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 (2006) : EMI (SMILE)

His Majesty the Emperor
At Trondheim
Cruising along the canal,
From the windows
Of houses are people
Seen smiling and waving hands.

Note: The Seventeenth Year of Heisei marked the Hundredth Year Since the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Norway and Japan, and in May of that year, Their Majesties visited that country as State Guests.

This poem describes Their Majesties' visit to Trondheim, the old capital in the Northern part of the country, where the Kings were crowned, and tells of the time that they cruised the canal in a boat with Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Her Majesty the Empress
Exchanging smiles
But soon the tears are brimming
Thinking of the pain
Brought to each one I see
As I go through the restored city.

Note:This Seventeenth Year of Heisei, in January, Their Majesties went to visit Kobe on the tenth anniversary of the Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake. They observed the state of restoration in the urban areas.

Exchanging smiles with the people she met in the streets, while sharing their happiness at the restoration, the thought of the hardships they had had to get over moved her to tears and she wrote this poem.

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince
Soothed by the smile of our young daughter, I hope for a peaceful world for all children.

Note: His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince keeps tender watch over the growth of Princess Aiko, now a healthy four-year old.

His heart put at rest by the young Princess's smile, this poem expresses his hope that she and all the children of earth can spend their life in a world at peace.

Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess
When one in the circle laughs, so does another, and the children's laughter spreads more and more.

Note: Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess consider it important that Princess Aiko spends time with children her own age.

At one such gathering, while the children were amusing themselves in a play circle that had formed, one child laughed, then another and another until the whole group was laughing.

The laughter spread to the mothers who were affectionately watching their children, and this poem by Her Imperial Highness recalls the sight of this very happy scene.