„Careless whisper“~father fiqh a Statuedda ante Imperio

Theme for the New Year’s Poetry Reading (2014) : SEI (quiet)

His Majesty the Emperor
Spreading beyond
The memorial monument
I see before me
The sea of Minamata
So blue, so calm, and so still.
Ireihi no
Saki ni hirogaru
Minamata no
Umi aokushite
Shizuka narikeri

(Background of the poem)
In October Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress visited Kumamoto Prefecture to attend the National Convention for the Development of an Abundantly Productive Sea and visited the city of Minamata for the first time to participate in the Welcome Ceremony at sea and the release of young fishes into the water. On Their arrival, Their Majesties offered flowers at the Memorial Monument for Minamata Disease Victims. In this poem, His Majesty describes how, on that occasion, He saw the sea of Minamata spreading beyond the Memorial Monument.

Minamata disease is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning, first discovered in Minamata city in Kumamoto Prefecture. It was caused by the release of methylmercury in the industrial wastewater from Chisso Corporation’s chemical plant, which continued from 1932 to 1968.

Her Majesty the Empress
„I now leave to serve
The deity soon to be moved
To a newly built shrine“
So saying with eyes serene
Our daughter left for Ise.
Miutsuri no
Chikaki miyai ni
Tsukauruto
Hitomi shizukani
Ko wa iite tatsu

(Background of the poem)
Ever since her appointment the year before last as a Special Priestess for the relocation of the deity of the Grand Shrine of Ise, Ms. Sayako Kuroda, Their Majesties‘ daughter, served in a series of ceremonies at the shrine on a number of occasions. The deity has been relocated and installed in a new shrine rebuilt every 20 years since A.D. 690, when the practice first began. In this poem, Her Majesty describes how her daughter came to see Their Majesties in September before her departure for Ise.

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince
The graceful sound of singing is heard in the stillness of the Sanctuary during the Niiname-sai.

(Background of the poem)
His Imperial Highness accompanies His Majesty The Emperor to the Niiname-sai, the Harvest Thanksgiving Ceremony celebrated from the night of November twenty-third until the morning of the twenty-fourth every year in the Shinkaden housed in the Sanctuary of the Palace. This poem depicts his appreciation of the elegant sounds of the sacred Mikagura music performed outside as heard within the silence of the Sanctuary.

Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess
As though it enwraps even the sorrow, the sea off Kamaishi lies in tranquility.

(Background of the poem)
In November, Their Imperial Highnesses The Crown Prince and Princess visited Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture, the site of the great earthquake disaster.
The city was severely damaged by the earthquake and tsunami of March, 2011 and is now in the process of recovery. Their Highnesses were most happy to learn there that in May of last year sea urchin fishing had resumed in the Heita District of Kamaishi 2 years after the disaster.
On the day of their visit, the bay of Kamaishi was tranquil. This poem expresses Her Highness’s earnest desire that the sorrow of the people who for many years have lived with the ocean would gradually be lifted, and that the ocean would peacefully protect the livelihood of the people and bring them bountiful blessings.


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sieben + = zwölf