloyd Parry, author of the May 21st article says: "Japanese journalists knew all about Masako's illness and it didn't surprise any of them when we spoke to them. So why didn't they run the story? In my view it's because of the strange institutional taboos that still surround the Imperial Family, which are very murky and not rational and which have a lot to do with Japan's war and postwar history. This period has not been properly dispelled or digested. There is still unfinished business."

[...]

These journalists have exclusive access to briefings by agency officials and Imperial family members, and usually prepare their questions collectively before submitting them for vetting, shunning most sensitive issues. Their dismal performance over the years has earned the establishment press in Japan a reputation for at best timidity, at worst incompetence: "The Japanese media industry in general is hopelessly bad at what it does, but the IHA press club shows the worst aspects of the Japanese media," says Asano Kenichi, professor of journalism at Doshisha University and an ex-Kyodo News reporter. "The journalists there are not doing their job of informing the Japanese public about what goes on."[2]

[...]

Sometimes the insiders do this for drinking money, sometimes out of friendship with tabloid and other journalists and sometimes out of civic duty in a taboo-ridden system that many also find frustrating. The current Imperial correspondent for a major Japanese newspaper said: "I probably put in writing less than one-tenth of one-percent of what I see and hear. For a writer, that's a kind of torture. It's a real struggle to slow yourself down and just learn to watch." His colleague, who writes for a news agency goes further: "Not everybody agrees with me but personally I believe reporters should leak information when it is important and they cannot get it published, although I don't think they should do it for money or tell lies. It's a public service because there are many publications that don't have access."

So how do these much-maligned correspondents feel about their jobs and the recent reporting of the Masako issue? I interviewed two current and one former IHA press-club member for this article. Two work for major newspapers and one for a news agency.[4] Although they denied there was any taboo on reporting the Imperial Family, all refused to allow me to use their names, or even the organizations they work for. One spoke in such a secretive whisper my tape-recorder barely picked him up. We could have been doing a story on the Yakuza rather than on one of the most boring posts in Japanese journalism. Nevertheless, all three correspondents gave considered, thoughtful and sometimes surprising replies to most questions. From here on the interviewees will be referred to as Correspondents A, B & C.

[...]

My three interviewees, like all Imperial correspondents, have an opportunity to meet the emperor face to face at least once a year in the Tochigi Prefecture Imperial retreat for an informal chat. Would they question him this year (in September) about the Masako affair? All gave an unqualified no. Correspondent A said this was part personal (he didn't believe that Masako disliked the Emperor), part cultural (it's not 'Japanese' to make the other person deliberately feel uncomfortable in such a setting) and part political (there was nothing to be 'gained' by asking such questions, and probably a lot to be lost, implying he would be thrown out of the press club). Correspondents A & B said that Princess Masako's illness, the state of her marriage and the test-tube baby story are "personal issues." Correspondent B cited the need to be "120 percent accurate on Imperial stories." When questioned why, he said: "If I make a mistake on a business or crime story I have to make a formal apology. If I make a mistake on a story about the emperor, the head of the newspaper has to apologize." [...]
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  #450  
Old 07-17-2020, 01:53 AM
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On July 4 and 8, Princess Akiko and her cultural organization Shinyusha picked safflowers in Iga Ueno. The flowers will be dried and used as dyes and offerings at Iwashimizu Hachimangu shrine in Yawata, Kyoto Prefecture.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...91199127661578
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  #451  
Old 07-22-2020, 11:01 PM
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On July 12th, Princess Akiko and her organization Shinyusha weeded rice fields in Niigata City's Ozuki district. Unfortunately, Kokugakuin University students who traveled from Tokyo on a chartered bus, were not able to participate. Local Niigata university groups and cram school students participated.

In past years, Shinyusha visited in August to weed when the paddies are dry but the farmer invited the group to visit earlier to experience weeding when the paddies are still flooded.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...16026205178870
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  #452  
Old 07-23-2020, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
On July 12th, Princess Akiko and her organization Shinyusha weeded rice fields in Niigata City's Ozuki district. Unfortunately, Kokugakuin University students who traveled from Tokyo on a chartered bus, were not able to participate. Local Niigata university groups and cram school students participated.

In past years, Shinyusha visited in August to weed when the paddies are dry but the farmer invited the group to visit earlier to experience weeding when the paddies are still flooded.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...16026205178870
Do we know why the Tokyo students were unable to participate? It seems odd they would charter a bus and travel there, only to be turned away.
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  #453  
Old 07-25-2020, 07:53 PM
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I don't know. Shinyusha's post didn't explain further. I remember Tokyo's governor asked residents to refrain from traveling to other prefectures but I thought the association or university would have considered that before chartering a bus and all.

Shinyusha posted a basic dashi recipe.

Kelp 30g
Bonito shavings 30g
Water 1.8l
Yields about 1.5l of basic dashi broth

1. wipe kelp with damp paper towel
2. cover kelp with water and soak overnight (at least 5-6 hours)
3. heat pot over medium heat and remove the foam
4. when bubbles appear, remove the kelp
5. heat until just before boiling and quickly add the bonito shavings
6. loosen/stir with chopsticks to separate the shavings
7. boil again, turn off heat and strain broth over paper towels
8. if the liquid doesn't drain, use chopsticks to press bonito shavings in paper towels

Illustrations: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...21532777961546
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  #454  
Old 07-30-2020, 01:06 AM
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Princess Akiko and her cultural organization Shinyusha hosted an online dictionary workshop on July 25.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...26781557436668
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  #455  
Old 08-09-2020, 12:29 AM
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On August 8th, Princess Akiko and her cultural organization Shinyusha held an online seminar on Japanese mythology including stories and influences from the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...64610426987114

The next online seminar on 8/23 will be a cooking class to learn the basics of Japanese cuisine.
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  #456  
Old 08-24-2020, 02:31 AM
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On August 23rd, Princess Akiko and her cultural organization Shinyusha held its first online cooking class. Participants learned how to prepare (wash, drain, sharpen) and cook rice, Niiname-no-Matsuri (harvest festival), history of rice in Japan, rice cultivation, various rice dishes, and the difference between a regular bowl vs. rice bowl.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...09397345841755

Starting in October, Shinyusha will hold 5 online cooking classes to teach the basics of Japanese cuisine. Famous chefs from Kyoto and well-established people will join Shinyusha teachers.
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  #457  
Old 09-01-2020, 03:21 AM
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Shinyusha posted a "How to sharpen rice" video
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  #458  
Old 09-07-2020, 01:46 AM
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On September 5th, Princess Akiko and her cultural organization Shinyusha held an online tea session. The panel discussed sencha tea and the Chrysanthemum festival.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...49472775167545
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  #459  
Old 09-18-2020, 04:52 AM
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On September 16th, Princess Akiko attended the online memorial ceremony for the 130th anniversary of the sinking of Turkish warship Ertuğrul off the coast of Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture. The memorial was originally scheduled for June but postponed and attendees limited to 7 including the mayor of Kushimoto.

The Ertuğrul was returning from a goodwill voyage to Japan when it encountered a typhoon, drifted into a reef, and sank on September 18, 1890. Over 587 sailors and officers died with only 69 survivors who returned home aboard 2 Japanese corvettes. The event became the foundation of Japanese-Turkish friendship. Princess Akiko is president of Japan-Turkish Society.

YTV, NHK videos

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  #460  
Old 09-21-2020, 02:15 AM
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On September 19th, Princess Akiko and her cultural organization Shinyusha held an online session about Japanese sweets. The panel included 3 members from Japan's leading confectionery makers: Suzukake, Toraya, and Rokkatei.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shinyusha/p...90088081106014

The confectionery companies' English websites:
https://www.suzukake.co.jp/english
https://global.toraya-group.co.jp/
https://www.rokkatei.co.jp/en/
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