Emperor Naruhito writes poem reflecting on warm welcome

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

Emperor Naruhito of Japan recited a poem at the annual Imperial New Year’s Poetry Reading to reflect on the warm welcome he and his wife, Empress Masako, received during their official visits in Japan.

The Poetry reading was also attended by Empress Masako, Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko, as well as selected members of the public.

The theme of this year’s reading was “wa,” which means “peace” and “harmony.”

The official translation of the poem provided by the Imperial Household Agency reads:

Seeing the smiles of the people

I meet during my many journeys

Throughout the country

Fills my heart with peace

Empress Masako’s poem reflected on the graduation composition of their daughter, Princess Aiko.

How moved I was to read

My daughter’s deep feelings for peace

After her first visit

To Hiroshima

Princess Aiko also wrote a poem.

Surviving centuries of hardship

The words of Waka poems

Touch my heart today

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