Year-end Presentations of Waka Poems

2002, The Fourteenth year of Heisei

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

At the Imperial Villa in Hayama
My two older
Granddaughters stay very close
To the little one,
Having eyes for her alone:
Their ways are so endearing.
The Shosoin Repository
I look with great awe
On this storehouse, recalling
The men who kept safe
These many precious objects
Down more than a thousand years.
The Shonai Plain(in Yamagata Prefecture)
There Gassan Mountain
And Mount Chokaisan as well
Stand out bright and clear,
As clear spreads the sky where we
Journey in Yamagata.
In Praha
Seeing the full flow
Of Vltava's rich waters
And that very night
Hearing in Praha Castle
Smetana's music for it!

While on a visit to the Czech Republic, at the Cultural Evening sponsored by the President, "The Moldau", famous piece of music composed by Smetana, a native of that country, was played. Moldau is the German name for the Vltava river that flows through the center of Praha and that His Majesty viewed from the Karel Bridge and from the official guesthouse where He stayed.

At the Great Bridge of Ikitsuki
Turning as they came,
The fishing boats were drawing
Near to the great bridge,
I saw fishermen on board
All waving their hands to us.

While on an Imperial Visit to Nagasaki Prefecture, below the long bridge that links the islands of Hirado and Ikitsuki, forming a line to describe a great circle as they came, the local fishing boats had come to welcome Their Majesties. Getting out of the car in the middle of the bridge, They responded to their gestures of greeting.

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

On a Visit to the 'Good Spirits Farm' in Hachioji City
Here in alien earth
Planting their island seedlings
Of angelica,
They must have keen memories
Of their own Miyake soil.

Composed by Her Majesty on the occasion of a visit in March this year to the Hachioji farm cultivated by people evacuated from Miyake island after the volcanic eruption there; written imagining the attachment to their native soil that they must feel while sowing the angelica for which their home island of Miyake is so well known.

A Time of Burgeoning
There in Kabul, too,
Where the trees are very few,
Buds must be bursting-
With all of those young women
Lifting their blue burkha veils.

Seeing in the media the women teachers, lifting their burkhas over their heads, gathering in preparation for the reopening of schools, Her Majesty's thoughts went out to that distant place and She composed this poem, thinking that in Kabul where there are few trees, a time of new burgeoning and growth must have come.

In Early Summer
Sweet the memory
Of that town where I would go
To seek moor-lilies
And saw them flower in the fields
Colored a pale moon yellow.

'That town' refers to Karuizawa where, in former days, Her Majesty often spent the Summer. Every year when the Summer is near, Her Majesty remembers vividly that in the fields where She would go in the evening to see the one-day-blooming lilies, hemerocallis (nocturnal), they were in flower, colored like the pale yellow moon.