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 (2005) : AYUMI (WALKING)

His Majesty the Emperor
Having walked through times
When there was no such great war,
My thoughts go out to
The people who had lived through
Those days of cruel hardship.

Note: This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the ending of hostilities in 1945. His Majesty composed this poem as His thoughts ran to the people who had lived through that last Great War, sixty years ago, suffering hardships that tongue or pen cannot enumerate.

Her Majesty the Empress
A Summer morning
With bracing breezes blowing-
You walk down the lane
Though not fully recovered,
Looking serene and reposed.

Note: One morning last Summer, as They strolled together along a pathway in the Imperial Grounds, enjoying the cool, fresh breeze, the sight of his Majesty, though not completely healed, walking with calm serenity, gave Her Majesty a feeling of great peace and accordingly She composed this poem.

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince
I look back on the path along the ridge leading to the summit,
And recall the steps, one after another, that brought me here.

Note: His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince loves mountains.

When he climbs mountains and stands at their summits, he reflects upon the path he has followed, the flowers and bird-songs that soothed his fatigue, the joys and rigors of mountaineering. These combine with his thoughts about the steps along the path of his own life so far to form this poem.

Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess
We walk with our young child in tranquility along the garden path, deep scarlet in maple leaves,
And my heart grows comforted and restored.

Note: In an afternoon during deepening autumn, Their Imperial Highnesses and Princess Aiko walked through the Akasaka Palace garden full of beautiful fall colors. In this poem, Her Imperial Highness The Crown Princess recalls the peace of mind she felt each step of the way in the tranquil, quiet happiness of being together with Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess Aiko.

Supported by the warm-hearted assistance of His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince and the robust growth of Princess Aiko during the past year, Her Imperial Highness The Crown Princess has gradually regained her health. With her spirits renewed, she expresses her feelings of gratitude in this poem.

Her Imperial Highness Princess Sayako
Adding this new day
To all the days gone before,
One by one while They,
With unfailing devotion
Keep on walking far and long.

Note: "Today" again, encountering Their Majesties as They took up Their duties for the day, continuing Their constant round, always with caring concern for the people, Her Highness composed this poem as her thoughts ran reflectively and with deep respect and gratitude to the long road They are continuing to travel together.