Year-end Presentation of Five Waka Poems by His Majesty the Emperor
On receiving H.E. THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Various moments of history Come to mind As I welcome our quest From a neighbouring country Just across the sea.
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.
I call to mind The memory of my father Engaged in the rites of the Niinamesai1 As I perform the ritual Of the Daijosai.2
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 Surmounted.3
In Celebration of the Enthronement
The sky at the dawn Of the era of His Majesty Is tinged reddish-yellow4 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.