Rise and Shine: The First Lady in Japan

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Manaka Hirose after playing the Taiko with the Akutagawa high school Taiko (Japanese traditional drum) Club at the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto


Today (all times Eastern)

12:0: White House Press Briefing

2:25: The President hosts the Second-Annual White House Student Film Festival; East Room


@FLOTUS: Flying over Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan, on the way to Kyoto.


AP: First Lady gets taste of Japan’s ancient culture in Kyoto

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama was treated to a serene classical Noh performance and then tried the taiko drums as she ended her visit to Japan on Friday with a taste of traditional culture in Kyoto, one of the country’s ancient capitals.

Mrs Obama viewed the Noh performance at Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple founded in 780 that is one of the most famous sights in Japan, sitting on a forested hill overlooking the city.

Local college students in kimono performed a brief piece of Noh, a classical Japanese musical drama that usually employs elaborate costumes and stylized masks to symbolize roles of women, ghosts and other characters.

While at Kiyomizu-dera, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whose name means “clear water,” Mrs. Obama observed a traditional tea ceremony. She then traveled across town to the 1,300-year-old Fushimi Inari shrine, a place of worship for Japan’s other major religion, Shinto….

There she watched a rousing performance by the award-winning Akutagawa High School Taiko Club, who drummed, jumped and gesticulated with all their might…. The students then invited Mrs. Obama to join them, and performed a number as she and a student drummed on a big, round taiko drum.

Soon after, Mrs Obama left Japan, one of Asia’s richest nations, for Cambodia, one of Asia’s poorest.

More here


@FLOTUS: Taking in a beautiful view of Kyoto from the Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist Temple with Ambassador @CarolineKennedy



First Lady Michelle Obama & Jack Schlossberg, son of Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, visit the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto



First Lady Michelle Obama, US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, Kennedy’s son John Schlossberg and Buddhist monk Eigen Onishi watch a Noh performance, a form of classical Japanese musical drama, on the main temple stage as they visit at Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple in Kyoto, western Japan



First Lady Michelle Obama watches a student perform a Noh play during a visit to the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto


@FLOTUS: Japanese tea for two






First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Manaka Hirose after playing the Taiko with the Akutagawa high school Taiko


The First Lady waves goodbye on leaving Haneda International in Tokyo before flying on to Cambodia


First Lady Michelle Obama arrives at Siem Reap International Airport, Cambodia

101 Responses to “Rise and Shine: The First Lady in Japan”

  1. 1 amk for obama
    March 20, 2015 at 10:14 am


  2. March 20, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Lovely ! Thank you Chips.

  3. 15 amk for obama
    March 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

    she is having the time of her life.

  4. 16 jacquelineoboomer
    March 20, 2015 at 10:20 am

    It’s Spring!

  5. 20 japa21
    March 20, 2015 at 10:22 am

    What has always impressed me the most about both PBO and FLOTUS (and I’ll include Joe and Jill Biden as well) is that they never appear to be contrived. Their enjoyment of life and their enjoyment of meeting others always appears genuine, despite all they go through and no matter how tired they must be.

    I am sure that at times they have to make an effort (they are, after all, human) but you would never know it watching them.

    I don’t think I have ever seen any other people in their positions, or any positions like theirs, that have come across this way. Plus, I don’t remember any President and First Lady actually making themselves so accessible to people, and I go back a long way.

    And I don’t expect to see the likes again in the WH. Although if my dreams come true and the VP becomes President, it will be close.

    • March 20, 2015 at 11:05 am

      japa21, I agree with you. This job isn’t easy. I read some comment were someone said that our FLOTUS was no Jackie Kennedy, there way of putting down Mrs. Michelle Obama. But as I said before she is not trying to be Jackie Kennedy, she is being who she is, Michelle Robinson Obama. And I will not disrespect any other First Lady, but I will say this Michelle Obama does not have to back down to any First Lady who have come before or after her. She is just as good if not better.

    • 24 jacquelineoboomer
      March 20, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Oh I literally just got chills and nearly a tear in my eye, reading that. Beautiful.

    • March 20, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      I agree with you japa21. And people really feel it. People who have met them in person sense this genuine interest. Unless their heart has been poisoned by the hate and smears they hear non-stop on right wing media. And even then, there have been cases where the person finally realizes that what’s said on radio or on tv about President Obama and his wife Michelle, or about Joe Biden and his wife Jill, is false.

      If I’m not mistaken, there has been an article quoting Fareed Zacharia, a couple of years ago, where he said the same thing that you say about Barack Obama. I wish I were able to find the article in question. He was talking about politicians in general who are not authentic; and Barack Obama was a notable exception.

      This authenticity, and I agree FLOTUS, VP and his wife have it too, comes from the heart. It’s the manifestation of something not that common in politics: they are UNSELFISH people. True public servants. They don’t view the people as persons to seduce in order to gain power. It all comes down to honesty and integrity.

      I sense this authenticity in a few prominent democrats in Congress too. Senators Reed, Durbin, Boxer, Franken, Warren, Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Van Hollen, to name a few.

    • March 20, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      I want Joe to run. He’s the only one that will continue president Obama’s vision. Hillary won’t do it.

  6. 28 hopefruit2
    March 20, 2015 at 10:28 am

    G’morning Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone and congrats even amk on #1! 🙂

  7. March 20, 2015 at 10:37 am


  8. 34 Nerdy Wonka
    March 20, 2015 at 10:37 am

    What a beautiful visual feast. Thank you so much, Chiparoooo!

  9. March 20, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Flotusssssssssss….her vitality and her graciousness…are an inspiration…

  10. 36 desertflower
    March 20, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Brilliant reply to Teabagging Maine Gov from Stephen King…who the gov accused of not paying Maine taxes but instead, moving to Florida to avoid them…

    “Governor LePage is full of the stuff that makes the grass grow green. Tabby and I pay every cent of our Maine state income taxes, and are glad to do it. We feel, as Governor LePage apparently does not, that much is owed from those to whom much has been given. We see our taxes as a way of paying back the state that has given us so much. State taxes pay for state services. There’s just no way around it. Governor LePage needs to remember there ain’t no free lunch.”

    This perfect reply can be said in MANY cases:) Who are the real takers again??

  11. 39 amk for obama
    March 20, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Russians count the cost a year after Crimea annexation.


  12. 40 desertflower
    March 20, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Our FLOTUS:)

    • March 20, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      YES YES YES!!! Thank you for this. I love who she is and what she does and how she does it. What a gift to the world she is, and an honor to our nation. We have never ever EVER had a First Lady remotely close to her in character, dedication, energy, integrity, and determination to use her time and influence to make us all better, stronger, happier, and more. Beauty too, of course. She shines from inside out. This song is PERFECTION, desertflower.

  13. 42 Judith Fardig
    March 20, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Congrats, AMK, you sprinter! There is so much joy radiating from these pictures! The Obamas are game try try anything with people they are visiting, whether kicking a soccer ball in the barrios of Brazil, taiko drumming in Japan, or dancing with kids in India. They are enthusiastic and respectful and get it back in equal measure. Young John Schlossberg is quite handsome.

    • 43 jacquelineoboomer
      March 20, 2015 at 11:22 am

      I agree totally, Judith. And seeing two members of the Kennedy family along with Mrs. Obama just warms my ol’ heart.

  14. March 20, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Jesus, this is way too early to be up. Morning all.

  15. March 20, 2015 at 11:03 am

  16. 48 jacquelineoboomer
    March 20, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Chips – This is just one magnificent post. Thank you, sweetie pie!

    Spring has sprung, looks like. Life is good.

  17. March 20, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Thanks for the beautiful photos, Chips!

  18. 50 jacquelineoboomer
    March 20, 2015 at 11:35 am

    And another take. Ha!

  19. 51 yardarm756
    March 20, 2015 at 11:37 am


    2003 Iraq War The U.S. begins bombing Iraq after announcing the beginning of the war the previous day.

    1987 First AIDS Drug AZT is approved by the FDA.

    1976 Patty Hearst is convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to seven years. She participated in the crime with Symbionese Liberation Army who had abducted her in 1974.

    1969 The Beatles John Lennon marries Yoko Ono.

    1907 Typhoid Mary Mary Mallon is apprehended in New York. She was suspected of causing 53 cases of the disease while working as a cook.

    1899 First Woman Executed in the Electric Chair Martha M. Place is executed for the murder of her stepdaughter.

    1897 First comic book The Yellow Kid, by Richard Felton Outcault, is released.

    1886 First U.S. alternating current (AC) power plant to go into commercial operation, Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

    1856 First U.S. governor removed from office by a state supreme court. W.A. Barstow of Wisconsin for election irregularities.

    1852 Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, is published in book form. It became the first American novel to sell 1,000,000 copies. It had previously been published as a serial in a Washington D.C. anti-slavery newspaper.

    1841 The Murders in the Rue Morgue, by Edgar Allen Poe, is published, establishing the literary genre of the detective story.

    1833 First U.S. treaty with a Far Eastern country the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with Siam, is signed. It was ratified in 1836.

    1782 Lord North resigns as Prime Minister of England, due to pressure from the peace faction in Parliament.


    1958 Holly Hunter American Oscar-winning actress. Film: Broadcast News (1987), Raising Arizona (1987), and The Piano (Oscar).

    1957 Spike Lee (Shelton Jackson Lee), American actor, director. Film: She’s Gotta Have It (1986), School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), and Jungle Fever (1991). In 1992, he took out an ad in Rolling Stone magazine claiming that AIDS is a government plot, against gays, blacks, and Hispanics, that went out of control.

    1951 Carl Palmer British Drummer, with Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Music: Lucky Man (1970), Tarkus (1971), and Brain Salad Surgery (1974).

    1950 William Hurt American Oscar-winning actor. Film: Altered States (1980), Body Heat (1981), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985, Oscar), and Broadcast News (1987).

    1945 Pat Riley American basketball coach, coached the Lakers to four NBA championships and was twice named NBA Coach of the Year.

    1943 Paul Junger Witt American Emmy-winning film producer, Brian’s Song, and The Golden Girls.

    1937 Jerry Reed d. 2008 (Jerry Hubbard), American Grammy-winning country musician, actor. Music: Lord, Mr. Ford (1973, #1) and She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft). Film: Smokey and the Bandit (1977).

    1935 Ted Bessel d. 1996 American actor, director. TV: That Girl (1966-71, Marlo Thomas’ character’s boyfriend) and The Tracey Ullman Show (director).

    1931 Hal Linden (Harold Lipshitz), American Emmy-winning actor, singer. TV: Barney Miller (title role).

    1928 Fred M. Rogers d. 2003 American children’s entertainer. TV: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. One of his sweaters is on display at the Smithsonian.

    1922 Ray Goulding d. 1990 of the comedy team Bob & Ray.

    1922 Carl Reiner American actor, writer. He created the Dick Van Dyke Show and co-created, with Mel Brooks, the 2,000-year-old man.

    1919 Vera Lynn (Vera Welch), British singer. She became the first British artist to hit #1 on the American Billboard chart (1952) with Auf Wiederseh’n, Sweetheart.

    1918 Jack Barry d. 1984 American game-show host, Joker’s Wild and Twenty-One, which was involved in the ’50s game show scandals.

    1907 Ozzie Nelson d. 1975 (Oswald George Nelson), American actor, musician. TV: The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (creator and star).

    1904 B.F. Skinner d. 1990 (Burrhus Frederic Skinner), American psychologist, pioneer in behaviorism. He worked on WWII Project Pigeon, which attempted to use pigeons for missile guidance systems.

    1903 Edgar Buchanan d. 1979 American actor. TV: Petticoat Junction (Uncle Joe) and Green Acres (Uncle Joe).

    1856 Frederick Winslow Taylor d. 1915 America’s first efficiency expert, called the father of scientific management.

    1741 Jean Antoine Houdon d. 1828 French sculpture, created the bust of George Washington (1788) that now appears on the U.S. quarter.

    43 B.C. Ovid d. A.D. 18 (Publius Ovidius Naso), Roman poet. Writings: Metamorphoses and Heroides.


    1995 Sidney Kingsley b. 1906 (Sidney Kirshner), American Pulitzer-winning playwright. Writings: Men in White (1933, Pulitzer) and Night Life (1962).

    1974 Chet Huntley b. 1911 (Chester Robert Huntley), American newsman. TV: NBC’s Huntley-Brinkley Report. “Goodnight, Chet.”

    1932 Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov b. 1870 Soviet biologist, specializing in artificial insemination. He tried to create a human-ape hybrid via artificial insemination as part of Stalin’s quest for a super-warrior.

    1928 James Ward Packard b. 1863 American inventor, automobile maker.

    1908 Sgt. William Harvey Carney b. 1842 American soldier, the first black to receive the Medal of Honor (1900) for bravery in 1863. During the Civil War assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina, Carney, although wounded four times, struggled across the battlefield and retrieved the Union flag. This battle is portrayed in the film Glory (1989).

    1727 Sir Isaac Newton b. 1642 English mathematician, philosopher, astronomer. He discovered the three laws of motion, the law of gravity, and invented calculus.

    1413 Henry IV b. 1367 King of England (1399-1413).

  20. March 20, 2015 at 11:45 am

  21. 65 Don
    March 20, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I love me some Michelle Obama!

  22. 67 jacquelineoboomer
    March 20, 2015 at 11:50 am

  23. 68 Don
    March 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    If Loretta Lynch isn’t made AG in President Obama’s remaining term, no problem. If Joe or Hillary or whatever Democrat becomes President, their first order of business is to make Loretta Lynch AG, problem solved.

    • 69 jacquelineoboomer
      March 20, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Or the Republicans will find a new shiny object, and move on. It’s all a game to them.

    • 70 Nena20409
      March 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      Loretta Lynch will be a perfect replacement for any SCOTUS in the next 2 yrs…..Clarence or Roberts……I have always imagined their early departures.
      Lynch was Top of her class in NC. It was Not given to her ‘solely’ for fear that her earned honor would upset some. The school ended up making it a 3 way tie……This happened less than 25 yrs ago…..TRMS aired this fact days ago.

      • March 20, 2015 at 1:17 pm

        That happened to a friend of mines daughter who beat out one other girl for valedictorian by a half a point. The principal asked her to share it with the other girl so there would not be hurt feelings. She said no way, she earned it by what ever percentage and would not share it since they were not tied. I can image who would have been upset that Ms. Lynch would have been named top of her class.

  24. 72 Dakota
    March 20, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Good Morning TOD Family.

    Happy 1st day of spring everyone. With the negativity happening now, the photos of the First Lady in Japan have lifted my spirits. My heart goes out to GCLinda. Sending blessing to you.

  25. March 20, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    “Statement by the President on U.S. Citizens Detained or Missing in Iran

    The spirit of family is deeply woven into all of the rich cultural traditions of the Nowruz holiday. It is a time for reuniting and rejoicing with loved ones and sharing hopes for the new year. Today, as families across the world gather to mark this holiday, we remember those American families who are enduring painful separations from their loved ones who are imprisoned or went missing in Iran.

    Saeed Abedini of Boise, Idaho has spent two and a half years detained in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs. He must be returned to his wife and two young children, who needlessly continue to grow up without their father.

    Amir Hekmati of Flint, Michigan has been imprisoned in Iran on false espionage charges for over three and a half years. His family, including his father who is gravely ill, has borne the pain of Amir’s absence for far too long.

    Jason Rezaian of Marin County, California, an Iranian government credentialed reporter for the Washington Post, has been unjustly held in Iran for nearly eight months on vague charges. It is especially painful that on a holiday centered on ridding one’s self of the difficulties of the past year, Jason’s mother and family will continue to carry the heavy burden of concern regarding Jason’s health and well-being into the new year.

    And finally, we recently marked yet another anniversary since Robert Levinson went missing on Kish Island. His family has now endured the hardship of his disappearance for over eight years.

    At this time of renewal, compassion, and understanding, I reiterate my commitment to bringing our citizens home and call on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately release Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian and to work cooperatively with us to find Robert Levinson so that they all can be safely reunited with their families as soon as possible.

    In honor of the familial spirit so strongly enshrined within this holiday and for the Abedini, Hekmati, Rezaian, and Levinson families, I hope this new spring is filled with joyous moments for us all with all of our loved ones by our sides.”

    A new Spring ……

  26. March 20, 2015 at 12:16 pm


  27. March 20, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    FLOTUS has arrived in Cambodia.

  28. March 20, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    A very significant tweet …

  29. 80 Nena20409
    March 20, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Spectacular Post, Chips……FLOTUS looks like a Billion Bucks.
    Congrats Amk on your TOD Furst Spring Au ⭐
    Wishing a hearty congrats to all the Au ⭐ winners several posts back.
    3-20-15 Live WH Presser with Josh “The Voice” Earnest about to start momentarily.
    Glad to see you HF2.
    Hello TODville Global Community 🙂

  30. March 20, 2015 at 12:24 pm

  31. March 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm

  32. March 20, 2015 at 12:28 pm

  33. 91 JER
    March 20, 2015 at 12:30 pm

  34. March 20, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    So for those who missed it yesterday, I have missus news.

    It seems as if her part-time job is quickly transforming into a full-timer. And she’s getting paid more than originally stated. Squeaky bum time may just be over for us.

    • 95 carolyn
      March 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Sounds good LL……she deserves all the good that is possible.

      Linda, your story broke my heart. I know that the village will get your story out so that it can do some good for others. Know we are with you. Very Brave of you to come here immediately and tell us your story, when I know you were shaken up. Hope today is better.

    • 96 Dudette
      March 20, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      Yay! Congrats to her! Must be a great feeling! A fresh start for Spring! So happy for you both! 🙂

  35. March 20, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Never seen a tweet like this from him, so …..

    I don’t think we have long to wait …

    • March 20, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      BTW, my comment is in the context of the current round of negotiations. From July 13 2014 and Dec he had not posted a single tweet. This was his last one on 13 July ….

      He then offered Christmas greetings on 24 Dec and didn’t tweet again until he chastised Cotton

      His theme of ‘engage with dignity’ is consistent.

      Let us truly hope we will be celebrating a ‘new Spring’ … for the sake of humanity …

  36. 101 Nena20409
    March 20, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Great News LL for your Missus. Wishing her the very best.

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