Emperor Emeritus visits exhibition on Okinawa’s culture, history

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita listen as a guide explains one of the items in a special exhibition on Okinawa culture and history at the Tokyo National Museum in Taito Ward, Tokyo, on Thursday.

The Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita paid a visit to an exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of Okinawa Prefecture’s return to Japanese sovereignty at the Tokyo National Museum in Taito Ward, Tokyo, on Thursday.

At “Ryukyu: Special Exhibition Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Okinawa’s Reversion to Japan,” the couple looked around the venue where 195 items are on display, including treasures and crafts from the Ryukyu kingdom that once existed in the islands that now make up the prefecture.

In front of a showcase containing a gilt-bronze hairpin, the pair bent forward to have a closer look at the elaborate engraving of a dragon. “It’s great that it survived the war,” said the Emperor Emeritus, who has visited Okinawa Prefecture 11 times and has made efforts to console the souls of World War II victims and protect the Ryukyu and Okinawan culture.

Their visit was originally planned for June 2, but it was postponed for a week out of consideration for the Emperor Emeritus’ health. As the couple have refrained from outings due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the visit was their first to an exhibition since October 2020, when they went to the Meiji Jingu Museum in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on the occasion of the Meiji Shrine’s centenary.