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 (2008) : HI (fire)

His Majesty the Emperor
There stood the flame-stand
Ablaze with roaring flames.
Far beyond were woods
Beginning to change color
Aglow with autumn hues.

Note: This poem describes the scene as His Majesty saw it when Their Majesties attended the opening ceremony of the National Sports Festival held in Akita Prefecture at the end of September 2007.

Her Majesty the Empress
As we swing our lanterns,
Far-off lights shimmer in response
Swaying to and fro
This day of our journey
Now turning into night.

Note: On Their Majesties' regional visits, Their Majesties are often welcomed in the evening by hundreds of people who come out with paper lanterns to a spot where they can see Their Majesties' hotel, and this poem describes that scene. Understanding Their Majesties' wish not to disturb the neighborhood at night, the people have recently cut down on the number of "Banzai" cheers. Instead, when Their Majesties respond to the welcome by slowly swinging their own lanterns right and left from the window of the hotel, the welcoming party also move theirs in the same way quite spontaneously. In this poem, Her Majesty describes her feeling of joy that another day on their trip is drawing to a close amid such a warm sense of empathy.

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince
From Mt. Aso's crater filled with blue water the smoke rises, and the tremors echo through me.

Note: His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince stopped off at the volcano Mt. Aso during his visit to Kumamoto Prefecture last autumn.

This poem recalls how moved he was by the grandeur of Mt. Aso as he watched at close hand the smoke billowing up from the crater with its blue waters.

Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess
Making her wish the child blows out the flame from the six candles, and a smile of joy spreads across her face.

Note: Her Highness Princess Aiko had been greatly looking forward to celebrating her sixth birthday last December. This poem recalls the smile of joy spreading across the Princess's face when she blew out the flames from the six candles on her cake during her birthday celebration.

This very happy birthday for Princess Aiko remains a fond memory for Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess as she rejoices at her daughter's growth, and she expresses this sentiment in this poem.