Year-end Presentations of Waka Poems

1990, The Second Year of Heisei

Year-end Presentation of Five Waka Poems by His Majesty the Emperor

Various moments of history
Come to mind
As I welcome our quest
From a neighbouring country
Just across the sea.
Heavy Rains
For those lives
Lost in the disaster
Caused by heavy rains
This year again
I mourn.
Japanese Residents in Iraq
I have passed
These many days
Concerned about the fate
Of those detained
In a foreign land.
The Banquet after the Enthronement
I have spent
The evening hours at the banquet
Conversing with quests
Gathered here
From so many different lands.
The Daijosai
I call to mind
The memory of my father
Engaged in the rites of the Niinamesaifootnote1
As I perform the ritual
Of the Daijosai.footnote2

Year-end Presentation of Three Waka Poems by Her Majesty the Empress

In Memory of His Late Majesty Emperor Showa
I think of telling His Majesty
How the wagtails are playing
In the winter garden,
Then suddenly
Come to myself and grieve.
The Seventieth Anniversary of the Founding of Meiji Shrine
Even the saintly Mikado
Wrote of mountains
In the mind
That had to be
In Celebration of the Enthronement
The sky at the dawn
Of the era of His Majesty
Is tinged reddish-yellowfootnote4
The colour of his princely robe
Familiar to me over long years.
  • footnote1 The Niinamesai is an annual rite, performed on 23rd November, in which The Emperor makes an offering of the newly harvested rice to the deities, expresses his gratitude to them for having protected the crops, and then partakes of the rice offering in communion with the deities.
  • footnote2 The first Niinamaesai performed by the newly enthroned emperor is called the Daijosai.
  • footnote3 Her Majesty the Empress composed this waka on reading the following waka written by Emperor Meiji:
  • I have learned
    That even in the depths of the serene mind
    There are mountains
    That have stood for ages
    And must be surmounted
  • footnote4 Reddish-yellow is the colour used exclusively for the robe of the Crown Prince. The Empress refers to this colour because it was familiar to Her Majesty for three decades while Her husband, The Emperor, was the Crown Prince.