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Menu

 

Consommé à neige

Saumon au vin blanc
Salmon grilled in white wine (it is possible this may have been Sake)

Filet de bœuf à la Godard
Beef filets garnished with quenelles, braised lamb sweetbreads, cockscombs, truffles and mushrooms all bound in a ham and champagne sauce named after 18th century French General

Godard d’Aucour

Côtelettes de cailles à la Chantilly
Sautéed quail cutlets with glazed goose liver

Marquise au cherry brandy
Cherry brandy sorbet/sherbet

Chapon truffé rôti, Salade japonaise
Roasted castrated young hens with truffle slices stuffed between the skin and breast; and served with a Japanese salad

Asperges à la béchamel
Asparagus spears in Béchamel sauce

Fonds d’artichauts à l’Impératrice
Artichoke hearts

Thé glace à la chrysanthème
Green Tea Ice-Cream (Matcha)

 

​Desserts

Menu dated 26th May 1904



Luncheon at Shiba Riku Palace, Tokyo, hosted by His Imperial Majesty The Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito) (明治天皇) of Japan in honour of a visit by His Serene Highness Prince Karl Anton of Hohenzollern.

Traditional Japanese Matcha (green tea ice-cream) appears on this menu for the Emperor of Japan – even if it is written in French and stands alone among an array of western dishes.



In the middle of the Russo-Japanese War (between Russia and Japan) the Emperor of Germany sent his personal Military Attaché, Prince Karl Anton of Hohenzollern, as an observer to Japan.



On the Prince’s second day in Tokyo he was invited to lunch with The Emperor Meiji (then Emperor Mutsuhito) at the Imperial Palace for which this is the menu. Baroness Albert d’Anethan, wife of the Belgian Ambassador to the Japanese Imperial Court, remembered the arrival of the Prince of Hohenzollern and on the day of this imperial luncheon wrote:



“Albert [the Belgian Ambassador] accompanied by his two secretaries, went to the Shiba Riku Palace to write his name down in the Prince's book. Just as he was doing this, the Prince came up to him and introduced himself. Albert is much taken with him, and he seems to have charming manners. He said how delighted he was to be dining with us on Thursday, and how he had already written and told the Princess that he was dining en Belgique. Albert introduced his secretaries, and the Prince introduced his aide-de-camp, Major von Bronsart. His Highness was on his way to his audience with the Emperor and to lunch at the Palace when Albert met him”.



German newspapers also reported that when the Prince of Hohenzollern arrived at the Imperial Palace for this luncheon, he stood in the reception room with total silence and stillness all around. At precisely midday a cannon shot and all those present engaged in the deepest of bows signalling The Emperor Meiji had entered the room. The Emperor, dressed in the uniform of a Military General, then accompanied the German Prince to a separate room for private discussions where their conversations were interpreted into French by court officials.



Afterwards, the Emperor and Prince moved to the large banquet hall for this luncheon where court society had already gathered and were waiting standing behind their allotted chairs. The Empress Shōken then appeared, dressed in European court attire, along with the various Imperial princes and princesses who also joined for this lunch.



After the banquet, the Prince of Hohenzollern was accompanied to another palace room by Prince Fushimi Hiroyashu, a member of the Imperial Family who was a Fleet Commander in the Imperial Japanese Navy. It is reported the two then smoked cigars and, diplomatically importantly for Japan, Prince Hiroyashu was able to speak fluent German with the Prince of Hohenzollern  as he had moved to Germany in 1889 to train at the Naval Academy for the Kaiserliche Marine.



On the following day the Belgium Baroness noted:

 

“The Japanese are doing a great deal for the Prince. He comes as a special envoy from the German Emperor to follow the war, and likewise, I am told, for the purpose of proving that Germany's relations towards Japan are by no means so antagonistic as is supposed”.

 

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Empress Shōken

From 1886 onward, the Empress and her ladies-in-waiting dressed in western clothes.

Prince Karl Anton of Hohenzollern

The Japanese Emperor's luncheon guest on this day.

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Dining with

Emperor Meiji

In 1894 the Emperor and Empress of Japan celebrated their silver wedding anniversary with the full diplomatic corps invited to join them at a banquet at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. In her memoirs the Baroness Albert d’Anethan, wife of the Belgian Ambassador to the Japanese Imperial Court, recounted:

"The dinner at the Palace was at 6.40, but we had to be there twenty minutes before the hour named, and I do not think we sat down until some time after seven. We all marched in procession to the diningroom, the Spanish Minister being allotted to accompany me. We waited, standing behind our chairs, until the Emperor and the Empress and the Imperial Princes and Princesses came into the dining-room; then, after the Imperial family were seated, we took our places.

The banquet lasted two hours. I was placed eighth from the Empress on her left, between the Spanish and Chinese Ministers. A[lbert] was placed between two Japanese ladies of high rank who did not know English. Towards the end of dinner, beautiful little silver cranes were handed round, a gift to each honoured guest. They were lovely works of art, and will be charming souvenirs. At the Emperor's table there were 112 seated. In the other rooms Japanese food was served ; and in all 600 dined at the Palace.

The table was a truly magnificent sight, weighed down with its gigantic silver epergnes of storks and tortoises, which animals are emblems of long life and good fortune. These massive centre-pieces were made especially for this auspicious occasion. I never saw anything like the wealth of flowers and orchids, the produce of the Imperial hot-houses.


When dinner was over, a procession was formed, headed by the Emperor and Empress and the Imperial family, and we proceeded into another vast apartment, where we were once again received in audience. I wore a white satin gown, embroidered in silver all down the front, round the skirt, and on the bodice and shoes. It was expressly embroidered here in Japan for this occasion.

The Empress wore a lovely gown of white and silver. After we had remained in the large room for an hour, during which time the audiences were taking place, the Emperor and the Imperial party retired for a rest, and the gentlemen went off to smoke.

The family dining-room opens into the drawing-room where, upon the wall above the  comfortable American fire-places, there are a hundred or more plates of gold, upon which bread and salt have been offered as homage to the family in their journeys among the cities of the empire. And the walls are ornamented with a unique Russian design in gold, which is repeated upon the stamped leather of the furniture. In the different rooms there are  rare collections of old Russian things, but the banquet-hall is the only one entirely in the style of the country.

 

There a porcelain stove reaches almost to the ceiling, elaborately painted in the half Eastern, half Western style of the Russian artists ; the ceilings and walls are covered with variegated woods from the Russian forests, and there are large paintings  of native scenes which are among the chief treasures of the house. But it is in the ball-room where the family have won their social triumphs with numerous bals masquerades organized by the bachelor son of the house, the Grand Duke Boris. The two ball-rooms are divided by a row of white marble pillars, and with the musicroom connecting, all decorated in white and gold, with painted Cupids upon the ceiling carrying garlands of roses and delicate draperies trailing in soft clouds around the crystal chandeliers.

 

In the private apartments, which are thrown open for a ball, there is a winter garden, where the family generally gather for afternoon tea, and various sitting-rooms opening one into the other, one, however, particularly charming, which, I remember, was hung in pink brocade and furnished a la Pompadour, and which the mistress of the palace used as her boudoir. There the inquisitive guest might find the latest books on bridge and poker, with volumes of Russian poetry, and novels in German, French, and Italian, and not far away the Lutheran chapel, built for her as a bride when she deliberately refused to enter the Russian church.

 

Beyond the boudoir is a marble swimming-pool modelled after the celebrated ones at Peterhoff, where she takes a cool plunge every morning, and beyond that a studio, where she spends an hour or two every day. But her most intimate room is the Moorish room of the palace, where the fantastic domed ceiling and walls, inlaid with red and blue, paled in interest before the great collection of royal photographs filling one whole corner of the room, nearly every royal personage of the time, but not as one would see them at court or in their photographs sold in the shops the Czar smiling like a boy, and the Kaiser, moustache and military swagger subdued, lounging in a careless attitude; the unhappy Queen of Portugal as gay as a girl; even the melancholy, timid Czarina radiant and animated, the Grand Duchess herself as a tiny little girl with her mother, in a quaint German dress, and a big hat in her hand. At a fancy dress ball I remember seeing her for a few moments standing in the centre of this room, the thick fur of a white bearskin at her feet, with the ferocious mouth open and the terrible teeth hanging out, her luxuriant, regal figure clothed in the gorgeous blue robes of the native Russian costume, the gown and head-dress, kakoschnick, ablaze with jewels, and the long velvet train carpeting the floor behind her. She stood the personification of Russian femininity, enchanting in its touch of barbaric wildness and its tinge of Oriental voluptuousness the strong face calculating, yet careless, showing a nature swept by the hot fires of the South, yet as cold as the North one of the most remarkable women of her day, portraying a combination of contradictions best described as most Russian.

 

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