Now that’s pageantry!
His Majesty the Emperor’s New Year Thoughts for 2014
A third winter since the Great East Japan Earthquake has come around. At the dawn of the new year, my heart once again goes out to the afflicted people, those who cannot return to the places they used to live because of radioactive contamination and those who have to spend the cold harsh winter in temporary housing.
Last year, too, many people were confronted with various difficulties and I am sure they faced many hardships. In this new year, it is my hope that the people of Japan not forget the plight of those who are facing hardships and try to share even a little of their burden, and help and comfort one another at all times. I also hope that they will work together with the people of the world in pursuit of peace and do their utmost to build a better tomorrow.
In this season of deep snow, I want to ask people to take great care not to have any accidents in removing snow from roofs.
It is my hope that the new year will bring happiness to the people of Japan and the people around the world.
(via Mainichi newspaper)
A Tokyo reporter for a major US newspaper wonders whether the snow on the roofs advice is actually a metaphor.
Is this even more surreal than the time Exile performed for the imperial couple? Exile is a popular and heavily tanned, boy band. I don’t know that much about Kumamon but he sure dances fast!
For those unmoved by emperors and princesses, one of the most re-assuring and pleasurable sites at the Emperor’s address on January 2 of each year is the extravagant display of uniformed protection. With his yellow analog megaphone, white gloves, and pillowy lips, this policeman is welcome to tell me what to do.
In spite of their being public figures, the Emperor and Empress look very much in love in this island nation. I never understand why the Japanese royal family is not promoted more heavily for tourism, diplomacy, and the sheer entertainment value for their subjects. That’s the case in Europe, isn’t it?