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-   -   Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko Current Events 1: May 2019 - (https://www.theroyalforums.com/forums/f179/emperor-emeritus-akihito-and-empress-emerita-michiko-current-events-1-may-2019-a-46344.html)

iceflower 05-02-2019 05:37 AM

Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko Current Events 1: May 2019 -
 
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Welcome to part 1 of the thread for the Current Events of Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko!


You can find the old thread here:

** Emperor Akihito & Empress Michiko Current Events Part 4: May 2017 - April 2019 **


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:flowers: Happy Posting! :flowers:

Prisma 05-05-2019 03:44 PM

On May 5th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko privately visited Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club in Minato, Tokyo. They arrived around 4:20pm and enjoyed an hour with friends.

The retired Imperial couple have a long history with Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club. They played there before and after marriage and visited regularly around Children's Day (May 5) during their reign.

Photos: Asahi, Mainichi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o06zuF2Yro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhO6ok-Tjwk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3puEMLleQo

Somebody 05-05-2019 04:32 PM

Great to see them again. Clear sign that they don't intend to live completely in hiding from now on.

Isn't the tennisclub the place where they first met?

Prisma 05-05-2019 07:45 PM

No, they met at a tennis court at Karuizawa near Nagano. They developed their relationship further at Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club.

Akihito, Michiko visit Tokyo tennis club, 1st outing after abdication: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:

[...] The facility is well known as the venue where they cultivated their romance by playing tennis together before their marriage on April 10, 1959.

More than 100 members of the tennis club welcomed Akihito and Michiko and chatted with them, in turn, according to Kazuo Oda, 83, one of their tennis friends.

[...]

Although Akihito and Michiko did not play tennis this time, Akihito agreed when Oda suggested that he continue playing tennis to stay healthy, he added. [...]

Countessmeout 05-05-2019 07:58 PM

I am sure tennis will always have a special place for them :flowers:

I never read about how they met until now. I didn't realize the empress was raised a Catholic and was sent off to Brussels to discourage the relationship. I am sure King Baudouin will hold a special place for the couple, as he helped them remain in contact and later negotiate their marriage.

The 'love on the tennis court' was certainly news. Marriage to a commoner was rare even in Europe for a future ruler in those days. But in even more traditional Japan, it was shocking.

Jacknch 05-06-2019 06:48 AM

More information and details on how they met and the Empress Emerita's faith can be found here: https://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...ory-23550.html and here: https://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...ith-16760.html

Their story is a fascinating one.

alvinking 05-06-2019 07:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Countessmeout (Post 2218051)
I am sure tennis will always have a special place for them :flowers:

I never read about how they met until now. I didn't realize the empress was raised a Catholic and was sent off to Brussels to discourage the relationship. I am sure King Baudouin will hold a special place for the couple, as he helped them remain in contact and later negotiate their marriage.

The 'love on the tennis court' was certainly news. Marriage to a commoner was rare even in Europe for a future ruler in those days. But in even more traditional Japan, it was shocking.

Many were surprised when the Empress Emerita, back then the Empress attended in person the funeral of Queen Fabiola. It wasn't an random occurrence. Both the Emperor and the Empress also attended in person the funeral of King Baudouin after his sudden death in 1993

Prisma 05-17-2019 02:34 PM

On May 17th, the IHA revealed a little about Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko since the abdication.

The retired Imperial couple are pleased the new emperor and empress successfully completed the many succession ceremonies and rituals. They watched the May 1 and May 4 events on TV at their residence, Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko continue to wake up early as before and walk in the morning. They are preparing to move to their temporary home, Takanawa imperial residence.

Empress Emerita Michiko enjoys playing the piano and reading. The couple have been viewing the guestbooks people all over the country signed for their 30-year reign.

They will enjoy a concert in Tokyo on May 24th.

Sources: NHK, Yomiuri

Prisma 05-21-2019 04:21 AM

On May 20th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito visited the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno, Tokyo. He arrived after 2pm and stayed about two and a half hours for fish research and a mammalian exhibit.

Source: Jiji

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7EsGbUWsAArUUx.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7EsI7WXYAEmSEx.jpg

Prisma 05-24-2019 05:48 PM

On May 24th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko enjoyed the "21st Beppu Argerich Music Festival" concert by Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, the Mito Chamber Orchestra, and conductor Seiji Ozawa at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. The concert supports Argerich's Pinocchio Project.

Source: Jiji

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7WtcvTU0AAPQux.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7WtdzKUcAAXgIF.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7Wte9dUwAAfZXa.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiiE_nNq6Qc

Tatiana Maria 05-24-2019 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prisma (Post 2222615)
On May 17th, the IHA revealed a little about Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko since the abdication.

The retired Imperial couple are pleased the new emperor and empress successfully completed the many succession ceremonies and rituals. They watched the May 1 and May 4 events on TV at their residence, Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko continue to wake up early as before and walk in the morning. They are preparing to move to their temporary home, Takanawa imperial residence.

Empress Emerita Michiko enjoys playing the piano and reading. The couple have been viewing the guestbooks people all over the country signed for their 30-year reign.

They will enjoy a concert in Tokyo on May 24th.

Sources: NHK, Yomiuri

It is interesting that the IHA still issues announcements regarding the couple's private activities and the press continues to cover their appearances, which I assume would not be happening without the implicit approval of the IHA and the new emperor.

Prisma 05-25-2019 07:14 PM

It's natural to be curious about the retired Imperial couple, especially only weeks since the abdication. I didn't expect them to disappear although we'll probably see them less and less as they get older. I wonder if the IHA will release birthday photos or limit photos to milestone birthdays? Also, will they appear in the new year group photo?

Best friend tells of Michiko’s final days as empress, Reiwa reaction: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:

[...] “I was pleased to know so many people had such an interest in (the Japanese traditional era name),” Michiko told Chieko Suemori of Hachimantai, Iwate Prefecture, during a mid-April phone call.

Michiko sounded particularly surprised that young people showed interest when the new era name Reiwa was announced on April 1.

Suemori, a 78-year-old editor of picture books, talked to Michiko on the morning of April 17, shortly before Michiko left for Ise Jingu shrine in Mie Prefecture [...]

“I hope I can manage to carry out my duties for two more weeks,” Michiko, 84, told Suemori.

Suemori said she had never seen Michiko show any sign of weakness, but during the call, the then empress told her, "I don't know if I can go on," hinting of her hectic schedule and the effects on her physical strength.

The imperial couple had worked almost without a full day off since August 2016 [...]

[...]

Suemori said she thinks that Michiko also had accumulated “built-up fatigue in her body because she had continuously supported the emperor emeritus.”

Suemori has enjoyed a long relationship with the empress emerita and published a book compiling texts of Michiko’s lectures. Suemori was also the publisher when Michiko translated a collection of poems by famed Japanese poet Michio Mado into English.

[...]

When Suemori talked to Michiko on the phone again in mid-May, close to a month had passed since Akihito’s abdication.

"I want to see you again," Michiko said, sounding cheerful. Suemori was relieved.

Suemori said she hopes from now her best friend will “enjoy reading her favorite books and take it easy.”

Prisma 05-30-2019 04:43 AM

On May 30th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko sent condolences via an aide to the family of Satoshi Oyama, a Foreign Ministry official killed in a knife attack in Kawasaki near Tokyo on May 28th. Oyama was a specialist in Burmese and served as interpreter for Their Majesties 4 times between 2013 and 2015 at tea parties and meetings with ambassadors of Myanmar.

Source: Sankei, Jiji

A man attacked a group of students and parents waiting for the school bus on Tuesday morning. 19 were stabbed, 2 fatally (39-year-old Satoshi Oyama and 11-year-old Hanako Kuribayashi).

ETA: Akihito, Michiko give words of sympathy to wife of slain diplomat: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:

[...] Imperial Household Agency officials on May 30 explained that the sympathy message was passed on to the widow through Takeo Akiba, the vice foreign minister. Agency officials also said the imperial couple were deeply saddened at the large number of children who were victims in the attack.

[...]

An expert in the Myanmar language, Oyama had served as an interpreter on four separate occasions for Akihito and Michiko when they were still emperor and empress.

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the first time Oyama interpreted for the imperial couple was in December 2013 when the leaders of ASEAN members and their wives were invited for tea at the Imperial Palace.

Oyama also interpreted at a February 2015 luncheon for ambassadors and their spouses in Tokyo; at an audience in April 2015 prior to the departure from Japan of the Myanmar ambassador; as well as another tea in July 2015 at the Imperial Palace for visiting foreign leaders attending a meeting in Tokyo for nations in the Mekong region.

[...]

Prisma 06-06-2019 01:54 AM

On June 6th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko reported the abdication to the mausoleum of Emperor Taisho at Musashi Imperial Graveyard in Hachioji, Tokyo.

Their car displayed the retired emperor's Imperial standard for the first time. The flag is similar to the Emperor's except the red is darker.

https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2019/06...0101000p/9.jpg

Photos: AP Images, Mainichi

Emperor Emeritus visits grandfather's mausoleum | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Quote:

[...] Dressed in formal attire and led by senior Imperial Household Agency officials, the Emperor Emeritus walked slowly to the altar.

He offered a sprig of a sacred tree, bowed deeply and reported that he had abdicated on April 30.

The Empress Emerita also paid her respects.

[...]

The couple traveled in a limousine bearing the flag of the Emperor Emeritus for the first time. The deep red flag features the chrysanthemum emblem. [...]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmBSNlE9jpk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tMHEPsoo6o

Prisma 06-07-2019 04:47 AM

On June 7th, the IHA announced Empress Emerita Michiko will undergo a heart examination at the IHA hospital following a result of a regular check up earlier this week. A blood test found an increase in BNP level. The hormone BNP is a diagnostic index for heart failure. The agency reported the Empress Emerita has experienced noticeable breathlessness during morning walks this year. Results of the heart exam are expected after a week.

There is no change to the retired Imperial couple's schedule for now. They plan to visit the tomb of Prince Katsura on June 9 to mark the 5th anniversary of his passing and visit Kyoto Prefecture June 11-13 to finish abdication rituals.

Source: Sankei

Former Empress Michiko to undergo heart exam - The Mainichi
Quote:

Former Empress Michiko will undergo a heart exam after a blood test earlier this week showed a higher risk of heart failure, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday.

The 84-year-old former empress has experienced shortness of breath more frequently than before during her morning walks since the beginning of this year. She will undergo further tests at the Imperial Household Hospital, according to the agency.

[...]

The agency said it has carefully monitored her condition while the former empress abstains from intense physical exercise and avoids stressful situations.

[...]

Ista 06-07-2019 04:58 PM

I'm so sorry to hear this. Wasn't around 3 or 4 years ago that she was being examined for suspected issues with her heart? It sounds as though it could well be an ongoing issue.

Prisma 06-10-2019 02:20 PM

:previous: Yes, she experienced frequent of chest pains in 2015 and was diagnosed with myocardial ischemia, a condition where there is insufficient blood flow to some parts of the heart, but no surgery was needed.

Empress Emerita diagnosed with heart disease | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Quote:

[...]

Agency officials say Saturday's test revealed that the Empress Emerita has moderate tricuspid valve regurgitation --- a disorder in which the valve does not close tight enough each time the heart contracts.

The Empress Emerita was also found to have an irregular pulse.

[...]

The Empress Emerita is also scheduled to undergo cataract surgery on June 16 and 23 at a hospital in Tokyo.
Ex-Empress Michiko diagnosed with heart valve abnormalities - Kyodo News+
Quote:

[...] The 84-year-old former empress [...] will have follow-up observations, with doctors calling for reducing the burden on her heart in daily life. [...]

Ista 06-10-2019 09:16 PM

:previous: This is not unexpected news, unfortunately, based on her history. The good news is that the report in Kyodo News indicates that the condition is currently fairly mild, so hopefully, with care, she and the Emperor Emeritus will have many happy years ahead of them.

iceflower 06-11-2019 09:02 AM

.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko in Kyoto today, June 11:


** gettyimages gallery: JPN: Emperor Emeritus And Empress Emerita Visit Kyoto - Day 1 **

Prisma 06-12-2019 03:42 AM

On June 12th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko reported his abdication at the mausoleums of Emperor Kōmei and Emperor Meiji in Kyoto Prefecture.

Photos: Getty Images, Asahi

Emperor Emeritus visits ancestor's mausoleum | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Quote:

Emperor Emeritus Akihito has visited the mausoleum of his ancestor in Kyoto, together with Empress Emerita Michiko.

Their motorcade arrived on Wednesday morning at a temple located in front of the mausoleum of the Emperor Emeritus' great-great-grandfather, Emperor Komei.

[...]

He offered a sprig from a sacred tree, bowed deeply, and reported that he had abdicated on April 30.

[...]

They are also scheduled to visit the mausoleum of the Emperor Emeritus's great-grandfather, Emperor Meiji, later in the day.

Their visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Meiji will mean that the couple finish all of abdication ceremonies and rituals.
Videos of day 1-2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcqG5F3Ip2U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpVHW2c4pEM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzm9TyylapM

Prisma 06-13-2019 05:39 PM

Asahi reports on the daily lives of the retired Imperial couple. Emperor Emeritus Akihito visits the Imperial Palace's biology laboratory to study goby. Empress Emerita Michiko cherishes time spent with friends. They are preparing to move to Takanawa Imperial residence. Each day they spend time organizing their belongings, such as deciding what to keep and what to donate to research institutions, specifically academic books and specimens gifted by heads of state.

ETA: Retired imperial couple visit emperors’ tombs in final duty: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:

[...]

LONG-SERVING COUPLE ENJOYING PRIVATE LIFE

The couple are now settling in their private lives, almost six weeks after Akihito's abdication.

[...]

Akihito and Michiko are now engaged in the preparation to move into the temporary residence in the Takanawa district in the capital’s Minato Ward soon.

The couple are also sorting through scientific materials, mainly academic books or packages of samples, which were presented as gifts from leaders of foreign countries. Some will be donated to research institutions and others will be kept on hand, according to an Imperial Household Agency official.

“There are a great number of materials," the official said. "Their workload will be very heavy.”

Akihito has settled into a daily routine including going for a stroll every morning.

He is engaged in the research of goby fish and periodically goes to the biology research center in the compound.

Meanwhile, Michiko also values spending time with her friends.

[...]

With Akihito and Michiko's advanced ages, their health continues to be a concern.

[...]

“We must have them (prepare for moving) in a way their health will not be adversely affected,” the agency official said.
On June 13th, the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita returned to Tokyo from Kyoto Prefecture.

Getty Images
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIdMhm842rM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhmoQk5mcTQ

Prisma 06-16-2019 01:58 AM

On June 14th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko visited Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club in Minato, Tokyo. They stayed about an hour, enjoying time with friends.

Sources: tv-tokyo.co.jp, Mainichi

ETA: On June 16th, Empress Emerita Michiko had cataract surgery on her right eye at a hospital in Tokyo. She arrived at 10:30am and was discharged around 4:30pm. The left eye surgery is scheduled for June 23rd.

Photo: Mainichi, Kyodo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuu45zTiTI4

Prisma 06-23-2019 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prisma (Post 2231464)
On June 14th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko visited Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club in Minato, Tokyo. They stayed about an hour, enjoying time with friends.

Sources: tv-tokyo.co.jp, Mainichi

[...]

:previous: AP Images

On June 22nd, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko attended the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra: Akeo Watanabe 100th Birthday Celebration concert at Suntory Hall in Minato, Tokyo.
Source: Sankei

On June 23rd, Empress Emerita Michiko had cataract surgery on her left eye at a hospital in Tokyo.

https://twitter.com/FNN_News/status/1142634650956775424

Prisma 07-06-2019 01:11 AM

On July 5th, Empress Emerita Michiko attended a charity concert supporting pediatric cancer patients at the Orchard Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Source: Jiji

Prisma 07-16-2019 02:47 PM

Japan's former emperor suffers bout of cerebral anemia - Kyodo News+
Quote:

Japan's former Emperor Akihito briefly suffered from cerebral anemia last week, forcing him to postpone his regular health checkup, the Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday.

The 85-year-old has already regained his health since he was seen crouching down to the floor on the evening of Thursday at his residence in Tokyo while having dinner, according to the agency.

Former Empress Michiko called a doctor at that time, the agency said, adding that he could have experienced fatigue from weeklong health checkups that the couple started taking from July 9.

[...]
Details from Jiji:
- the retired Imperial couple had checkups July 9-15, usually afternoons.
- July 11: Emperor Emeritus Akihito had checkups in morning and afternoon. He experienced cerebral anemia that evening and was treated.
- July 12: His afternoon checkup was postponed.
- Empress Emerita Michiko needs additional exams, results will be announced later.

Ista 07-16-2019 02:58 PM

I'm sorry to hear this, but not terribly surprised. Both the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita seem to have had a series of health issues since the abdication, which is unfortunate, but also highlights exactly why Akihito had asked for the government to facilitate the abdication to begin with. I'm braced to hear what the results are for the additional exams for Michiko.

Thank you for keeping us updated, Prisma.

Prisma 07-25-2019 01:03 AM

From July 24-29, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko are vacationing at Nasu Imperial Villa in Tochigi Prefecture. On July 25th, they strolled around for media.
Source: Jiji

Photos: AP Images, Getty Images

fnn.jp video

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...7250018-p1.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EASwmzpUIAE3r0m.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1CdPefBhlk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXDSTqn9lqI

Prisma 07-30-2019 09:40 PM

On July 29th, the retired Imperial couple returned to Tokyo from their retreat at Nasu Imperial Villa.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxvlFBcvjnM

Prisma 08-01-2019 01:11 PM

On August 1st, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko enjoyed the 30th Pacific Music Festival (PMF) Orchestra at Suntory Hall in Minato, Tokyo. This year, the orchestra consists of 96 musicians from 26 countries and regions under the direction of conductor Valery Gergiev.

Photos: Sankei, Getty Images
https://twitter.com/tokyoshashinbu/s...18653566816257
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgd_uFIfimA

Prisma 08-09-2019 07:36 AM

Empress Emerita Michiko has been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, announced by the IHA on August 9th. She will undergo surgery after resting and increasing physical fitness in Karuizawa, Nagano and Kusatsu, Gunma in late August. Surgery likely after September.

The tumor was found in the left breast at a regular medical checkup on July 12th. An MRI revealed suspected malignancy at the University of Tokyo Hospital on July 15th. A biopsy was conducted at the IHA hospital on August 2nd, and breast cancer was diagnosed. According to the agency, there is currently a concern about her overall decline in physical fitness, such as a sudden decrease in weight.

Sources: Sankei, Asahi

Empress Emerita to have surgery for breast cancer | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News

Michiko found to have breast cancer, will undergo surgery: The Asahi Shimbun

Empress Emerita to undergo cancer surgery | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Quote:

Japan's Imperial Household Agency says Empress Emerita Michiko has been diagnosed with a relatively early stage of breast cancer. Agency officials say that it's unlikely that the cancer has spread to other organs.

[...]

An additional test will be conducted to decide the best treatment for her condition.

She is expected to undergo an operation in or after September.

The agency says she has had regular checks on her mammary glands over the past decade or so, and no irregularities were found in the past 12 months.

It also says the Empress Emerita has lost weight since around the abdication of Emperor Emeritus Akihito at the end of April.

[...]

The agency officials say the Empress Emerita has been under stress due to her busy schedule. They say she will have surgery after she regains her strength during the vacation.
I wish Empress Emerita Michiko a smooth recovery! I'm so glad it was caught early.

Ista 08-09-2019 09:42 AM

I'm so sorry to hear this, but somehow not surprised. I thought that she was not looking well in recent photos, and there were hints from the last news updates concerning her health that something was up with her.

Thank you for updating, Prisma, and for all the links.

I am hoping that the Empress Emerita has a swift and uncomplicated recovery, and many healthy years to enjoy her retirement.

eya 08-09-2019 09:57 AM

Thanks Prisma!!

Hoping everything going well for the Empress Emerita!

theroyalfly 08-10-2019 01:32 PM

This made me down today. I hope the surgery will be a success. My prayers for the Empress Emerita!

HereditaryPrincess 08-11-2019 06:31 PM

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope the surgery is successful and I wish Empress Michiko a recovery.

Prisma 08-16-2019 06:52 AM

On August 16th, Empress Emerita Michiko visited a friend's home in Tokyo. It's her first appearance since the IHA announced her breast cancer diagnosis. She waved to well-wishers while leaving the Imperial Palace.

Photos: Asahi

https://twitter.com/asahi_photo/stat...79496830967808

Prisma 08-22-2019 01:40 AM

On August 22nd, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko traveled to Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture for recuperation. They will move to Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture on the 27th and return to Tokyo on the 30th.

The couple will visit a settlement by former Manchuria returnees on the 23rd and attend Kusatsu International Summer Music Academy & Festival on the 27th, where Empress Emerita Michiko will also participate in a piano workshop.

Photo: Kyodo

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...8220018-p1.jpg

https://twitter.com/yama3283/status/1164480673639362570
https://twitter.com/vignette01/statu...62484620599298

Prisma 08-23-2019 01:17 AM

On August 23rd, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko visited vegetable fields in the Ohinata area of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture where Manchuria returnees settled after Japan's defeat. The couple have visited the settlement since their Crown Prince/Princess days.

Photos: AP Images
https://twitter.com/nhk_news/status/1164756749082980353
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...8230023-p1.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeK2lIyIdNA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYr6ccwdYCU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiDqEdDKA6U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjHw4jJEG0A

Prisma 08-25-2019 01:58 PM

On August 25th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko visited the Karuizawa tennis court where they first met in the summer of 1957. They stayed about 30 minutes, chatting and watching a game.

Getty Images
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_sIZCnaOS4

Prisma 08-27-2019 01:30 PM

On August 27th, Empress Emerita Michiko attended a music workshop at the Kusatsu International Summer Music Academy & Festival in Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture. The former empress and flutist Karl-Heinz Schütz performed "The Swan" by Saint-Saëns.

Later, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko enjoyed the music festival's concert.

Photos: Mainichi, Asahi, Getty, Getty 2

Empress Emerita plays the piano with Vienna Philharmonic flutist | Nippon TV NEWS24 JAPAN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMCqVa4mQyA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jh8gnDq_lI
Full performance starts at 0:30
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbZQ8u3FoJw

Prisma 08-30-2019 09:09 PM

On August 30th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko returned to Tokyo.

https://twitter.com/stk_levis75017/s...16586526461954
https://twitter.com/hoot_1018/status...93426590597120
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnVOpY75vhM

Prisma 09-01-2019 01:32 PM

On September 1st, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko enjoyed a concert by the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at Suntory Hall in Minato, Tokyo. The concert celebrates the 150th anniversary of Japan-Hungary relations and was conducted by Ken’ichiro Kobayashi.

Before the concert, Empress Emerita Michiko was examined for breast cancer surgery at the University of Tokyo Hospital. [Jiji]

AP Images

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...9010038-p1.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EDZPPo1U0AIBYYK.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHEFxcY4fr4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nVCFZ_KnyQ

Prisma 09-03-2019 02:42 AM

Empress Emerita Michiko will undergo surgery for breast cancer on September 8th at the University of Tokyo Hospital. She'll be admitted to the hospital on the 7th for a preoperative examination.

Source: Mainichi

Empress Emerita Michiko to Have Breast Cancer Surgery Sun. | Nippon.com
Quote:

[...] The former Empress has been diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer, with no clear signs of cancer metastasis, according to the agency.

[...]

In the surgery, cancerous tissue will be removed from the Empress Emerita under general anesthesia, while her breast is planned to be conserved.

The operation will be jointly conducted by doctors from the Shizuoka Cancer Center and the university hospital.
Empress Emerita to undergo surgery on Sunday | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Quote:

[...] The surgery is expected to take about four hours. She will be given general anesthesia.

She will likely be able to leave the hospital in several days. [...]

Prisma 09-07-2019 02:04 AM

On September 7th, Empress Emerita Michiko was admitted to the University of Tokyo Hospital for breast cancer surgery scheduled for 10am on Sunday. [Sankei]

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...9070026-p1.jpg
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2019/09...0073000p/9.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...00887_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...00888_comm.jpg

Empress Emerita in hospital for surgery | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Quote:

[...] She was welcomed by the hospital chief on her arrival. She nodded to journalists and headed for her room.

She will go through checkups and treatments for her surgery on Saturday.

A health checkup in July revealed a tumorous lump in the mammary gland of her left breast.

The diagnosis was stage one cancer that does not appear to have spread.

Surgeons from the hospital and the Shizuoka Cancer Center will remove the tumor on Sunday. It is expected to take about four hours under general anesthesia.

[...]

Emperor Emeritus Akihito is scheduled to visit the hospital on Sunday and sometime after the operation. He is reportedly worried the Empress Emerita will be alone.

The Empress Emerita is expected to leave the hospital in several days
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxoEIE_JMEo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrTnX6XTxRE

Ista 09-07-2019 02:39 AM

Sending my best wishes for a safe surgery, and a quick and complete recovery to the Empress Emerita, and hoping that she will be back home soon.

Prisma 09-08-2019 02:00 AM

Emperor Emeritus Akihito visited his wife Empress Emerita Michiko before her 10am breast cancer surgery on September 8th. He arrived at the University of Tokyo Hospital around 9:30am. He visited the retired Empress with their daughter Sayako Kuroda. The retired Emperor returned to Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace and will go back to the hospital after the operation.

Asahi gallery, AP Images

Empress Emerita undergoes breast cancer surgery | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Quote:

[...] Emperor Emeritus Akihito entered her hospital room ahead of the surgery on Sunday. He and the couple's only daughter, Sayako Kuroda, reportedly accompanied the Empress Emerita to the operating theater.

The Imperial Household Agency plans to announce the results of the surgery later on Sunday.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNuLueZrsT4

Prisma 09-08-2019 03:04 PM

In evening of September 8th, the IHA announced the post-surgical progress of Empress Emerita Michiko's breast cancer operation:
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy was performed and initial results show no metastasis, so axillary lymph node dissection was not performed
- Size of tumor was less than 1cm
- Total area removed was about 5cm
- Final pathology report is expected in 1-2 weeks
- Any adjuvant therapy depends on pathology report, possibly hormone therapy

Emperor Emeritus Akihito received the news with his daughter Sayako Kuroda at the hospital and is relieved. The surgery progress was reported to Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako who were visiting Akita Prefecture and the Crown Prince Akishino couple.

Sources: Sankei, Jiji, NHK

Ista 09-08-2019 03:09 PM

This is very good preliminary news, and here's hoping that the pathology report is an excellent one.

I hope Michiko is resting comfortably and will soon be home.

Prisma 09-10-2019 01:05 AM

Empress Emerita to Leave Hospital on Tuesday | Nippon.com
Quote:

Japan's Empress Emerita Michiko, who underwent successful surgery to remove cancer in her left breast on Sunday, will be discharged from hospital on Tuesday afternoon, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday.

[...]

She has not been able to eat properly, but she is gradually regaining her appetite, the agency said. Also, she left her hospital room and walked in the hallway on Monday, it said.

Her husband, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, visited the hospital Monday afternoon for the second straight day. [...]
Empress Emerita to leave hospital on Tuesday | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News

ETA: Empress Emerita Michiko was discharged from University of Tokyo Hospital after 2pm on September 10th.

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...9100023-p1.jpg
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/201...1517_01_02.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...02338_comm.jpg
https://twitter.com/asahi_photo/stat...10937720012800
https://twitter.com/nhk_news/status/1171312665030987776
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOF-_J-wVok

Ista 09-11-2019 12:21 AM

It's nice to see the Empress Emerita looking very much herself. I hope she'll be able to regain her appetite and her strength now that she is home. There's something about hospitals that just kills the appetite even in the best cases.

Prisma 09-21-2019 12:57 AM

Excellent news!

Empress Emerita's Breast Cancer Completely Removed | Nippon.com
Quote:

Japanese Empress Emerita Michiko's breast cancer has been completely removed and no metastasis was observed, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday.

The agency announced the result of the final pathology examination of the 84-year-old former Empress [...]

Her postoperative progress has been smooth, the agency said.

The Empress Emerita will skip radiation therapy because the risk of cancer coming back is low. She will undergo hormone therapy to prevent female hormones that could cause breast cancer to grow, the agency said.

[...]

Prisma 10-07-2019 12:50 PM

On October 7th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko enjoyed Ryukyu dances at the National Theatre in Chiyoda, Tokyo. They have a close relationship with renowned Okinawan dancer Fusako Shida, who appeared in the 5th performance with her daughter Maki.

Photos: AP Images

https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2019/10...0284000p/9.jpg
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0032803086.jpg
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...0070036-p1.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q9rIky5JNc

Prisma 10-15-2019 11:30 AM

The retired Imperial couple are greatly saddened by the devastation of Typhoon No.19. Most of Empress Emerita Michiko's birthday events on October 20 will be cancelled. The celebration was already simplified in consideration of the enthronement but now, only the birthday luncheon with the Emperor Naruhito's family, Akishino family, and Kuroda couple will be held.

Sources: Sankei, Jiji

Prisma 10-19-2019 08:08 PM

Empress Emerita Michiko turns 85 on October 20th.

Asahi gallery, IHA

Empress Emerita Michiko turns 85 | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Quote:

[...] The Imperial Household Agency says both the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita are pleased to see Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako fulfilling their duties.

The agency quoted the couple as hoping that the enthronement ceremony next week will end in a success.

The Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita are paying attention to the situation in disaster-hit regions.

[...]

The couple now lives in peace, walking together in the morning and dining together three times a day.

The agency says the couple is also preparing for the switch of residences with the Emperor's family by the end of March. [...]
Empress Emerita Michiko turns 85, worries about typhoon victims: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:

[...] The empress emerita treasures her time with Emperor Emeritus Akihito and always eats together with her husband, the agency said.

Her daily life now revolves around preparations to relocate to the Takanawa residence, where the couple will stay temporarily before moving into the renovated Togu Palace on the Akasaka Estate, both in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, according to the agency.

Michiko and Akihito are scheduled to move to the Takanawa residence by the end of March after the completion of New Year’s-related ceremonies. [...]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y98AYg6EZ_4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOTLHiT_qJ0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orT9kWa0hAM

Prisma 10-21-2019 01:09 AM

Tweets and video of Emperor Naruhito's family, Akishino family, and Kuroda couple entering/leaving the Imperial Palace for Empress Emerita Michiko's birthday luncheon on October 20.

https://twitter.com/yuumegetuka/stat...50963803832320
https://twitter.com/yuumegetuka/stat...38427360522241
https://twitter.com/FNN_News/status/1186129229580308480
https://twitter.com/anjilin63768128/...98825803685888
https://twitter.com/ImperialJPNfan/s...48473398460416
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPRb41Weo1o

Lumutqueen 11-01-2019 07:04 AM

Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko are at the Bronze Rugby Final match between Wales and New Zealand. They were just shown on TV. The match is taking place in Tokyo.

Prisma 11-02-2019 12:25 AM

:previous:

Getty Images

https://twitter.com/rugbyworldcupjp/...49319472881664
https://twitter.com/rugbyworldcupjp/...08731163873285
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoB1KqWQTrc
On October 29th, Empress Emerita Michiko visited the Tokyo church before Sadako Ogata's funeral. Michiko was Mrs. Ogata's junior at the University of the Sacred Heart and longtime friends.

Sadako Ogata was former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, President of JICA, and professor emeritus at Sophia University. She died on October 22nd.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4M7wE3F7En/

HereditaryPrincess 11-02-2019 06:51 PM

:previous: Looking good! Nice to see Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the match.

Prisma 11-05-2019 11:50 PM

On November 6th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko visited the "Imperial Family and the People" exhibition at the National Archives of Japan in Chiyoda, Tokyo.

AP Images

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1060022-p1.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EIqQ1zUUcAE4Q7y.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsblAOPDuFA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wbOe6xlRlQ

Prisma 11-11-2019 04:08 PM

On November 11th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko visited the exhibition "Shosoin: Essential Treasures of Ancient Japan Passed Down by the Imperial Family" at Tokyo National Museum in Taitō, Tokyo.

AP Images

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJHgd9kU4AEJOFb.jpg
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2019/11...0246000p/9.jpg
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2019/11...0245000p/9.jpg

Prisma 11-21-2019 12:10 AM

On November 20th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko attended the Berlin Philharmonic concert conducted by Zubin Mehta at Suntory Hall in Minato, Tokyo. They arrived for the 2nd half of the performance and enjoyed Beethoven's Symphony No. 3.

Getty Images, AP Images

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1200044-p1.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjNTRJkxoXA

Prisma 12-13-2019 03:38 AM

On December 13th, the IHA revealed Empress Emerita Michiko has vomited blood several times since September. It's not related to breast cancer surgery but said to be caused by mental stress. After taking medication, there are no symptoms recently and she's being monitored.

According to the agency, her sudden weight drop since spring has not returned to normal and her BNP levels (a cardiac test) has not improved. There is no change in the schedule for moving to Takanawa Imperial Residence from next January to March.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko are receiving regular medical checkups this week and next week.

Sources: Jiji, Sankei, NHK

Sending healing vibes to Empress Emerita Michiko.

Can't the move be postponed? However, I've read Michiko feels strongly the Emperor should move into the Imperial Residence as soon as possible. The Emperor Emeritus' household is busy organizing, packing, etc.

SLV 12-13-2019 04:00 AM

That is not good news. I hope she will get better soon.

Ista 12-13-2019 09:32 AM

I'm so sorry to hear this. I don't think she has looked well for a while--her skin has a kind of waxy, transparent look that I had supposed was related to the breast cancer surgery, but perhaps not.

She does seem very susceptible to stress (not surprising) but I would have thought she would be under much less stress now than in the past.

Best wishes to her for peace of mind, and a serene and healthy new year.

Prisma 12-14-2019 12:58 AM

Various English articles

Former Empress Michiko suffers weight loss, vomiting: agency - Kyodo News
Quote:

Former Empress Michiko has been in poor health since mid-September, vomiting multiple times and losing weight, with stress seen as one of the possible causes, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday.

The 85-year-old underwent breast cancer surgery in early September and has since been receiving hormonal treatment. The agency said the post-surgery treatment is not suspected to be the cause of her vomiting, which included a small amount of blood.

She has also been found to have a cardiac valve abnormality and irregular pulse when she underwent a checkup in June over a rise in levels of heart failure markers. The levels remain high and doctors are monitoring her condition, according to the agency.

[...]
Palace: Empress Emerita Michiko losing weight, feels poorly: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:

[...]

It was the most detailed update on the health of the 85-year-old retired empress since her surgery.

Michiko has been undergoing hormone treatment for breast cancer since the surgery, but while a side-effect is often nausea, this did not appear to be the cause of the vomiting, which was mixed with blood, the official said.

The source of the blood also does not appear to be her stomach, with doctors continuing to observe the situation.

A local news agency report said that earlier this year test results that can indicate poor heart function led to further investigation that found a heart valve malfunction, but the official declined to confirm this.

[...]
Japan's Empress Emerita Michiko Vomited Blood: Agency | Nippon.com
Quote:

[...]

Her condition has improved recently and she has stopped vomiting as a result of medication treatment, and doctors will keep an eye on her condition for the time being, according to the officials.

According to the agency, the former Empress has not recovered from a sudden drop in her body weight after spring, and her heart is still experiencing a large amount of stress.

[...]
Empress Emerita suffers 'stress-induced' sickness | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Quote:

[...]

The agency says the 85-year-old Empress Emerita vomited several times since mid-September and she was apparently bleeding from the stomach.

The agency adds that she is under medication and has not vomited for about a month.

[...] The agency has disclosed that she suddenly lost weight from around April, and a blood test in June showed an increased level of a cardiac hormone that points to a high risk of heart failure.

Agency officials say these symptoms have not improved, and suggest that media reports about the Imperial family may have been one of the causes of the mental stress.

They say Emperor Emeritus Akihito's health condition has not changed and the couple will undergo regular checkups in the coming days.

Ista 12-14-2019 10:45 AM

This is all quite a bit more detail than we usually get, which seems somehow a bit ominous to me. We'll see what the next checkup shows, but my best wishes to the Empress Emerita.

Somebody 12-14-2019 11:30 AM

The medical report is indeed very detailed. I don't think most other courts would provide such details account. Is this a Japanese expectation/consistent with Japanese culture?

Tatiana Maria 12-14-2019 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prisma (Post 2274009)
Quote:

Agency officials say these symptoms have not improved, and suggest that media reports about the Imperial family may have been one of the causes of the mental stress.

In the beginning I was somewhat surprised that the IHA explicitly blamed the Empress Emerita's health issues on mental stress, since on other occasions the imperial family/household agency has attempted to downplay stress-induced illness. However, the reason for transparency becomes clear if the mission is to silence unwanted rumors. But which media reports are causing trouble for the empress emerita and/or the IHA? Have there been more negative rumors about difficult relationships within the family, Princess Mako's partner, and so on?

Duke of Marmalade 12-14-2019 01:14 PM

While I wish the emerita a speedy recovery, some details are better left unsaid in public. Whatever strategy is behind it, nobody needs to know that she has been vomiting blood.

Ista 12-14-2019 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria (Post 2274075)
In the beginning I was somewhat surprised that the IHA explicitly blamed the Empress Emerita's health issues on mental stress, since on other occasions the imperial family/household agency has attempted to downplay stress-induced illness. However, the reason for transparency becomes clear if the mission is to silence unwanted rumors. But which media reports are causing trouble for the empress emerita and/or the IHA? Have there been more negative rumors about difficult relationships within the family, Princess Mako's partner, and so on?

Back in the spring there was a series of "bits" in the more mainstream press about difficult relationships between the Akishino family and the soon-to-be Emperor and Empress, some negative references to Hisahito (spoiled, etc), some references to Sayako Kuroda's marriage, as well as Noriko Senge's marriage, and dredging up the Princess Mako issue--nothing that hasn't been said before. I'm not sure about the less reputable press, Prisma seems to be able to keep up with that more, since that is very seldom translated into English. I'm hoping she will weigh in here.

maria-olivia 12-14-2019 03:10 PM

How was the relationship between the two Empressses ?

HereditaryPrincess 12-14-2019 05:48 PM

This isn't looking good indeed. I hope that Empress Michiko pulls through.

An Ard Ri 12-14-2019 06:50 PM

Wishing Empress Michiko a speedy recovery though it does not sound good given her age.

Tatiana Maria 12-14-2019 10:31 PM

The fact that HM's symptoms have already been alleviated to some degree by the administered medication is a positive indicator for her hopeful recovery. (And it is interesting in itself that (correction: some of) the symptoms of the illness blamed by the IHA on stressful media reports were not announced when they were at their most severe but after some improvement had been observed.)


Quote:

Originally Posted by Ista (Post 2274086)
Back in the spring there was a series of "bits" in the more mainstream press about difficult relationships between the Akishino family and the soon-to-be Emperor and Empress, some negative references to Hisahito (spoiled, etc), some references to Sayako Kuroda's marriage, as well as Noriko Senge's marriage, and dredging up the Princess Mako issue--nothing that hasn't been said before. I'm not sure about the less reputable press, Prisma seems to be able to keep up with that more, since that is very seldom translated into English. I'm hoping she will weigh in here.

Thanks! The reports in spring would, I think, broadly correspond to the timeframe communicated by the IHA regarding the then-Empress's weight loss (though the abdication also took place around the same time), and I too am hoping that Prisma can weigh in on whether the negative references have multiplied or expanded as of late (and a thank you to Prisma for the daily updates).


Quote:

Originally Posted by maria-olivia (Post 2274104)
How was the relationship between the two Empressses ?

Although it is translated from a book published 14 years ago, I think the following post is pertinent to your question and worth reading:

https://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...tml#post737790

maria-olivia 12-15-2019 10:25 AM

Thank you , you did my day Tatiana.
Thank you also to be so well informed about my Royal Family qnd their private life.

Ista 12-15-2019 10:53 AM

I think the important thing to remember about the Frtiz and Kobayashi book is that much of it is speculative, and it's not always easy to parse out what is factual, and what is their speculation. Some of their assertions about the private thoughts and actions of the Imperial family are given without any reference to sources, or with questionable sources, and, in my opinion, while interesting, should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.

vkrish 12-15-2019 01:26 PM

I understand issues with Princess Mako. But what happened to Sayako marriage? Was there any discussion about this earlier?

Prisma 12-19-2019 05:09 AM

:previous: I can't find the original article but some tabloids speculated about marriage trouble when Sayako's husband Yoshiki was seen eating alone at Ootoya restaurants which focuses on Japanese comfort food. In addition, he did not attend Empress Michiko's 83rd birthday dinner in 2017 although he was originally on the schedule.

Another publication dailyshincho.jp followed up on the fuss in March 2018 and it was much ado about nothing. Mr. Kuroda lives near the neighborhood and frequents the restaurant, often ordering the set meal with chicken and black vinegar vegetable, sometimes dining alone for 900 yen. He missed Empress Michiko's birthday dinner due to overtime.

Women's magazine Jisin report summarizes the media stories. Allegedly Empress Michiko reads the newspapers daily and is an avid Internet user so she's reading such articles/comments about Princess Mako and Kei Komuro, dual authority issues, bullying Masako, and moving stress.

Jisin publishes the problematic stories, some examples:

Jisin 1 - A day after being discharged from the hospital for breast cancer surgery, Empress Michiko attended Crown Princess Kiko's 53rd birthday dinner. Mako's not talking to Kiko so Michiko allegedly wanted to use the family dinner to somehow influence Mako.

Jisin 2 - Moving headache. Despite recovering from breast cancer surgery, Empress Michiko is working late preparing for the move. 30 years worth of packing and organizing. When Michiko and Akihito moved to the Imperial Residence in December 1993, they needed some 100 trucks. This move will need about the same but Takanawa Imperial Residence is smaller.

Jisin 3: Princess Mako made 2 trips to the Imperial Palace on July 5 before her official visit to Peru. Allegedly she worshipped at the sanctuaries in the morning, returned home to Akasaka Estate, then visited her grandparents around 1pm at the Imperial Residence for unknown reasons and then returned to Akasaka Estate to visit the Imperial couple. Rather inefficient... Anyway, some "friend" claims Michiko confessed she's worried about her grandchild (doesn't say which grandchild but assumed to be Mako)

Jisin's Imperial House tag includes various articles about Akishino family troubles, Kiko trusts Mako less so that's why Hisahito accompanied Kako to a speech contest recently instead of one of Mako's events, etc.

Jprime's Imperial House tag - mostly Akishino family troubles, Kei Komuro problem, Kako's dancing, engagement rumor for Tsuguko

kikunomon.news seems to be made up of former Imperial / weekly magazine authors - more Akishino family troubles, apparently Kiko "rushed" to Hisako following Tsuguko's engagement rumor asking them to consider Mako's feelings, Michiko allegedly opposes the University of Tokyo for Aiko...

Prisma 12-22-2019 08:01 PM

Emperor Emeritus Akihito turns 86 on December 23.

Asahi
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...2230002-p1.jpg
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2019/12...0223000p/9.jpg

IHA released photos and video taken on October 30, along with a statement on his activities since the abdication.

- Emperor Emeritus Akihito is pleased and relieved all succession events have been completed.
- Sadness and concern for victims from the typhoons, storms, and heavy rainfall.
- Condolences on the deaths of Yukiya Amano (Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency), Yoji Kurata and Keiji Nagai (soldiers/survivors Their Majesties met during their 2015 visit to Palau), Dr. Tetsu Nakamura (killed in Afghanistan) and Sadako Ogata (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).
- Since the abdication, the retired Imperial couple are preparing to move to Takanawa Imperial Residence.
- Emperor Emeritus Akihito visits the Imperial Palace's Institute for Biology 2-3 times a week to study goby fish and is preparing a research paper on Okinawa goby.
- No particular change in physical condition at present.
- Morning walks, sometimes to the East Gardens with the Empress Emerita at 7am on Sundays
- Their Majesties read after breakfast. For a while, they read Makoto Ōoka's "A Poet's Anthology: The Range of Japanese Poetry" and also read foreign books such as Blaise Pascal's "Pensées". Recently, they're reading Yamamoto Kenkichi's "Yearly Chronicle of Words"
- Their Majesties often watch TV programs about festivals, nature, and people's lives. In the evenings, Emperor Emeritus Akihito plays cello and Empress Emerita Michiko plays piano.
- Emperor Emeritus Akihito kindly accepts the age of 86 and values his time with Empress Emerita Michiko.

Birthday events are held at Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace.

9:30am : greeting from Emperor Emeritus' chief of staff
10:15, 10:20am : greetings from senior IHA staff
10:45am : greetings from Prime Ministers, Speakers of both houses, Chief Justice of Supreme Court, etc.
11:10am : greetings from noble society?
11:35am : greetings from IHA staff and IHA police
11:45am : greetings from former IHA and former IHA police
Noon : lunch with Emperor, Empress, Imperial family, former Imperial family, and relatives
3:30, 3:45, 4:40, 5pm : tea with former ministers, association members, etc.
6:30pm : greetings from minor Imperial members (Aiko, Hisahito)
7pm : dinner with Emperor, Empress, Crown Prince couple, Kuroda couple
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1md5-ztuBE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP5uVojwFO4

Ista 12-22-2019 08:05 PM

That sounds like an absolutely exhausting day for anyone, of any age, much less someone who is turning 86. I hope he is able to at least enjoy some of it.

Prisma 12-22-2019 09:10 PM

I agree. I wonder how long this birthday agenda will continue... Empress Emerita Michiko's birthday schedule was probably similar before most events were cancelled following Typhoon No. 19.

Here's Akihito's 85th birthday schedule as emperor in 2018. After abdication, these 7 events were eliminated:
- 9am worship at Imperial Palace Sanctuaries
- 3 balcony appearances for general public greetings (10:20, 11, 11:40am)
- greetings from adult Imperial family, former Imperial family, and relatives (10:30, 10:40am)
- tea with diplomatic corps (3pm)

ETA: Japan's former Emperor Akihito turns 86 - Kyodo News
Quote:

[...] The former emperor continues to live in the Imperial Palace but has largely withdrawn from public life since his abdication on April 30, a day before his elder son Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne.

Although he suffered a bout of cerebral anemia in July, he has regained his health and takes a walk around his residence in the early morning every day with former Empress Michiko, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

[...]

The imperial couple has been preparing to move to the Takanawa Imperial Residence in Tokyo's Minato Ward by late March.

The former emperor sometimes plays cello to piano accompaniment by the former empress. He also frequents a biology research institute inside the Imperial Palace to continue his study on the goby fish and plans to compile new academic papers, the agency said.

He has attended concerts and art exhibitions in his private time as well as the third-place match of the Rugby World Cup in November.

[...]
ETA: Emperor Emeritus Turns 86, Happy with Successful Succession Events - JIJI PRESS
Quote:

Japanese Emperor Emeritus Akihito turned 86 on Monday and now feels happy as a series of events for the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, his eldest son, have been carried out successfully.

[...]

The Emperor Emeritus does research on a goby at the Biological Laboratory at the palace two or three times a week to write a research paper.

On top of a routine walk in the palace in the morning, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko continue their practice of reading a book aloud in turns for a short time after breakfast. They are now working on "Kotoba no Saijiki" (Yearly Chronicle of Words) of the late Japanese literary critic Kenkichi Yamamoto.

Tatiana Maria 12-23-2019 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prisma (Post 2275802)
I agree. I wonder how long this birthday agenda will continue... Empress Emerita Michiko's birthday schedule was probably similar before most events were cancelled following Typhoon No. 19.

Here's Akihito's 85th birthday schedule as emperor in 2018. After abdication, these 7 events were eliminated:
- 9am worship at Imperial Palace Sanctuaries
- 3 balcony appearances for general public greetings (10:20, 11, 11:40am)
- greetings from adult Imperial family, former Imperial family, and relatives (10:30, 10:40am)
- tea with diplomatic corps (3pm)

ETA: Japan's former Emperor Akihito turns 86 - Kyodo News

Quote:

[...] The former emperor continues to live in the Imperial Palace but has largely withdrawn from public life since his abdication on April 30, a day before his elder son Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne.

Although he suffered a bout of cerebral anemia in July, he has regained his health and takes a walk around his residence in the early morning every day with former Empress Michiko, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

[...]

The imperial couple has been preparing to move to the Takanawa Imperial Residence in Tokyo's Minato Ward by late March.

The former emperor sometimes plays cello to piano accompaniment by the former empress. He also frequents a biology research institute inside the Imperial Palace to continue his study on the goby fish and plans to compile new academic papers, the agency said.

He has attended concerts and art exhibitions in his private time as well as the third-place match of the Rugby World Cup in November.

[...]
ETA: Emperor Emeritus Turns 86, Happy with Successful Succession Events - JIJI PRESS

Quote:

Japanese Emperor Emeritus Akihito turned 86 on Monday and now feels happy as a series of events for the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, his eldest son, have been carried out successfully.

[...]

The Emperor Emeritus does research on a goby at the Biological Laboratory at the palace two or three times a week to write a research paper.

On top of a routine walk in the palace in the morning, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko continue their practice of reading a book aloud in turns for a short time after breakfast. They are now working on "Kotoba no Saijiki" (Yearly Chronicle of Words) of the late Japanese literary critic Kenkichi Yamamoto.

Glad to hear that the Emperor Emeritus has remained active and that his wish for more free time for his goby research has been fulfilled. I will miss the press conferences held on his (and the empress's) birthday; do you know if they have ceased owing to protocol or simply to reduce the strain along with the other pared birthday activities?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Prisma (Post 2275049)
:previous: I can't find the original article but some tabloids speculated about marriage trouble when Sayako's husband Yoshiki was seen eating alone at Ootoya restaurants which focuses on Japanese comfort food. In addition, he did not attend Empress Michiko's 83rd birthday dinner in 2017 although he was originally on the schedule.

Another publication dailyshincho.jp followed up on the fuss in March 2018 and it was much ado about nothing. Mr. Kuroda lives near the neighborhood and frequents the restaurant, often ordering the set meal with chicken and black vinegar vegetable, sometimes dining alone for 900 yen. He missed Empress Michiko's birthday dinner due to overtime.

Women's magazine Jisin report summarizes the media stories. Allegedly Empress Michiko reads the newspapers daily and is an avid Internet user so she's reading such articles/comments about Princess Mako and Kei Komuro, dual authority issues, bullying Masako, and moving stress.

Jisin publishes the problematic stories, some examples:

Jisin 1 - A day after being discharged from the hospital for breast cancer surgery, Empress Michiko attended Crown Princess Kiko's 53rd birthday dinner. Mako's not talking to Kiko so Michiko allegedly wanted to use the family dinner to somehow influence Mako.

Jisin 2 - Moving headache. Despite recovering from breast cancer surgery, Empress Michiko is working late preparing for the move. 30 years worth of packing and organizing. When Michiko and Akihito moved to the Imperial Residence in December 1993, they needed some 100 trucks. This move will need about the same but Takanawa Imperial Residence is smaller.

Jisin 3: Princess Mako made 2 trips to the Imperial Palace on July 5 before her official visit to Peru. Allegedly she worshipped at the sanctuaries in the morning, returned home to Akasaka Estate, then visited her grandparents around 1pm at the Imperial Residence for unknown reasons and then returned to Akasaka Estate to visit the Imperial couple. Rather inefficient... Anyway, some "friend" claims Michiko confessed she's worried about her grandchild (doesn't say which grandchild but assumed to be Mako)

Jisin's Imperial House tag includes various articles about Akishino family troubles, Kiko trusts Mako less so that's why Hisahito accompanied Kako to a speech contest recently instead of one of Mako's events, etc.

Jprime's Imperial House tag - mostly Akishino family troubles, Kei Komuro problem, Kako's dancing, engagement rumor for Tsuguko

kikunomon.news seems to be made up of former Imperial / weekly magazine authors - more Akishino family troubles, apparently Kiko "rushed" to Hisako following Tsuguko's engagement rumor asking them to consider Mako's feelings, Michiko allegedly opposes the University of Tokyo for Aiko...



My utmost thanks for your summaries of magazine articles. Whether their stories are substantiated or not, they are a vital element of the public's views of the imperial family.

Most of the above stories frankly sound rather anodyne, although perhaps an individual as dedicated to her position and concerned with her family's reputation as the Empress Emerita is said to be might experience stress from prolonged exposure to even bland gossip (especially if retirement has left her with even more time to avidly read the Internet and newspapers as Jisin claims she does).

It is interesting, although not surprising, that the stories generally sound as if they center on the female members of the family (for example, one would expect any narrative about Mako and Kei issues to feature her father prominently, more so than her mother).

Prisma 12-24-2019 01:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria (Post 2275970)
Glad to hear that the Emperor Emeritus has remained active and that his wish for more free time for his goby research has been fulfilled. I will miss the press conferences held on his (and the empress's) birthday; do you know if they have ceased owing to protocol or simply to reduce the strain along with the other pared birthday activities?

I suspect protocol and reducing events. Imperial press conferences are more like monologues anyway. :lol:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria (Post 2275970)
My utmost thanks for your summaries of magazine articles. Whether their stories are substantiated or not, they are a vital element of the public's views of the imperial family.

Most of the above stories frankly sound rather anodyne, although perhaps an individual as dedicated to her position and concerned with her family's reputation as the Empress Emerita is said to be might experience stress from prolonged exposure to even bland gossip (especially if retirement has left her with even more time to avidly read the Internet and newspapers as Jisin claims she does).

It is interesting, although not surprising, that the stories generally sound as if they center on the female members of the family (for example, one would expect any narrative about Mako and Kei issues to feature her father prominently, more so than her mother).

You're very welcome! Yeah, women get the brunt of criticism. :bang: Crown Prince Akishino is mentioned occasionally since his birthday press conference basically set a February deadline for Mako and Kei Komuro to respond somehow. However, Crown Princess Kiko gets most of the negativity, particularly about HER child-rearing policy. :whistling:
Nothing about Emperor Emeritus Akihito. Apparently the magazines consider him off-limits. He seems to be unconcerned about Mako's situation while Michiko's risking her health interfering. :rolleyes:

This kikunomon.news article is an example of Michiko allegedly bullying Masako. It claims Michiko praised Kiko in front of Masako at Masako's 56th birthday dinner on December 9, saying Masako's success was due to Kiko's efforts.

Back to Emperor Emeritus Akihito's 86th birthday: Imperial family arrivals at the Imperial Palace for greetings and lunch. Princess Yuriko and Princess Nobuko did not attend due to cough symptoms. [Kyodo]

In the evening, Princess Aiko and Prince Hisahito arrived with their parents for the minor greetings at 6:30pm.

Getty Images, AP Images

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...2230036-p1.jpg
https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/media/2019...T1I50065-1.jpg

Prisma 01-30-2020 01:19 AM

Japan's former Emperor Akihito briefly loses consciousness - Kyodo News
Quote:

Former Emperor Akihito temporarily lost consciousness and collapsed at his residence in Tokyo on Wednesday but a subsequent medical checkup found no abnormalities, the Imperial Household Agency said. [...]
Sankei report:
- Emperor Emeritus Akihito lost consciousness and collapsed at Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace in the evening of January 29.
- Empress Emerita Michiko was in the room and called for the physician with an emergency buzzer.
- When the physician rushed in, the retired Emperor was still unconscious and his breathing resembled snoring.
- Emperor Emeritus Akihito regained consciousness and was taken to the bedroom on a stretcher for further examination.
- He feels well on January 30 and ate breakfast as usual.
- On the morning of January 30th, he had a head MRI and examination with a specialist at the Imperial Household Agency Hospital which did not reveal any diagnosis about what caused the lost of consciousness.

Wishing Emperor Emeritus Akihito a speedy recovery and good health.

ETA: Akihito given MRI brain scan after fainting at his residence:The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:

Emperor Emeritus Akihito underwent an MRI brain scan on Jan. 30 after fainting the previous evening at his residence in the Imperial Palace grounds.

Officials of the Imperial Household Agency said Empress Emerita Michiko was by her husband's side at the time and summoned a doctor with the agency who found Akihito still unconscious and making sounds like snoring.

Akihito, 86, later regained consciousness, but agency officials conducted the MRI scan at the Imperial Household Hospital. Although no signs were found of a stroke, agency officials will continue to monitor his health. [...]

Prisma 03-13-2020 04:30 AM

Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko will leave Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace on March 19. They will stay at Hayama Imperial Villa in Kanagawa Prefecture and the Imperial Stock Farm in Tochigi Prefecture until the 31st. Afterward, the retired couple will live at Takanawa Imperial Residence, which will be renamed Sento Temporary Imperial Palace, for about a year and a half.

Renovations for Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace (formerly Imperial Residence) will begin after April and take 9 months.

After Emperor Naruhito's family moves to the Imperial Residence, his current residence Akasaka Imperial Palace (formerly Togu Palace) will be renovated in 4 months for Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko. When the retired Imperial couple move in, the residence will be renamed Sento Imperial Palace.

Source: Sankei

Photos: Mainichi, Asahi

Ex-Japan Emperor, Empress to Move from Imperial Palace | Nippon.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ha1vZvuCYS0

Prisma 03-19-2020 02:34 AM

On March 19th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko left the Imperial Palace shortly after 10am. Emperor Naruhito's family, Crown Prince Akishino's family, and Sayako Kuroda arrived earlier to attend the send off at Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace.

IHA staff and police lined up before Inui Gate to bid farewell as the motorcade drove past. Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko will stay at Hayama Imperial Villa and the Imperial Stock Farm while their belongings are moved. When they return to Tokyo on March 31, they will live at Takanawa Imperial residence.

NHK reported the IHA did not reveal details of the couple's schedule to prevent people from gathering along the route, a precaution against coronavirus.

Getty Images, Getty Images 2 <-- the caption is wrong, Emperor Naruhito's family isn't moving yet.

Japan's former emperor, empress move out of palace after 26 yrs - Kyodo News
Quote:

Prior to moving, they donated to museums some of the roughly 4,000 gifts they received from foreign dignitaries before Emperor Akihito, 86, abdicated on April 30 last year, the first Japanese monarch to step down in around 200 years.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sogj3bLidcg

Prisma 03-26-2020 02:56 AM

Around 3pm on March 25th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko arrived at JR Utsunomiya Station in Tochigi Prefecture.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu97koGLaZA

Ista 03-26-2020 09:33 AM

It's certainly going to be a big change the the former Emperor and Empress, but perhaps less of a wrench than their move into the palace all those years ago from what had essentially been their family home where they raised their children.

Tatiana Maria 03-27-2020 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ista (Post 2303695)
It's certainly going to be a big change the the former Emperor and Empress, but perhaps less of a wrench than their move into the palace all those years ago from what had essentially been their family home where they raised their children.

Good point. Still, I remember thinking when reading
Quote:

Originally Posted by Prisma (Post 2230958)
Asahi reports on the daily lives of the retired Imperial couple. Emperor Emeritus Akihito visits the Imperial Palace's biology laboratory to study goby. Empress Emerita Michiko cherishes time spent with friends. They are preparing to move to Takanawa Imperial residence. Each day they spend time organizing their belongings, such as deciding what to keep and what to donate to research institutions, specifically academic books and specimens gifted by heads of state.

that it must be have been bittersweet to reminisce over decades of memories from around the world while selecting which ones to part with.


On a side note, could anyone direct me to a map of the imperial residences? I am curious about how closely in proximity the members of the imperial family live to one another.

Prisma 03-28-2020 05:17 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria (Post 2304126)
Good point. Still, I remember thinking when reading

that it must be have been bittersweet to reminisce over decades of memories from around the world while selecting which ones to part with.


On a side note, could anyone direct me to a map of the imperial residences? I am curious about how closely in proximity the members of the imperial family live to one another.

About 6.8 - 8.8km by car (~14 minutes) depends on route according to Google Maps.

A twitter thread from last year about Imperial residences. Most families live at Akasaka Estate.

https://twitter.com/ImperialJPNfan/s...54584384180225

Attachment 302164

Google Earth + Prince Hitachi's residence

Attachment 302165

Prisma 04-01-2020 01:38 AM

On March 31st, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko returned to Tokyo and arrived at Sento Temporary Imperial Palace around 4pm. [Jiji]

The IHA reports plants with significance to the couple were transplanted to the garden from the Imperial Palace, such as seeds from regions impacted by the 2011 earthquake and Princess Michiko roses.

Photos: Asahi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeYlmiMrG3Y

Ista 04-01-2020 09:20 AM

Hopefully the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita will be able to relax and settle in to their new housing for a while. That's a lovely detail about the plantings that were moved to the garden of their new temporary home. The Princess Michiko rose is a very pretty, compact plant, I hope it gives them a lot of pleasure (and not too much blackspot!)

Prisma 05-13-2020 01:52 PM

Akihito, Michiko concerned about medical workers in pandemic : The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:

Under strict precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko have expressed concerns about health care workers and others affected by the pandemic, the Imperial Household Agency said.

The couple moved to a temporary residence in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on March 31 from their residence on the Imperial Palace, where they had lived for 26 years.

[...]

Akihito, 86, and Michiko, 85, have followed the “stay home” campaign urged by the government.

They had planned to regularly visit the Imperial Palace to take strolls and do some research.

But they have abandoned the plan until the pandemic is brought under control. They also rarely have visitors to the new residence.

Their aides who commute to the residence wear masks all the time to protect the elderly couple against infection.

“They remain highly vigilant, including on their commute, not to bring the virus to the residence,” an official with the agency said.

Akihito and Michiko have no particular health problems at the moment, according to the agency.

They have given thoughts toward workers who are playing a crucial role in maintaining society during the pandemic, the agency added.

[...]

Tatiana Maria 05-13-2020 11:03 PM

:previous:

It seems that even after retirement, the emeritus couple still wish to share in the experiences of the people and voice their concerns on social issues to some extent.

Muhler 05-14-2020 03:14 AM

That is both good - and unfortunately needed...

I guess we all recall the government's lack of precautions in regards to exposing members of the public to radioactivity, including milk to school children, after the tsunami and the Fukashima disaster.

Then Emperor Akihito managed to address his concerns in that regards - something that wasn't popular with the government.
He has also on several occasions managed to distance himself from the rising nationalism in Japan, including downplaying Japanese atrocities during WWII, something that infuriated Japan's neighbors. - That wasn't popular either.

Tatiana Maria 05-14-2020 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muhler (Post 2314248)
That is both good - and unfortunately needed...

I guess we all recall the government's lack of precautions in regards to exposing members of the public to radioactivity, including milk to school children, after the tsunami and the Fukashima disaster.

Then Emperor Akihito managed to address his concerns in that regards - something that wasn't popular with the government.
He has also on several occasions managed to distance himself from the rising nationalism in Japan, including downplaying Japanese atrocities during WWII, something that infuriated Japan's neighbors. - That wasn't popular either.

Indeed! Given his history of subtly airing his concerns, I wondered if the comment was an implication that health care workers were overburdened or insufficiently protected - but I haven't seen reports of concerns about the Japanese health care system.

Prisma 05-28-2020 02:02 AM

On May 28th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito visited the Institute of Biology at the Imperial Palace for about 90 minutes. He left around 11:40am. Japan lifted its state of emergency for coronavirus (COVID-19) on Monday.

The former emperor used to visit the Institute of Biology 2-3 times a week before moving to Takanawa Imperial residence and the increase in coronavirus infections.

Japan's former Emperor Akihito visits palace for 1st time since March - Kyodo News

Photos: Asahi, Sankei, Mainichi, Getty Images
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-inptxqqfg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKkmvdMBbAs

Prisma 06-03-2020 10:41 PM

2 Attachment(s)
On June 3rd, Emperor Emeritus Akihito visited the biology research institute at the Imperial Palace in the morning to study fish.

Video: fnn.jp

Attachment 302197

Attachment 302198

Prisma 07-19-2020 02:00 AM

Emperor Emeritus Akihito discovered a new species of Okinawa goby fish. It's his 9th new species discovery, the 1st since 2003 and 1st since abdication. The former emperor's research staff collected fish in waters near Okinawa over 10 years ago. Emperor Emeritus Akihito investigated the number and pattern of sensory arrangements on the heads to determine it was a new species.

He began writing a paper in earnest after abdication and it is expected to be published within the year. As Crown Prince, Akihito published papers almost every year but during his reign, his busy schedule only allowed for 7 goby-related papers.

Source: Yomiuri

Emperor Emeritus Akihito visits the Biology Research Institute 1-2 times a week, most recently on July 13 according to Sankei Imperial Weekly 650.

Tatiana Maria 07-20-2020 04:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prisma (Post 2327792)
Emperor Emeritus Akihito discovered a new species of Okinawa goby fish. It's his 9th new species discovery, the 1st since 2003 and 1st since abdication. The former emperor's research staff collected fish in waters near Okinawa over 10 years ago. Emperor Emeritus Akihito investigated the number and pattern of sensory arrangements on the heads to determine it was a new species.

He began writing a paper in earnest after abdication and it is expected to be published within the year. As Crown Prince, Akihito published papers almost every year but during his reign, his busy schedule only allowed for 7 goby-related papers.

Source: Yomiuri

Emperor Emeritus Akihito visits the Biology Research Institute 1-2 times a week, most recently on July 13 according to Sankei Imperial Weekly 650.

Congratulations to His Majesty!

It seems he has a genuine passion for science and it is not a merely a suitable hobby to occupy the time.

Prisma 09-04-2020 01:37 AM

On August 28th, Emperor Emeritus Akihito visited the biology research institute at the Imperial Palace to study goby fish.

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/2...9040003-p2.jpg
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/2...9040003-p3.jpg


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