The Imperial Family in the Era of COVID-19: Staying Healthy and Informed

Imperial Masks in Public

Some members of European royal households, together with Prince Charles of Wales and Prince Albert II of Monaco, have been contaminated with COVID-19. At current, luckily, not one of the members of the imperial household in Japan have been contaminated with the virus.

On March 31, the previous Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, now generally known as emperor emeritus and empress emerita, wore masks as they traveled by automotive to the Takanawa Imperial Residence, greeted by onlookers alongside the best way.

The emperor emeritus and empress emerita travel past onlookers on the way to the Takanawa Imperial Residence.
The emperor emeritus and empress emerita journey previous onlookers on the best way to the Takanawa Imperial Residence.

The Imperial Family Company as properly is making a concerted effort to forestall an infection amongst members of its workers, in addition to the imperial household.

IHA workers meet with and supply providers to family members; additionally on responsibility are the Imperial Guard, who present safety. These personnel are carrying masks and avoiding shut contact with the imperial household, and workers are additionally shifting to telework and staggered work shifts. Above all, efforts are being made to forestall any transmission of the virus.

It is unusual for members of the imperial family to wear masks in public, concealing their faces from the public.
It’s uncommon for members of the imperial household to put on masks in public, concealing their faces from the general public.

The Rikkōshi-no-Rei ceremonies to proclaim Crown Prince Akishino’s rise to first in line to the throne, to be held on April 19, has been scaled again from 350 to 50 members, and the Kyūchū-Kyōen-no-Gi banquets initially scheduled for April 21 had been cancelled. These are some examples of measures taken to cut back the variety of guests to the Imperial Palace in order to forestall relations from coming into contact with too many individuals.

On the Jinmu-Tennō-sai ceremony held on April 3, Emperor Naruhito addressed volunteers on the Three Imperial Palace Sanctuaries. All of the assembled members wore masks and conversed with the emperor at a distance. The choice was additionally made to not have the members shout the normal three banzai cheers, to forestall the potential unfold of droplets that may accompany loud speech. In some ways like these, efforts are being made to regulate ceremonies in order that the imperial household can nonetheless work together with the general public.

Amid the Unfold of COVID-19

Princess Aiko on the day of her high school graduation.
Princess Aiko on the day of her highschool commencement.

Amid the present world pandemic, the daughter of the Emperor and Empress, Princess Aiko, graduated on March 22 from Gakushūin Lady’s Senior Excessive Faculty. The emperor and empress marked the event with the next remarks:

“With the unfold of the novel coronavirus, our ideas are on the difficulties and struggling skilled by so many individuals in Japan and world wide. Our heartfelt hope is that the unfold of this virus will come to an finish as quickly as potential.”

Infectious ailments have all the time been part of the historical past of Japan, simply as in all different nations. Over the centuries, some emperors succumbed to epidemics of such ailments as smallpox, dysentery, and measles. At occasions of the outbreaks of such ailments, the reigning emperor would pray for the wave of an infection to subside.

Within the 1520s, throughout the Warring States interval, Emperor Go-Kashiwabara (r. 1500–1526) wrote the Coronary heart Sutra out of concern for the outbreak of smallpox that was ravaging Kyoto on the time. He provided his calligraphy to the temple Ninnaji and prayed at numerous temples for the well-being of the folks. His son, who turned Emperor Go-Nara (r. 1526–57), is understood for having the identical sutra written in gold letters and attaching his personal postscript expressing his emotions of helplessness.

On August 7, 2016, the day earlier than Emperor Akhito conveyed his want to abdicate in a publicly broadcast video message, Emperor Naruhito (then the crown prince) visited Aichi Prefecture to view Emperor Go-Nara’s Coronary heart Sutra, now stored within the Iwase Bunko Library.

The next yr he additionally talked about the sutra on the press conference held on his birthday: A few of Emperor Go-Nara’s Coronary heart Sutras, written in gold paint on darkish blue paper, nonetheless stay immediately in collections aside from that of Iwase Bunko Library, he famous. “There’s, nonetheless, just one on which the ideas of the Emperor himself are recorded in a postscript, which mentions that, as each mom and father to the folks, it pained his coronary heart to be unable to succeed in out with benevolence. . . . Retaining these deeds of my predecessors in thoughts, I wish to proceed to think about the folks and pray for them, and simply as Their Majesties do, all the time be near the folks of their ideas, and share of their joys and sorrows.”

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako at the Imperial Palace on February 23, the emperor’s birthday.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako on the Imperial Palace on February 23, the emperor’s birthday.

Emperor Naruhito Staying Knowledgeable

On March 31, Emperor Naruhito met with Prime Minister Abe Shinzō to obtain details about the unfold of COVID-19. The emperor and empress had been additionally scheduled to be briefed on April 6 by the chair of the federal government’s professional panel on the response to the pandemic.

The imperial couple are keen to determine the state of affairs relating to the affected areas and people, their major concern thus far. Based mostly on the state of affairs going through the nation, Emperor Naruhito desires to answer the wants of the folks. This requires members of the imperial household to stay wholesome—which drives the efforts being made by the Imperial Family Company to keep away from the unfold of an infection.

(Initially revealed in Japanese on FNN’s Prime Online on April 2, 2020. Written by Fuji TV Information Analyst Hashimoto Satoshi. Translated by

[© Fuji News Network, Inc. All rights reserved.]

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