Year-end Presentations of Waka Poems

2010, The Twenty-second Year of Heisei

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

Climbing Mt. Sekison
After many years
Coming back to climb this mount
Once again I see
Blooming there on the summit
Hakusan furo, cranesbill.
Oyama Senmaida
After the harvest
Green rice plant leaves growing
On the rice terraces
And on the banks of the slope
Red spider lilies blooming.
On seeing Hisahito coming to catch insects
Spotting from afar
My dear wife, his grandmother,
My grandchild calls out
The boy's high-pitched voice of joy
Reaching my ears, loud and clear.
On the 1300th Anniversary of Nara Heijo-kyo Capital
Over many years
Study after study was made
To reconstruct this
Daigoku-den before me
Standing tall and majestic.
Torrential Rains in Amami-Oshima island
Concerned for the victims
Of the disaster I see
On television
Torrential rains falling and
Turbid waters spreading.
(Notes to His Majesty's Waka) :

Note to poem 1 :
In August His Majesty the Emperor climbed Mt. Sekison with Prince Akishino and his family for the first time in about thirty years. His Majesty used to climb this mountain with his family quite often when He was Crown Prince. In this poem His Majesty describes how He saw the alpine plant, hakusan furo or cranesbill, Geranium yesoense var. nipponicum, blooming on the summit just as it did back then.

Note to poem 2 :
In September when Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress attended the National Sports Festival held in Chiba prefecture, They visited the rice terraces of Oyama Senmaida. In this poem His Majesty describes how He saw the green leaves of the rice plant growing on the rice terraces after the harvest and red spider lilies, Lycoris radiata, blooming on the banks of the slope.

Note to poem 3 :
When Prince Hisahito visited Their Majesties together with Princess Akishino, he came from the Biological Laboratory of the Imperial Household, where he was catching insects, through the gardens of the Imperial Residence. In this poem His Majesty describes how, when Their Majesties came out of Their Residence into the garden, Prince Hisahito saw Her Majesty and called out to Her.

Note to poem 4 :
In October Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress visited Nara prefecture to attend the Commemorative Ceremony of the 1300th Anniversary of Nara Heiji-kyo Capital. In this poem His Majesty depicts his visit to the Daigoku-den, the former Imperial Audience Hall, whose reconstruction was based on many years of excavation work and painstaking studies.

Note to poem 5 :
In October torrential rains struck Amami-Oshima island in Kagoshima prefecture, causing huge damage, including loss of lives. In this poem His Majesty describes how He was concerned for the victims as He watched the television news showing the extent of the disaster.

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

The 90th Anniversary of the Meiji Shrine
Each and every window
Opened to view the blossoms
Blooming all around
'Twas His* wish that springtime
Of that great Emperor's reign.
*Emperor Meiji
FIFA World Cup in South Africa
'Tis still in my ear
The sound of vuvuzelas
In that faraway land
Each game ending the minute
The final whistle is blown.
Our Hayabusa
Incinerating itself
On its return
A blazing ball of fire
Luminous and brilliant.
(Notes to Her Majesty's Waka) :

Note to poem 1 :
This year, 2010, was the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Meiji Shrine, and this is a poem Her Majesty dedicated to the Shrine in response to a request from the Shrine. Her Majesty had in mind a poem by Emperor Meiji: "Each and every window/ Of the Palace standing tall/ I had them opened/ To view all around me/ Cherry blossoms in full bloom."

Note to poem 2 :
FIFA World Cup was held in South Africa from June to July, 2010. In this poem Her Majesty extols the delight of the world of sport where the game ends each time the final whistle is blown.

Note to poem 3 :
The asteroid probe Hayabusa succeeded in collecting a sample of material on the asteroid Itokawa and returned to earth on June 13, 2010. In this poem Her Majesty describes how, after completing its long journey in space, Hayabusa broke up and incinerated in a large fireball as it reentered the earth's atmosphere.