Tour Report on 19 May 2018, East Garden of the Imperial Palace
- East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
We thank guests who participated in this tour. We welcomed 38 guests from USA, Ireland, U.K., Canada, Malaysia, India, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Austria, Singapore, South Africa, France, and China. Then we divided into 4 groups.
That day was coincided with Royal Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding in U.K.
That signifies our tour because our providing tour has a spot that memorises our imperial family’s marriages, called Wadakura Fountain Park that consists of two fountains. The park was established in 1961 containing one fountain to commemorate marriage between current Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko when they were crown prince and princess in 1959. Then 1993, the other one was established to commemorate marriage between current crown prince Naruhito and princess Masako.
Two water structures behind this group form wedding cakes. These are symbol of celebration just like the world celebrated marriage between Prince Harry and Meghan.
The Royal marriage is thought to be progressive in the sense Princess Meghan is divorcee and bi-racial American. Just like that, marriage between Emperor and Empress was progressive because Michiko was from commoners’ family, the first time in Japan’s history. So it was a symbol of Japan’s democracy after the second world war.
Our nation, Japan and the United Kingdom have many things in common. One is that both nations have monarchy as symbol of national unity and parliament with a prime minister. Both nations are islanders. Both nations have left hand traffic rule. Most nations in the world are right hand traffic rule. So U.K. and Japan share strong bond as minority in that sense. Left hand traffic may be derived from feudal period Samurai custom that they held swords and its sockets on left side of their waists so they could take swords out using their right hands. Walking on left side of the road prevents two sockets hitting each other while two samurais were walking from opposite directions.
During the tour, we often introduce the site of ex-Matsuno-roka (Pine tree corridor), which is related to a historic revenge incident happened on a snowing day in the feudal period, whose themes and story set up was similar to the famous English mystery novel by Agatha Christie, titled “Murder on the Orient Express.” A group of people who shared the same grudge against one man patiently, and carefully planned the action and finally gathered in the same place to take revenge and the revenge was justified.
After the ex-Matsuno-roka, we take you to the former castle tower base to introduce Budokan Stadium which you can view from there.
The stadium was established in 1960’s to hold Judo matches for 1964 Tokyo Olympics. In 1966 British popular band, the Beatles concert was held first time in Japan.
From the same spot you could view Tokka Gakudo music hall which is within the East Garden and established in the same year to commemorate late former empress Kojun’s 60th year. She was mother of current Emperor. But the music performed is not like Beatles but traditional court music and the capacity is much smaller than the Budokan, only 200 seats and only those invited or win the lottery can attend the concert.
Beatles has been a very popular band since then. A leader of the band, John Lennon married a Japanese woman, Yoko Onno.
These things make U.K. closer to us. Since it was a day of Royal wedding, we had to come up with a song of love. The best song for that is Beatles’ “All you need is love”
Interestingly, the lyrics is mistranslated in Japanese. First two sentences, “Nothing you can do, that can’t be done. Nothing you can sing, that can’t be sung.” That was translated as “You can’t do that even if you try. You can’t sing even if you try.” Correct translation was reverse because it was double denial. That thing we have to correct. Meaning we have to be positive.
In modern period Japan acquired so many things from U.K. Like Tokyo Station Building meeting spot for the tour was designed by a Japanese architect who studied architect in England and Japan’s railway network was established by a man named Inoue, who studied that stuff in England as well. The statue on a corner of the station is him.
When Japanese imperial family members study abroad to learn English, it is usually UK and they learn the Queen’s or King’s English.
Just like Great Britain, Japan had a history of separation as described in this report. western part of Japan was like and maybe still kind of Scotland in U.K.
Both nations are kind of united although we are islanders on both ends of Eurasian continent.
Sorry, I talked too much about U.K. We love and treat everyone who joins the tour equally. We want to know about your country. Every country is of our interest. Please join us. You are all friends of ours!! Please tell us about your country and find some similarities with us.
Tour Report on May 13 in Asakusa area 2018.05.15