Year-end Presentations of Waka Poems

2006, The Eighteenth Year of Heisei

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

The Great Snows
Numbers of the old
Live in mountain villages:
Sad to hear of
Many accidents that befell
As they shovel snow off roofs.
While the gas continues
Still spurting from the mountain
On this their Island
The people tell me that
They are happy to be back.
The Commemoration Ceremony of the Sixty Years Since Coronation of His Majesty the King of Thailand
We are gathered here
To celebrate Your Majesty's
Sixty years well filled,
Spending yourself in service
To the people of Your Land.
Birth of a Grandson
Rejoicing with us
On the birth of our grandson
Along Hidaka's roads,
The voices of the people -
I am happy hearing them.
Having long withstood
The fierceness of the sea-winds
The trees of black pine*
Took roots in many years
While these men tended their growth.
(Notes to His Majesty's Waka) :

Note to poem 1 :
A series of heavy snowfalls hit the country from late 2005 through early 2006 and caused numerous accidents across Hokkaido and northeastern Honshu. They involved the elderly as they tried to remove snow from their roofs and otherwise struggled with the weather conditions.

Note to poem 2 :
Residents of Miyakejima began to return home in February 2005, four and a half years after a volcanic eruption in 2000 caused an evacuation of the entire population of the island. In March this year, a year after the return began, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress visited the island and observed the situation on it.

Note to poem 3 :
In June 2006, Their Majesties were invited, along with other monarchs and members of royal families from around the world, to attend the commemorative ceremony in Bangkok for the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Accession to the Throne of His Majesty the King of Thailand.

Note to poem 4 :
On 6 September Their Majesties received the news of the birth of their grandson while they were in Sapporo to attend the International Microscopy Congress. Their Majesties spent the next two days heading towards Cape Erimo, on which occasion they were met by felicitations of many people along the roads and at places they visited in Hidaka area.

Note to poem 5 :
Their Majesties have kept their interest in the greening project at Cape Erimoin since the fifth year of Heisei (1993) when they met one of those involved in the project as they won the Asahi Forestry Culture Awards. Last September, on the occasion of their visit to Hokkaido, they went to the cape and listened to the men who have been engaged in the project, as they spoke about the toil and hardship they went through.

NoticePinus thunbergii Parl.

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

The First Sumo Tournament of the Year
The year has opened
Without any turbulence
And to see the Emperor
In His usual Sumo seat
Makes me beam with happiness.
The Moonlit Night
As if carrying a baby
For the first time
She tells me of the fetal movement
While the moon shines in the window.
Coming Home
Now from Samawah
You are all coming back
To this your homeland
Where between evening showers
Kana-kana cicadas call.
(Notes to Her Majesty's Waka) :

Note to poem 1 :
In January of 2006 Their Majesties went together to see the Sumo. This poem describes Her Majesty's relief and happiness that this year opened in tranquillity and His Majesty was able to come to his customary First Sumo Tournament of the Year. Their Majesties refrained from going to the First Sumo Tournament of the Year in 1997 as the hostages taken at the Japanese Ambassador's Residence in Peru in Decsmber 1996 were not yet released. They also did not go in 2003 when His Majesty was hospitalized after his operation.

Note to poem 2 :
In February of 2006 it was announced that Princess Akishino became pregnant. Although it was her third child, it was a long time since her last child was born. This poem describes the Princess's telling the Empress about the fetal movements with a slightly tense look on her face, as if it were her first child.

Note to poem 3 :
The welfare of the members of the Self-Defence Forces in Samawah has been on the minds of Their Majesties for a long time. Her Majesty expresses, in this poem, the sense of relief she felt when she heard the decision to bring them home, by way of describing the clear-voiced call of kana-kana cicadas heard between showers in the tranquility of the evening.