Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako Current Events Part 1: May 2019 -

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On May 7th, Emperor Naruhito's family returned to Tokyo from their retreat at the stock farm in Tochigi Prefecture. They entered the Imperial Palace around 5:30pm. Their Majesties will be busy after the break, such as preparations for the state visit to the UK in June.

Sources: TBS, FNN, tv-asahi


More content of May 2 arrival at the farm:

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On May 21st, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako visited Kudan Kindergarten in Chiyoda, Tokyo to mark Children's Day (May 5). They interacted with the children and watched craft activities between kindergarten and 5th grade students from the attached elementary school.

Photos: AP Images, Mainichi, FNN, Asahi

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On May 25th, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako began a 2-day visit to Okayama Prefecture for the 74th National Tree Planting Festival.
  • arrived after 11am
  • briefing from governor
  • visit Okayama Technical High School where 3rd year civil engineering students explained their activities in the local community, such as investigating road deterioration and purifying water.
  • watch Okayama City Junior Orchestra practice for the next day's opening ceremony
  • meet winners of the festival’s poster contest at hotel
  • meet people who made outstanding contributions to greenery in 2023 at convention center
Photos: Mainichi, Asahi, Nikkansports, FNN, AP Images

After 7:30pm, Emperor Naruhito privately visited his 93-year-old aunt Atsuko Ikeda (former princess Yori) at her home within Ikeda Zoo. He stayed for about 30 minutes according to NTV.

Photo: TBS

On May 26th, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako attended the 74th National Tree Planting Festival ceremony in Okayama City. They planted six seedlings and sowed four types of seeds.

In the afternoon, they visited Mabi Fureai Park in Mabi district in Kurashiki City. Heavy rains in July 2018 caused 95 disaster related deaths in Okayama Prefecture with 74 in Mabi. The park, a symbol of reconstruction, is built on the site where the Oda river broke its banks. Mayor Kaori Ito gave an explanation of the damage and recovery progress. Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako bowed towards the areas that suffered the most damage and met victims.

Photos: Asahi, FNN, FNN2, AP Images, AP Images2, Getty Images, Getty Images2

Japan's Emperor and Empress visit rain-damaged community in Okayama Prefecture | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have visited a community in western Japan that was devastated by heavy rain six years ago.


Kurashiki Mayor Ito Kaori explained that most of the residents returned after riverbanks were fortified and houses were rebuilt on elevated ground.

The Emperor and Empress bowed deeply toward the residential area where reconstruction is underway.

They talked with three residents who experienced the disaster.

Takatsuki Motofumi said he told the couple that a local festival has been revived to the joy of the entire community. He said the Empress told him, "That's truly wonderful."

Japan's Imperial Couple Visit Disaster-Hit Area in Okayama | Nippon.com
[....] The Emperor and the Empress also met with people affected by the disaster, including Motofumi Takatsuki, 76, who helped revive a local festival, and local junior high school students.

The visit to Mabi by the Imperial couple marked their first trip to areas in western Japan hit hard by torrential rains in July 2018. In Okayama, 95 people were killed in the disaster, including 74 in Mabi.

Earlier on Sunday, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako took part in a national tree planting festival in the city of Okayama. The Emperor said in a speech that it is an important mission for people to pass on forests to future generations in a healthy manner.

:previous: The Emperor's family attended "Viola Space 2024" concert at Kioi Hall in Chiyoda, Tokyo.

The concert included violist Nobuko Imai and violinist Kei Saotome, a classmate of Princess Aiko from Gakushuin elementary school. Emperor Naruhito attends the Viola Space concert almost every year, whereas this is Empress Masako 2nd time since 1998 and Princess Aiko's first time.

More photos/info: FNN, Asahi, NTV, Jiji


On June 1st, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako privately attended the 150th anniversary ceremony of the Kasumi Kaikan (association of the former kazoku high nobility). They arrived at the venue Tokyo Kaikan around 10:30am before the 11am ceremony and left in the early afternoon. This is Empress Masako's first visit to Kasumi Kaikan.

The Kasumi Kaikan is a social group for former aristocrats, mainly heads of families, that was established on June 1, 1874 as the Kazoku Kaikan, and was renamed when the aristocracy was abolished after the war. Members of the Imperial Family are honorary members. The association also supports Imperial court events such as Utakai Hajime (Imperial New Year's Poetry Reading).

Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Akishino couple attended the 140th anniversary ceremony. More recently, the Emeritus and Akishino couples with Princess Kako attended a meeting with Shimazu family at Kasumi Kaikan in April.

Arrival photos: FNN, TBS

Ahead of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako's wedding anniversary on June 9th, the Imperial Household Agency released private photos of the family's retreat at the Imperial Stock Farm from May. The 21 photos include photos taken by Emperor Naruhito.

The family harvested bamboo, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, etc. Princess Aiko was reunited with the cow "Rainbow," she named last year. Photos show the family biking and spending time with horses and lambs.

Photos: FNN, Asahi, NHK, NTV, Nikkansports

Another 7 photos were released of the family's cats Mii and Seven, including Princess Aiko feeding stray cats when she was a 3rd grade student (May 2010). Empress Masako brought some of these photos to show a guest at the spring garden party.

Photo: Mainichi

Photos of Japanese Emperor Naruhito's Family Released | Nippon.com
[...] The family stayed at the Imperial farm on May 2-7, during the country's Golden Week holiday period.

Meanwhile, some of the seven photos of cats show "Mii" and "Seven," both living with the Emperor's family. In other photos, taken in May 2010, are cats being fed by Princess Aiko, then a third grader at Gakushuin Primary School in Tokyo, after they were rescued by the princess around the family's then residence in Tokyo's Minato Ward.

According to an aide, the family rescued a mother cat and four kittens near the residence. The mother cat, named "Ningen," or Human, died in May 2016. One of the kittens, given the name Mii, and Seven, adopted from a shelter, are now living with the Emperor's family at the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda Ward of the Japanese capital.

:previous: Pictures of the imperial family’s beloved cats released to news media | The Asahi Shimbun


On June 7th, Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako and Princess Aiko attended the Vienna Boys Choir performance at Tokyo Opera City in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Photos: FNN, AP Images, Asahi

On the morning of July 4th, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, in the form of "proxy worship," sent messengers to the mausoleums of Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun to report the completion of the UK state visit.

Source: NTV


On July 5th, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako visited the Emeritus couple to pay respects and report on the UK state visit. They entered Akasaka Estate around 4pm and stayed about 40 minutes.

Photos: Sankei, Jiji, Getty Images

Later on July 8th, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako attended audiences at the Imperial Palace's small dining room Rensui.
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