According to Asahi Shimbum
, Emperor Akihito's thoughts turned to his visits to Vietnam and Thailand, among other things, and Empress Michiko reminisced about her conversations with southern islanders of Japan in "waka" poems the couple composed.
Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko
The eight 31-syllable poems were released by the Imperial Household Agency. Five were by Akihito, 84, and three by Michiko, 83.
The couple composed them last year and selected the eight for New Year's release.
In one, the emperor expressed his admiration for the Vietnamese people’s resilience in the face of various wars and conflicts even after World War II had finished and the country's rise to prosperity. In another, he depicted bidding farewell to Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej while recalling his exchanges with the monarch over half a century.
The emperor and empress visited Vietnam and Thailand between February and March.
One of five poems by the emperor about Vietnam’s trip:
How did they live through
Those years of fighting and war
My thoughts went out to them
As we visited this land
The country of Vietnam.