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 (2002) : Spring

His Majesty the Emperor
We Planted a tree
Of evergreen magnolia
With little children
While the Spring was deepening
On that earth-shaken island.

In April of last year after a lapse of six years since the great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake disaster, in order to observe the state of reconstruction, His Majesty, together with Her majesty the Empress, revisited Hyogo prefecture. At that time on the island of Awaji, Their Majesties attended the Memorial Tree-planting Event of the`Hyogo Green Network', whose aim was to restore greenery to the disaster areas. Together with the children of the place, They planted a taisamboku, an evergreen of the magnolia species that puts out pure white blooms at the beginning of Summer, and this is the poem His Majesty composed about the occasion.

Her Majesty the Empress
The things that give back light
- One and all -
Glistening and gleaming :
The early Spring day itself
Is a sparkling radiance.

Once in early Spring, moved by the splendor of things reflecting the sun's radiance, - like the glass windows of houses, the aluminum sashes, and the glossy leaves of plants such as camellia - , all shining and glistening in the sunlight, Her Majesty composed this poem.

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince
In the school where I spent the springtime of my life
the voices of the new students resound.

His Highness the Crown Prince spent the years from his junior high school days until his graduation from the unversity and graduate school at Gakushuin's mejiro Campus. Even now he often has occasion to visit Gakushuin for the sake of his studies as visiting researcher at the University and to attend events there as alumnus. This poem fondly recalls his school days, and describes the campus overflowing with new students at the beginning of the new term in spring.

Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess
The life of the newborn child shines beautifully,
the spring I greet with my husband is so fresh and pure.

Her Highness the Crown Princess gave birth to an imperial princess on December I of last year. This poem describes her tender feelings for the beautiful, young life of the infant princess soon after her birth, and of her joy in welcoming the new year together with His Highness the Crown Prince and the healthy young princess.