Theme for the New Year's Poetry Reading (1996) : SEEDLINGS
- His Majesty the Emperor
- My thoughts go out to
Those people who years after
The war was over,
Where the muntains were laid waste
Had planted them with saplings.
His Majesty composed this poem when, in conncction with the fiftieth year since the war, he was reminded of those people who under the adverse conditions of the post-war period, steadily planted saplings in mountains that had been ravaged by indiscriminate deforestation during and after the war.
- Her Majesty the Empress
- Japan's chain of isles_
Young green shoots in every paddy
Must now be waving in the wind,
While today, His Majesty, too,
Is out tending his rice-field.
Her Majesty composed this poem when, upon seeing off His Majesty who was going out to rice-field in the Imperial Palace grounds to see how the seedling He had planted were growing, there came into Her mind a thought of tender green shoots swaying in rice-fields all over Japan.
- His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince
- Planting the seedlings with the children, I pray
Grow in health, you children and seedlings.
- Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess
- With full hands, they eagerly plant the flower seedlings.
The eyes of children with mental relardation shine with joy.