What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

The Imperial Household Agency and the Cigarettes

TGI-ECT

後輩
Joined
6 Jan 2007
Messages
306
Reaction score
84
Firstly, it may appear to some that I have returned to here after a number of years to set up this post and I wouldn't blame anyone for not believing that I did not. The truth is, I was preparing a little something for family members related to this event we are witnessing for a second time in our family, including my daughter; the new royal family being installed into that pretty set of buildings inside that moated village inside Tokyo.

And while I was putting together my little thing I remembered something and it is weird and I would again not worry in the least if anyone believes this story that will also fall a tad short of details, specifically the reason. But I probably can describe them to a degree that there could be no doubt this is true.

You see, folks, many years ago -- I think it was '83 -- I was given two packs of cigarettes from the Imperial Household Agency. No need to state why; it just happened. But I don't suppose it happens that often. And maybe now it doesn't happen at all because those things now have health warnings all over the commercial product. I don't remember right now if the commercial product back in '83 had health warning on the boxes. I know one thing, they were a heck of a lot cheaper, especially at Hardy Barracks, or the old Sanno Hotel.

Anyway, I was given those special cigarettes and I knew it was a special thing, but I didn't really fall all over myself about the deal. When you are young and busy you sort of shake 'special' off rather quickly. BUT there was one incident that I remember sort of having me think twice about what was going on.

I had hung on to the two packs for a tad bit and wasn't going to open them, as I figured they should be put away and so on. But I had an appointment on an SDF facility and was a tad worried about impressions and took a pack with me just in case I had to sit down with any senior officers. And I did.

So I pulled out the pack and showed it off -- it was a very thin sort of package and white, if I remember correctly, or light, light grey; and had a single very smallish chrysanthemum printed on the front. That is all I remember, except one more thing -- the tobacco was so very strong. I mean really strong. Nothing like I had ever smoked before that day.

There was also the reaction of the officer that really surprised me. He held that cigarette in a most strange way. As if he wasn't sure if he should smoke it or not. I also remember the odd way he held it when I first gave it to him with both hands -- finger/thumb with each hand. It was my first time to see that sort of reaction related to an object, so to speak, and it was immediately clear that I knew jack-all about how the royal family was looked upon by at least a few citizens of Japan, military or not. It was one hell of a lesson.

I apologize for not informing anyone why I had received those two packs of cigarettes and I have to be very honest that I do not remember if I still have the empty boxes, or maybe one full and the other empty. You younger folks won't believe this until much later, but age does mess with the remembering part of the brain. I actually didn't remember about those cigarettes until a -- well, I can look at something -- just about 1900hrs. About an hour ago. And this is the first time I have posted about this in public. And the last.
 
Last edited:

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,064
Reaction score
2,332
Who would have thought that the IHA issued their very own "brand" of cigarettes? And while my curiosity is aroused, I wouldn't dare to inquire what services had to be rendered to receive such honours. If you ever stumble across those packages, please do share a photo with us.

Found this on Wikipedia:


oshino-tabaco.JPG
 

TGI-ECT

後輩
Joined
6 Jan 2007
Messages
306
Reaction score
84
My goodness! I think my respect for Wikipedia just jumped up one notch. Who would have ever thought that would get on their site? My goodness!! And does that bring back some memories. The cigarettes themselves are familiar, but I don't think the packaging was the same with the ones I had. I think I would have remembered an unusual packaging like that. But I could be wrong.

Well, thank you, thomas.

By the way, why does the server insist on that upper-case 'T' you clearly don't like? Who's the boss? Wait, I have a some experience with that -- the server is the boss.
 
Top Bottom