logo de PACE memento in commemoration of the historic visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan


These extracts from the photographic album of Samuel Porta were assembled with the kind agreement of the Porta family and the photographer J. P. Grisel. The document includes original photographs, copies of correspondence and facsimiles of newspaper articles.

LETTER OKAWA The Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. September 27th. 1971.

Dear Sir,
I should like to thank you most sincerely for the very warm welcome which you extended to us when we paid you our unexpected visit Saturday. September 25th. We are very grateful for your agreeing to Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan and their entourage halting in front of your vines on the afternoon of Sunday, October 10th. You have kindly suggested postponing the harvest of this particular part of vineyard so that Their Majesties may admire the grapes on the vine. I am certain that this considerate gesture will give great pleasure to Their Majesties. Mme Okawa and myself would like to thank once again for your kindness, as also for the delicious bottle of Saint Amour.
Yours sincerely, Yoshio Okawa

PUBLIC At the time when the Chief of Police visited the vineyard, accompanied by the delegation responsible for the Imperial couple's security, the vineyards were 'out of bounds', that is to say, nobody was allowed to enter. An observer immediately alerted the vineyard guard who intercepted the visitors dressed in civilian cloth. Fortunately they were carrying identification on them! Here on Sunday 10th. of October 1971, people of Grandvaux are waiting for their Majesties' arrival.
WAITING It had been decided that Samuel Porta would be accompanied by children of honor when he presented the gifts to Their Majesties. During the discussion as to who to choose from the village, Mrs. Porta remarked : "But we have children too!" It was thus that their grandchildren Yves (four) and his sister (eight) welcomed their guests of honor.
WELCOME On the right, Their Majesties the Emperor Hiro Hito and the Empress Nagako of Japan. In the foreground to the left, Samuel Porta with his grandchildren Yves and Nadine.
HAND SHAKE The children had been told that in Japan, instead of shaking hands one made a deep bow. When the Emperor Hiro Hito unexpectedly held out his hand, Yves was afraid to hold out his in return. Nadine had to push his arm before he understood that the exception confirms the rule.
SEIGHT-SEEING Facsimile Newspaper article about Their Majesties sight-seeing tour in Switzerland.
KITAHARA Their Majesties The Emperor and the Empress of Japan in the vineyard of 'St., Amour' accompanied by Hideo Kitahatra (right) and Samuel Porta (Left).
CUT A BUNCH Her Majesty the Empress Nagako wished to cut a bunch of grapes with the secateurs. Samuel Porta pointed out a beautiful on the trellis of the tool shed. When, however, Her Majesty went up to the place in question she noticed a birds nest under the roof of the shed. In order to avoid disturbing the inhabitants, Her Majesty very considerately chose a different bunch further away from the shed.
YODELERS Facsimile Newspaper article about cultural exchange between Japan and Switzerland.
END OF VISIT Their Majesties The Emperor and the Empress of Japan with their entourage delighted after listening Yodelers and Alps Horn Blowers.
BETTER WINE Facsimile Newspaper article about harvest in the 'St. Amour' vineyard.
JOURNALISTS Reporters interviewed Samuel Porta in front of his vines.
LETTER KITAHARA The Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. October 18th. 1971.

Dear Sir,
I should like to express my gratitude for the cordial welcome which you extended to Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress of Japan during their visit to Grandvaux on the afternoon of Sunday, October 10th. 1971. Their Majesties brief visit to your St. Amour vineyard was very successful and gave them grate pleasure. I should like to thank you for the basket of grapes and the bottles of wine which you presented to them. This courteous gesture was much appreciated by Their Majesties. Once again, Sir, please accept my warmest thanks.
Yours sincerely, Hideo Kitahara, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Japanese Permanent Representative.