Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brief Sketches of Members of Japan's Royal Family

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brief Sketches of Members of Japan's Royal Family

Article excerpt

ANY AMERICAN who reads gossip columns feels right at home with Britain's royal family. But the members of Japan's more sedate imperial family are virtual strangers to the tabloid press, and thus to most Americans.

Here, in capsule form, is a portrait of Japan's imperial family: The Imperial Couple

Emperor Akihito: Born in Tokyo 60 years ago, the fifth child but first son of Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako . . . Following tradition, was separated from his parents at age 3 and reared by court chamberlains . . . After World War II, learned the English language and American customs from an American tutor . . . Got a degree in politics and economics from Gakushuin University in 1956 . . . On April 10, 1959, shattered tradition by marrying a commoner, Michiko Shoda . . . Continued to shatter tradition by rearing his own children . . . Acted in his father's stead after illness afflicted Hirohito in September 1987 . . . Became Japan's 125th emperor upon the death of Hirohito on Jan. 7, 1989 . . . Underwent the ritual Ceremony of Enthronement on Nov. 12, 1990, naming his reign Heisei, or "achieving peace" . . . Like his father, writes traditional poetry and studies marine life, having published 26 scholarly papers on fish . . . Enjoys tennis, plays the cello . . . One of his older sisters is still living, as is his brother and a younger sister . . .

Empress Michiko: Born in Tokyo 59 years into the Shoda family of wealthy industrialists . . . Was educated at a Catholic school, Sacred Heart University in Tokyo, which gave her a degree in English literature in 1957 . . . Met her husband-to-be on a tennis court . . . Had to overcome resistance from Japan's aristocrats, appalled at the notion of a commoner's marrying the crown prince, and of her own family, which wished to spare her the burden of life in the spotlight . . . Is said to have a cool relationship with her mother-in-law, the Dowager Empress, now 91 . . . Suffered a mysterious ailment earlier last year that temporarily robbed her of the power to speak . . . Is said to have a comfortable command of colloquial English . . . Composes waka (traditional Japanese poetry) and plays the piano and harp . …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.