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 (2010) : HIKARI (light)

His Majesty the Emperor
Where rays of sunlight
Filter through the trees I see
In the middle of the path
Carpeted with fallen leaves
A clump of green grass growing.
Komorebi no
Hikari wo ukete
Ochiba shiku
Komichi no manaka
Kusa-ao mitari

(Background of the poem)
Their Majesties were taking a walk in the Fukiage Garden in the Imperial Palace Grounds when His Majesty saw that, where sunlight filtered through the trees, green grass was growing on the path. This poem describes that scene.

Her Majesty the Empress
As I walk by your side
The path stretches far ahead
Though 'tis now evening
Yonder in the distance
A glow of a lingering light.
Kimi to yuku
Michi no hatate no
To-o shiroku
Yugurete nao
Hikari arurashi

(Background of the poem)
Her Majesty composed this poem around April last year when Their Majesties celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The poem is Her Majesty's impressions of a walk she took with His Majesty in the Imperial Palace Grounds early in the evening when some daylight still remained.

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince
The rays of the sun appear above the clouds. Fuji's surface glows in red.

(Background of the poem)
In the summer of 2008, the Crown Prince climbed Mt. Fuji.
This poem recalls how moved he was at that time by the sight of the sun's light coloring the slopes of Mt. Fuji red as the first beams of dawn rose from the sea of clouds at his feet.

Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess
The wavelets rising on the pond catch the light of the winter sun and glitter brightly.

(Background of the poem)
The Crown Princess enjoys her daily walk around the gardens of the Akasaka Palace.
This poem calls to mind her delight when she went on her stroll one mild winter's morning at the surprisingly beautiful sparkling of the ripples on the Oike pond (“large pond”) in the quiet garden as they caught the sunlight.