New Year Imperial Poetry Reading Held for 1st Time in Reiwa

Society Culture

Tokyo, Jan. 16 (Jiji Press)--The annual "utakai hajime" New Year's poetry reading ceremony was held at the Imperial Palace on Thursday for the first time since Japan's Reiwa era began last year.

With "nozomi," or hope, chosen as the theme for this year's ceremony, "waka" Japanese poems created by Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, other Imperial Family members and guests as well as selected works by the general public were recited with special intonations in a traditional manner.

Empress Masako attended the ceremony for the first time in 17 years after a long absence due to treatment.

Emperor Emeritus Akihito, father of the current Emperor, and his wife, Empress Emerita Michiko, did not attend the ceremony following his abdication last year.

The English version of the poem composed by Emperor Naruhito reads: "When I hear the cheerful voices of children / Resounding through their classrooms / I hope from the bottom of my heart / They have a bright and beautiful future."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press