TOKYO -- Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, other members of the Imperial Family and government officials including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the tomb of Emperor Showa on Jan. 7 for a ceremony to mark 30 years since his passing.
A total of about 80 people, also including Prince Akishino and his wife Princess Kiko took part in the ceremony, titled Sanryo no Gi, at the Musashino no Misasagi tomb in the Tokyo suburban city of Hachioji.
Emperor Akihito offered a tamagushi, or sacred tree branch, in front of the mausoleum where rice, sake and other items were offered, and paid his respects. A "Otsugebumi," or passage honoring the memory of Emperor Showa, was then read out. According to the Imperial Household Agency, the passage was imbued with the meaning, "Please protect the state and its people and also allow them to prosper." Empress Michiko then paid her respects.
A ceremony marking 30 years since the passing of Emperor Showa was also held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, with Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako paying respects at the sanctuary of ancestral spirits, where successive emperors are enshrined, representing the Imperial Couple.
Jan. 7 also marks 30 years since Emperor Akihito ascended to the throne. The government is set to hold a ceremony marking this milestone at the National Theatre of Japan in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Feb. 24.
(Japanese original by Tomofumi Inagaki, City News Department)