Waka Poems by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess

Theme for the New Year's Poetry Reading (1995) : SONG

His Majesty the Emperor
Pondering over What is here revealed of how
People lived their lives,
I hear the melodic flow
Of the chanted poetry.

During the recital of Waka poems at the New Year Poetry Reading His Majesty often thinks about the lives of the people whose poems have been selected, as he listens to the flowing chant, and so composed this poem.

Her Majesty the Empress
You sing for us
The song, "Sakura, Sakura",
You, who, as citizens
Of your adopted land,
Have now so peacefully aged.

Her Majesty the Empress composed this poem recalling a visit to the Japanese-American Retirement Home in Los Angeles last June. The poem depicts the scene of a group of elderly Japanese-American welcoming Their Majesties, singing the song, "Sakura"

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince
The wall dividing people from people has crumbled
Throughout Berlin songs of joy resound.

In this poem. His Highness recalls the spontaneous songs of joy arising from the people at the dramatic destrucion of the Berlin wall in November of 1989.

Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess
Echoing through the desert town in the evening glow,
A voice singing the call to prayer.

Her Highness remembers in this poem the Islamic call(adhan) to evening prayer which she heard in a desert town during her visit with the Crown Prince to four Middle East countries last November.