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Presentation of 5 waka poems by His Majesty the Emperor to mark New Year

Emperor Akihito, front row, third from left, Empress Michiko, front row, third from right, and other members of the Imperial Family are pictured in this photo provided by the Imperial Household Agency ahead of the New Year.

The following are five waka poems written by Emperor Akihito on themes related to events throughout 2017, the 29th year of the Heisei era, released for Jan 1, 2018.

    * * * * *

    The 68th National Arbor Day Festival:

    Tateyama-sugi

    Non-pollen Japanese cedar

    Here have I planted

    Hoping no one will suffer

    *

    From pollen any longer.

    Mukafun no

    Tateyama-sugi wo

    Uenikeri

    Wazurau hito no

    Naki wo negaite.

    In May Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress visited Toyama Prefecture to attend the National Arbor Day Festival. On that occasion, His Majesty planted the seedlings of Tateyama-sugi, Japanese cedar, Cryptomeria japonica, which has been improved to not produce any pollen at all. In this poem, His Majesty recalls the occasion.

    * * *

    At the Opening Ceremony of the 72nd National Sports Festival:

    The stadium lawn

    Its green vivid and splendid

    Here in Ehime

    National Sports Festival

    As the athletes come marching in.

    *

    Kaijo no

    Midori no shibafu

    Iro haete

    Ehime kokutai no

    Senshu iri kuru.

    In September, Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress visited Ehime Prefecture to attend the Opening Ceremony of the 72nd National Sports Festival. In this poem, His Majesty recalls the athletes marching into the Ehime Prefectural Sports Park Stadium, splendid with its sparkling green lawn.

    * * *

    The 37th Convention for the Development of an Abundantly Productive Sea:

    Japanese abalone

    And Japanese littleneck

    Handing them the fry

    I think of the fishermen

    Of their lives and livelihoods.

    *

    Kuro awabi

    Asari no chigai

    Tewatashinu

    Sunadoru hito no

    Ue omoitsutsu

    In October Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress visited Fukuoka Prefecture to attend the National Convention for the Development of an Abundantly Productive Sea. In this poem, His Majesty recalls thinking of those engaged in fisheries as He handed them, at the ceremonial event, the fry of Japanese abalone, Haliotis discus, and Japanese littleneck, Ruditapes philippinarum.

    * * *

    Visiting Viet Nam:

    How did they live through

    Those years of fighting and war

    My thoughts went out to them

    As we visited this land

    The country of Viet Nam.

    *

    Ikusa no hibi

    Hitora wa ikani

    Sugoseshika

    Omoitsutsu tou

    Betonamu no kuni.

    In February and March Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress visited Viet Nam for the first time. In this poem, His Majesty describes his thoughts on the history of the country, which, even after World War II, experienced various wars and conflicts before achieving the development we see today.

    * * *

    Visiting Thailand to pay respects to the late King:

    There lies the late king

    I sit before his coffin

    As I remember

    The many days and years

    Of our warm and close friendship.

    *

    Naki kimi no

    Mitama no mae ni

    Suwari tsutsu

    Mutsubishi hibi wo

    Omoi idekeri

    In March Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress stopped over in Thailand to bid farewell to the late King of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. In this poem, His Majesty describes how He recalled the more than half a century of their friendship as He sat in front of the late king's coffin, lying in state in the Royal Palace.

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