NewsJapan's Princess Aiko is coming of age

Japan's Princess Aiko is coming of age

In Japan, children do not come of age until they are twenty. Her birthday was a special event for Princess Aiko.

Tokyo – To celebrate her coming of age, Japan’s Princess Aiko, the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, paid homage to Japan’s gods and participated in dignified ceremonies at court.

With loving looks, Tenno (61) gave his daughter, who had turned 20 on December 1 and thus reached the age of majority, the “Order of the Noble Crown” on the shoulder ribbon on this occasion, as the conservative House Court Office announced.

The diadem for the celebration was on loan

After pilgrimages to Shinto shrines, where her imperial ancestors and Japan’s gods are venerated, the young princess appeared in front of the court photographers in a long white dress and a tiara and thanked the press representatives with a smile.

The celebrations were officially held four days after her actual birthday, because Aiko was taking classes at her university that day and should not be disturbed. Aiko has been studying Japanese language and literature at Gakushuin University in Tokyo since last year.

The princess had borrowed the diadem for her coming of age celebration from her aunt Sayako Kuroda, as she did not want to have a new diadem made out of consideration for the suffering of the population due to the corona crisis. Her aunt, the emperor’s sister, no longer belongs to the imperial household because she married a commoner in 2005 and thus became a private person.

According to the current house court law, women are not allowed to the throne, only men of the male imperial line. But the oldest hereditary monarchy in the world is slowly running out of offspring. Currently there are theoretically only three candidates left to succeed Aiko’s father on the throne: his brother, Crown Prince Akishino (56), whose 15-year-old son Prince Hisahito and Naruhito’s uncle Masahito – who is 85 years old.

Can Aiko become empress one day?

Hisahito – the first prince in Japan for 41 years – is the only remaining male member of the youngest generation of the imperial family. In view of this situation, there are increasing voices in Japan to allow women to the throne as well. If so, Aiko would one day become empress.

As a member of the court of age, Aiko will take over official duties from now on. According to the court’s plans, she will show herself to the public for the first time as an adult member of the imperial family on New Year’s Eve. Soon afterwards, in April, the age of majority in Japan will be reduced from the current 20 years to 18 years. dpa

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