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

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:previous: Princesses Nobuko, Hisako and Tsuguko visited Meiji Jingu on April 17th to commemorate the 110th anniversary of Empress Shoken's death.

Photos: FNN
More galleries of spring garden party: FNN, Mainichi, Asahi, AP Images

TV-Asahi gallery includes 2002 garden party

Princess Yohko left after the national anthem. Maybe she suddenly felt unwell? Princess Nobuko accompanied Princess Hanako out and then returned.

Finger food at the garden party. No alcohol or grilled meat because they create long lines/crowds.

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Other videos of the Spring Garden party:

Even longer videos tend to cut off the part where Princess Yōko leaves. Usually the ones I've seen tend to zoom in on the couple Akishino/Princesses Aiko and Kako/Princess Hanako at the moment when the national anthem ends, as if to hide something. One shows Princess Akiko suddenly turning around and then promptly avoiding that by zooming in on Princess Nobuko first and then those before her. The length of time Princess Yōko is no longer seen is about 50 seconds. In these seconds, something has happened. She either felt ill or left for other reasons.

Princesses Hisako and Tsuguko saw someone unexpected at the end of the Garden Party and approached this person.

Some screenshots of the Princesses leaving:


More photos of Imperial Princesses at the Spring Garden party yesterday:

Princess Nobuko: Asahi

Princess Akiko: Asahi

Princess Hisako: Asahi

Princess Tsuguko: Asahi
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The media were going to focus on Princess Aiko anyway since it's her garden party debut. I'm not surprised the extended families were ignored, except for some parts where they're chatting with guests and exits. Sadly, The Page/Yahoo! coverage didn't have a good position for the welcome ceremony. I'm disappointed TV Tokyo cut to guest interviews after Aiko's exit. Usually, TV Tokyo uploads the entire footage.

Imperial Household Agency coverage:

Cat pictures exchanged at imperial spring garden party | The Asahi Shimbun Asia & Japan Watch
[...] One of the guests was contemporary artist Tadanori Yokoo.

Yokoo struck up a conversation with the imperial family about the publication of his book of paintings of his beloved cat, Tama.

In turn, Masako took out several photos of the imperial family’s cat from her bag and said, “This one was a stray that we took in.”

On a more serious note, the imperial couple talked with another guest, Ishikawa prefectural assembly Chairman Yoshihiko Zenda, about the recent Noto Peninsula earthquake.


Guests at Emperor, Empress’ Spring Garden Party Not Required to Wear Mask for 1st Time in Reiwa Era - The Japan News
[...] The event was attended by 1,402 guests, including distinguished persons from academia, the arts and other fields.

The Imperial couple and other members of the Imperial family strolled around the garden for about two hours, meeting with guests and engaging in casual conversation. [...]

The Japanese Red Cross Society National Convention will be held on May 15.

Empress Masako, Crown Princess Kiko, Princess Hanako, Princess Nobuko and Princess Hisako will attend.

Source: NTV
On May 19th, Emperor Naruhito, Crown Prince Akishino, Crown Princess Kiko and Princesses Kako, Akiko, Yōko, and Tsuguko will attend the Emperor Gokameyama's 600th Anniversary Ceremony at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo.

I hope that photos of the members entering the Palace will arrive. I think the media should start releasing videos of these memorial ceremonies for the Imperial ancestors as well.

Source: Asahi Imperial Schedule May 13th-19th
(copied at
On May 15th, Empress Masako, Crown Princess Kiko, Princess Hanako, Princess Nobuko and Princess Hisako attended the Reiwa 6 (2024) National Red Cross Convention at Meiji Jingu Kaikan in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Princess Aiko, as a JRCS employee, worked at the convention and was seen wearing a red, staff member lanyard when departing the Imperial Palace in the morning.

Photos: Asahi, FNN, AP Images

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:previous: More photos: AFLO Images, Dot Asahi, Facebook - Japanese Red Cross

Princess Aiko worked as a management staff member at the convention: welcoming attendees, ushering them to locations and providing guidance. She did not interact with the Imperial family. According to sources, Princess Aiko, who belongs to the Youth Volunteer Division, is believed to have been in charge of welcoming and guiding visiting high school and university students from areas affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake.

Sources: TBS, NTV, FNN

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