I assume they're not fondling a giant wobbly plate of raw intestine and then reading a textbook out loud and acting out the scenes like it looks in the picture, but what is it and what are they doing?
These pictures are very symbolic and meant to portray Masako specifically as Empress--that is a bundle of silk thread that Masako, has farmed from silkworms, which is a traditional activity for the Empress of Japan. (the books are about silkworm farming)
I was wondering the same thing, it looked like they were making sushi to me
She looks happy and relaxed, it's so good to see.