Imperial Family of Japan Current Events Part 3: May 2017 -

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Site Team
Jan 29, 2005

Welcome to part 3 of the thread for the Current Events of the Imperial Family of Japan!

You can find the old thread here:

** Imperial Family of Japan Current Events 2: June 2008 - April 2017 **

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Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh met with Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, and CP Naruhito on May 11th while she was visiting Japan for the 27th Global Summit of Women (GWS).

Expressing his joy to meet Vice President Thinh again, Emperor Akihito affirmed his support for the bilateral ties and pledged to make more contributions to it. He hoped the ties will reach new heights in the future.

At the meeting with Crown Prince Naruhito, Vice President Thinh said she hopes the Japanese Royal Family and the crown prince in particular will continue supporting the strengthening and deepening of the friendship and cooperation between the nations.

She invited the crown prince to visit Vietnam on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties in 2018.

Crown Prince Naruhito showed his joy at the flourishing all-around ties between the two countries, and thanked Vietnam for its assistance to help Japan overcome consequences caused by tsunamis in 2011.


The crown prince said he is looking forward to making a visit to Vietnam in order to understand more about the country’s history and people.

Vice President meets Japanese Emperor Akihito | Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus)
On May 21st, the Crown Prince and Akishino families helped Emperor Akihito plant rice seeds at the Imperial Palace.

Photos of the Akishino family: Asahi

ETA: Video of the 2 families entering the palace.
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Empress Michiko, Princess Kiko, Princess Nobuko, and Princess Hisako attended the National Red Cross Convention at the Meiji Jingu Kaikan in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo on May 25th. The Empress presented medals, certificates, and honors to individuals and organizations that contributed to the Red Cross' activities. It's also the 140th anniversary of the Japanese Red Cross' founding. Last year's convention was canceled due to the Kumamoto earthquake.

Crown Princess Masako and Princess Hanako had to cancel for health reasons. Masako has a cold and fever; Hanako has lower back pain.

Photos: Sankei, Jiji, Getty Images
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Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako, Princess Hisako and Princess Nobuko attended a Western Music concert performed by the Imperial Music Band in Tokyo today, June 22:

** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** Pic 4 ** Pic 5 **
Physician and honorary head of St. Luke's International Hospital, Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara died on July 18 at age 105. He was a longtime associate of the Imperial family, especially Empress Michiko. Dr. Hinohara was her mother Fumiko Shoda's doctor. He was awarded the Order of Culture in 2005 and invited to the 2006 spring garden party. In March 2006, he served a leading role when Crown Princess Masako visited St. Luke's Pediatric Medical Center. Dr. Hinohara and Empress Michiko enjoyed a concert by South Korean tenor Bae Jae-chul last July. He also treated Prince Mikasa for many years including the hospitalization last year.

Sources: Sankei, Asahi

Shigeaki Hinohara, Japan's centenarian doctor, dies at 105 - The Mainichi

Japan doctor who practiced until months before his death dies at 105 | Reuters
Empress Michiko, Crown Princess Masako, Princess Kiko, and Princess Nobuko attended the 46th Florence Nightingale ceremony in Minato-ku, Tokyo on August 2nd. Akiko Ito, deputy director of Nagoya Shinji Red Cross Hospital and deputy director of the nursing department, was among the award recipients. Masako attended for the first time since 2003's ceremony.

Photos: Sankei
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She looks so very lovely and her smile shows she is happy. It is really nice to see her out doing this and the color of the suit becomes her.
In the 2nd video, the gentleman escorting the Imperial ladies and helping Empress Michiko onto the stage is Tadateru Konoe, current President of the Japanese Red Cross Society and husband of ex-Princess Yasuko of Mikasa.
On August 8th, Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince Akishino met with Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace in the afternoon. The meetings began in 2011 and occur about monthly since July 2012. Although this meeting happened on the anniversary of Emperor Akihito's video message, the IHA state it was not to mark the milestone.

Photos: Sankei
Photos of the IHA's "The Imperial Family and Bonbonnieres - Tracing Their History" exhibition, July 15 - September 10.


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

A few more at The 77th Exhibits, The Museum of the Imperial Collections, Sannomaru Shozokan

Thank you for the translations. Very pretty and ornately decorated! The bonbonnière replicas of a tank and an airplane in the 1930s are really conspicuous.
On September 11th, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko received a lecture from Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History director Kenji Fuji, ahead of the annual festival on the 25th, which marks the 400th anniversary of Emperor Go-Yōzei's death. The Tokugawa shogunate began during Go-Yōzei's reign. CP Naruhito and CP Masako also attended the lecture.

CP couple arrival:

On September 12th, Empress Michiko visited Princess Hanako at Ariake Hospital of Cancer Research Institute where she is being treated for lumbar spondylitis spondylosis.

Source: Sankei Imperial Weekly #504
CP Naruhito, Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko, Princess Mako, Princess Hisako, and Princess Ayako attended an autumn ritual at the Imperial Palace on September 23rd.
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Members of the Imperial family will visit Ehime Prefecture for the 72nd National Sports Tournament held in Matsuyama city in late September to early October.
  • Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visit September 29 - October 1 and attend the tournament’s opening ceremony on the 30th. Other agenda includes visits to the prefecture's art museum, aquarium, and a kendo match. The Imperial couple last visited Ehime Prefecture 24 years ago in November 1993.
  • Princess Akiko visits October 2-3
  • Princess Ayako visits October 2-4
  • Princess Yoko visits October 4-5
  • Princess Mako visits October 5-7 which includes a visit to Imaji City, and attending badminton, sumo wrestling, and volleyball matches.
  • Princess Nobuko visits October 6-8
  • Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko visit October 9-10 for the tournament's closing ceremony.
Sources:, Jiji
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:previous: Ehime prefecture posted the agenda (PDF)

Princess Akiko
Oct 2: Travel from Kyoto to Osaka to Ehime, Luncheon at Kumakogen Choyakuba Kuma Community Center, Rugby competition, visit Ehime Prefecture Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Institute (Kumagaurahacho), Naginata competition, Dogo Onsen
Oct 3: Ehime University tour, Luncheon in Yawatahama, Softball competition, Ehime Prefectural Nagahama aquarium, Travel from Ehime to Osaka to Kyoto

Princess Ayako
Oct 2: Travel to Ehime Prefecture, Luncheon at Grace Garden The Albella, Football competition, JR Hotel Clement Uwajima
Oct 3: Table tennis competition, Basketball competition, Lunch at JR Hotel Clement Uwajima, Football friendly match, Ehime Prefecture Football Association Hosted Reception
Oct 4: Tennis competition, Hockey competition, Luncheon at Matsumae-cho town office, Return to Tokyo
Princess Yoko
Oct 4: Travel to Ehime Prefecture, Lunch at hotel in Imabari-shi, Ōyamazumi Shrine, Murakami Naval Museum, Keio Hotel
Oct 5: Handball competition, Railway museum, Lunch at a hotel, Weightlifting competition, Akagane museum, Return to Tokyo

Princess Mako
Oct 5: Travel to Ehime Prefecture, Lunch meeting at Prefectural Government at Grace Garden The Albella, Kontex shop, Imabari Nomauma Highland, Dogo Onsen
Oct 6: Traditional porcelain hall, Badminton competition, traditional theater in Uchiko, Ehime Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Institute, JR Hotel Clement Uwajima
Oct 7: Sumo competition, Nomura Silk Museum, Luncheon at Seishi City Office, Volleyball competition, another visit to Ehime Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Institute, Return to Tokyo
Photos: Asahi, photos 43 - 49 at Sankei Imperial Weekly #507,

Princess Nobuko
Oct 6: Travel to Ehime Prefecture, Kokusai Hotel Matsuyama
Oct 7: Judo competition, Luncheon at Saijo City, Ehime Institute of Industrial Technology Paper Technology Center, Karate competition, Kokusai Hotel Matsuyama
Oct 8: Gymnastics competition, Luncheon and visit at Ehime Children’s Playground, Return to Tokyo

Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko
Oct 9: Travel to Ehime Prefecture, Luncheon briefing and visit at Ehime prefectural government office, Ehime Prefectural Nagahama aquarium, Dogo Onsen
Oct 10: Athletics viewing, Botchan theater, Luncheon meeting, Closing ceremony, Ehime Prefectural Art Museum, Return to Tokyo
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On October 11th, Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko, and Princess Hisako attended a Nohgaku performance honoring the war dead.

Photos: Sankei
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The autumn garden party is scheduled for November 9th. 2,300 people are invited including swimmer Keiichi Kimura (4 gold medals at Rio's Paralympic Games), bronze medalist Sae Tsuji (Women's 400 meter), and music producer Tetsuya Komuro.

Source: Asahi

The Imperial Family attended a tea party with Order of Culture laureates at the Imperial Palace today, November 6:

** gettyimages gallery **
Is it so difficult to wear kimono? :bang:
Apparently yes for this event. If wearing western clothes enables CP Masako to attend, then I say go for it. I'd also like to see men wear kimonos. Tired of mostly women upholding traditional attire and culture.
Kimonos can be uncomfortable and restrictive. I rented a kimono when I visited Japan last year. Definitely the real experience with all the pieces, not a tourist gimmick. I was absolutely ready to take off the kimono after an hour. Each piece is tied or tucked tightly. The snug fit and layers began making me feel anxious and uncomfortably hot.

CP Masako wore kimonos twice so far this year: spring garden party and the summer grand sumo tournament opening.

ETA: ANN video
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Thanks for the update!
It is nice to see all Imperial Princess wearing kimono. Princess Akiko's kimono has a lovely design.
Imperial family members mentioned their favorite songs when speaking to musician and producer Tetsuya Komuro. Princess Mako liked "Get Wild", a song when Mr. Komuro belonged to the band TM Network. Prince Akishino spoke about the lyrics and composition of "Wow War Tonight." Another royal enjoyed "Can You Celebrate?" [Sankei]

Mr. Komuro performed with children of a blind school at a dinner party when the Emperor and Empress visited Vietnam in March. The Imperial couple talked about this event and Mr. Komuro said "... it would be great to have various bridges in the future." The couple received an update from the mayor of Kumamoto City on the reconstruction progress since the April 2016 earthquake. About 2000 people attended the garden party. [Asahi, Mainichi with galleries]

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko shook hands with blind swimmer Keiichi Kimura who won 4 golds at the Rio Paralympic Games. As the case since her return to garden parties, CP Masako attended the opening ceremony and spoke with some guests before leaving early. [Sankei 2]

ETA: Emperor hosts 2,000 guests at autumn palace garden party: The Asahi Shimbun
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On December 1st, Princess Mako and Princess Hisako attended duck netting with foreign diplomats at Shinhama Kamoba (Imperial Wild Duck Preserves) in Ichikawa, Chiba.

Getty Images, Asahi
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On December 2nd, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the Special Exhibition "The Golden Age of Botanical Art – Flowers from the Collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" at Intermediatheque in Chiyoda, Tokyo. Princess Mako acted as their guide; she participated in this exhibit from the planning stage and was responsible for setting up exhibits and editing catalogs.

Princess Mako works as a researcher at University of Tokyo's museum which operates the Intermediatheque jointly with Japan Post. After the tour, the Imperial couple visited Princess Mako's work desk. [Sankei]

Photos: Mainichi

Special Exhibition "The Golden Age of Botanical Art - Flowers from the Collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" - INTERMEDIATHEQUE
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Visit of the General Public to the Palace for the New Year Greeting - The Imperial Household Agency

Date: January 2, 2018

First and Second: Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, and other adult members of the Imperial Family.
Third Appearance onwards: Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino and Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako

First Appearance: Around 10:10 a.m.
Second Appearance: Around 11:00 a.m.
Third Appearance: Around 11:50 a.m.
Fourth Appearance: Around 1:30 p.m.
Fifth Appearance: Around 2:20 p.m.
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