On the morning of Thursday, May 26, 2022, Their Imperial Majesties Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan arrived at the Tokyo National Museum to view the special exhibition entitled, Ryukyu: Special Exhibition Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Okinawa’s Reversion to Japan.
According to the Japanese newspaper, The Japan Times, the exhibition:
“…displays 180 items, mainly the treasures of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which ruled Okinawa for centuries, and introduces the culture and history of Ryukyu and Okinawa.
The exhibition is being held as part of the Tsumugu Project: Promoting, Restoring and Preserving the Beauty of Japan’s Art, an initiative jointly organized by the Cultural Affairs Agency, the Imperial Household Agency and The Yomiuri Shimbun.
The Emperor and Empress examined the Bridge of Nations Bell, which is believed to have announced the hours at Shuri Castle during the Ryukyu Kingdom period, as well as a folding screen depicting flowers and birds.”
On the morning of Monday, May 23, 2022, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Naruhito of Japan welcomed the President of the United States, Mr. Joseph R. Biden, to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
After a brief photo-op for the press at the entrance to the Imperial Palace, the Emperor and President Biden held a half-hour meeting. Discussions focused on the measures taken against the Coronavirus and water issues, a topic on which Emperor Naruhito has focused on for years. President Biden also noted that Japan is the most stratgeic partner for the United States in the Asia Pacific region; moreover, the two countries have a strong bond. In turn, Emperor Naruhito expressed hope that the United States and Japan relations will “…continue to strengthen and that the friendship and goodwill between Japan and the United States would advance even more with the visit”…”
In a White House press release, President Biden’s visit was “…intended to offer greetings on behalf of the American people, highlighting the strength of the U.S.-Japan relationship anchored by deep people-to-people ties.”
On Saturday, April 23, 2022, Their Imperial Majesties Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan virtually attended — from the Imperial Palace in Tokyo — the opening of the 4the Asia-Pacific Water Summit (APWS) held in Kumamoto City, Japan.
According to the official website for the APWS the event will bring together:
“…high-level delegates including heads of states and representatives from international organizations in the Asia-Pacific region will discuss various water-related issues.
The 4th APWS will also share with the world the long-standing efforts of the host city, Kumamoto, in conserving groundwater as well as its recovering efforts from the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes.
Under the theme, ‘Water for Sustainable Development: Best Practices and the Next Generation, the outcomes of the 4th APWS discussions on how to implement the recommendations given in the Yangon Declaration are expected to make a great contribution to leading the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
During today’s opening, Emperor Naruhito gave a speech in which he noted, “…We must work together on issues related to the relationship between people and water. It’s an urgent issue…”
If you’re interested in learning more about the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit please visit their official website here.
On Tuesday, April 19, 2022, Emperor Naruhito of Japan planted seedlings (hand sowing) in the back gardens at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
According to NTV Japan, Emperor Naruhito planted:
“…two types of rice Uruchi rice and Mangetsumochi made from glutinous rice.
His Majesty, wearing a gray jumper and black walking shoes, carefully sprinkled the seeds in a small basket evenly over the plot. Rice cultivation at the Imperial Palace was started by Emperor Showa and passed on to his heirs. Emperor Naruhito values rice cultivation, which is the center of Japanese farming culture.
The seedlings grown from seed will be planted by the Emperor in the paddy field in the middle of next month, and the rice harvested in the fall will be used for the “Niiname-no-Matsuri” of the Miyanaka ritual, and the rooted rice will also be used for the Shinto ritual of Ise Jingu.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the Japanese method of rice farming, which is actually quite interesting, please click here.