Emperor Emeritus turns 89

Courtesy of the Imperial Household Agency
The Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita take a walk in the Akasaka Estate in Motoakasaka, Tokyo, on Dec. 8.

The Emperor Emeritus turned 89 on Friday. He lives a quiet and relaxed life with the Empress Emerita, 88, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

This year, the couple completed a move to the Sento Palace on the Akasaka Estate in Motoakasaka, Tokyo, following the accession to the throne by the current Emperor. The Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita had previously lived there for 33 years until 1993, and now they enjoy morning and evening walks through grounds filled with memories.

Physically, the Emperor Emeritus was diagnosed with right heart failure in July and his condition has gotten better through nonsurgical treatment such as drug therapy, restriction of water intake and limits on physical activity. He is said to be in good condition after undergoing cataract and glaucoma surgery in September. The Emperor Emeritus is now getting more exercise and covers a longer distance in his walks.

To pursue his studies of goby fish, his life’s work, the Emperor Emeritus visits the Biological Laboratory on the Imperial Palace grounds twice a week. One of his research themes is to shed light on the differences in habitat environments for two different species of Gobiidae living in different areas. Whenever possible, he also attends an online meeting of a fish taxonomy research group that is held every other month.

Recently, he is said to have spoken with the Empress Emerita and officials at the agency about Japan’s great performance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. “I think the Emperor Emeritus is glad that Japan’s national team defeated soccer powerhouses and that many people are proud of being Japanese,” a close aide to the Emperor Emeritus said.