From the Top of a Bus

“I saw England’s King from the top of a bus
I don’t know him still he seems to know us.”

I was reminded of these lines from “The Mountains of Morne” when I met the Emperor and Empress of Japan today.

Here is the song:

The Imperial Couple was very gracious, happy and smiling.

We had been preparing this for months. I say we but in fact it was their household and security that did everything. We just said yes.

Jonathan says Hello

Very few people actually got to see them because of security concerns, which I feel was a great pity, especially for our Japanese colleagues. Their Empress and Emperor were at the University for 3 hours but only a handful of staff saw them.

Empress with students

Anyway you can read full story and watch the video here:

I was privileged to meet them and they even shook my hand. This was odd as we were told essentially not to breathe in their presence but they were as friendly as can be.  This has always been my experience. VIPs are normally charming and helpful whereas their courtiers are scared and obnoxious.They did not however seem inclined to talk about whisky that much. This is strange.


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2 Responses to From the Top of a Bus

  1. Ian Calder says:

    What do Emperors eat for lunch? Perhaps they bring their own – sliced Phoenix or some such.
    I have always been sad that our Queen Liz is said to be pretty Leary of strange “foreign” foods, like garlic for instance. Maybe it’s the courtiers.

  2. Alan says:

    Had a Cambridge friend who met Empress Michiko on several occasions at the Palace in Tokyo to discuss the friend’s research on Shelley, Michiko having a BA in English Lit. Apparently easy to talk to and quite jovial once the daft formalities of getting to the palace were over. Friend said that first names were used between them whilst they were discussing Shelley’s place in the canon. Somehow I can’t quite see Our Liz doing that.

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