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iceflower 04-25-2019 02:15 PM

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Welcome to Part 1 of the thread for the Current Events of Empress Masako!

The old thread can be found here:

** Crown Princess Masako Current Events Part 1: July 2005 - April 2019 **

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Prisma 12-08-2019 04:24 PM

Empress Masako turns 56 on December 9

Written responses for 56th birthday - IHA (Google translation)
- Gratitude for Emperor Naruhito, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko.
- Gratitude for the public for their warm welcome.
- Happiness she was able to participate in succession events and they concluded as scheduled.
- Sadness, condolences and concerns about victims and damage from Typhoon No. 19, natural disasters in Japan and globally, recent death of Dr. Tetsu Nakamura in Afghanistan, many environmental problems such as plastic waste, problems such as poverty and child abuse in Japan, and ongoing conflicts and civil wars in the world.
- Mentions joyful events such as 2019 Rugby World Cup, Akira Yoshino winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- Next year's Olympics and Paralympics will be another opportunity for international exchange.
- Hopes Princess Aiko will cherish her last year of high school to the fullest, wishing her new experiences and learning while valuing gratitude and compassion.

The birthday schedule includes the usual congratulatory events, 1:30pm visit to Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, and 7pm family dinner at Akasaka Imperial residence with Princess Aiko, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, Crown Prince Akishino family, and Kuroda couple.

Press release from Her Majesty's medical team - IHA (Google translation)
- Masako's activities have expanded and her condition is steadily improving: 4 regional visits, focus on succession ceremonies, and events such as the annual Japanese Red Cross meeting, US state visit, French official visit, etc.
- She remains under medical treatment. Fatigue happens after big/long/consecutive events. Excessive expectations are counterproductive.
- Expansion of private activities is important for recovery.

Photos and video taken on December 3: Asahi gallery

Somebody 12-08-2019 04:34 PM

Why does she have to visit the emperor and empress emeriti instead of having them visiting the current empress on her birthday? Is that because they are older and therefore require the current empress to still esteem them higher?

How lovely that her sister-in-law and brother-in-law continue to be included in the family dinner; I am always pleased to see that although Sayako is no longer a member of the imperial family, she still is part of these kinds of family events (as will apply to Aiko as well when she marries - unless things change).

Prisma 12-09-2019 02:00 AM

:previous: Yes, most likely it's the "respect the elders" custom. Crown Prince Akishino, Crown Princess Kiko, Prince Hisahito, Princess Mako, and Princess Aiko all visited Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace on their birthdays to greet Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko. I assume the greetings will continue when the retired Imperial couple move to Takanawa residence and then finally to Sento Imperial Palace (currently named Akasaka Imperial residence, formerly Togu Palace aka Crown Prince's Residence).

On December 9th, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako entered the Imperial Palace around 11am for the empress' birthday celebrations. Some events were changed and others will be held at Akasaka Imperial residence to reduce the burden on the empress.

Empress Masako's birthday schedule

11:10, 11:20, 11:40, 11:50am : greetings from IHA staff, IHA police, members of government, Imperial family, relatives at Imperial Palace
12-12:50pm : lunch
1:30pm : greet Emperor Emeritus Akihito & Empress Emerita Michiko at Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace
2:20, 2:30pm: greetings from IHA staff, former IHA staff, and former IHA police
6pm : greetings from IHA staff (Chamberlains?) at Akasaka Imperial residence
6:30pm : greetings from minors (Aiko & Hisahito)
7pm: dinner with Aiko, retired Imperial couple, Akishino family, Kuroda couple

Photos: AP Images, Getty Images, Asahi

Japan Empress Masako turns 56, vows to move forward with support of people - Kyodo News


As the empress is still recovering from a stress-induced illness, her doctors warn that she remains vulnerable to fatigue -- especially after a large ceremony or successive duties -- and sought public support and understanding for her situation.

The way the couple have been feted since the emperor's enthronement "will significantly support me as I move forward," the empress said in a statement released by the Imperial Household Agency. "I will make efforts together with the emperor so that I can devote myself to the happiness of the people."


Completing a series of ceremonies and rites linked to the enthronement, the empress said she is feeling a sense of relief, while expressing gratitude for the "unexpectedly warm celebration" by the public.

The empress also referred to the victims of powerful typhoons and other natural disasters this year.

"I wish from the bottom of my heart that reconstruction will proceed smoothly and people affected will become able to live at ease as early as possible."


Fulfilling the role of empress at various events has added to her confidence, the doctors said. But they also asked for public understanding, saying that excessive expectations could adversely affect her recovery.
Empress Masako turns 56 | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News


She expressed gratitude for what she described as the unexpectedly warm congratulations extended by so many people since the enthronement.


The Empress said she will keep as priceless memories the smiles of the many people she met in various parts of the country. She said these memories will greatly support her in the future.

She said she has a renewed wish that along with the Emperor, she will always pray for the happiness of the people and try to stand by them.
Empress Masako, Turning 56, Recalls Pivotal Year with Deep Emotion |


"As I recall this year, which saw a historical moment, I'm filled with deep emotion," the Empress said in a statement released through the Imperial Household Agency.


Empress Masako also deeply thanked former Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for "giving consideration and showing the way" to realizing a smooth Imperial succession, as well as for their longtime service while staying close to the people. [...]

Ista 12-13-2019 09:00 AM

Masako looks lovely. It's so nice to see her being able to fulfill so many of her responsibilities, and I hope that her condition will continue to improve. I hope that the public will be understanding of the changes in schedule and appearances that may be necessary over time.

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