Royal Storytime 

The Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall has been visited by members of the Japanese royal family multiple times throughout its history. While travelling to the UK to witness the coronation of the last two English monarchs, Japanese royalty would take time to visit Canada along the way. On their way to the coronation of King George in 1937, Prince and Princess Chichibu took the opportunity to visit VJLS-JH. When he was still a crown prince, Emperor Akihito visited Canada on his way to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

 Many years later, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited VJLS-JH in 2009 while celebrating the diplomatic relationship between Japan and Canada. There was one other royal visit during his reign, the Heisei era, that was particularly entertaining. 

Princess Takamado is a member of the Imperial family who also happens to be an author of children’s books. On June 8th, 2004, she visited VJLS-JH to see a play performed in the Japanese Hall, one adapted from her book Lulie the Iceberg. This story about the adventures of an iceberg floating around the world entertained the children of the school, and Princess Takamado signed their copies of her book afterwards. You can listen to the story here, courtesy of the JCCC. 

Mizuta, Harry. “VJLS-JH: 60 Years of History and Looking to the Future.” In 60th Anniversary Since Re-Opening, pg. 15-20. Vancouver: VJLS-JH, 2012.
Takamado no Miya Hisako, and Warabé Aska. Lulie the Iceberg. New York: Kodansha International, 1998.