The 60-year love story of Japan's Emperor and Empress

09:29 02/03/2017
PSNews - On April 10th 1959, Crown Prince Akihito married Michiko Shoda, a girl of non-royal lineage. Although the wedding did not follow the royal tradition, it was seen as "one of the happiest days in Japan’s postwar history".
The Japanese press often recalls the predestined affinity between Emperor Akihito, the then Crown Prince ,and Empress Michiko, a girl without any relations with the Royal Family. The couple met in a summer tennis tournament in 1957 and fell in love with each other ever since. Photo: Getty Image
Empress Michiko was born on October 20th 1934 as the eldest daughter of a couple named Hidesabuto and Fumiko Shoda. The Shoda family was excellent at both business and academic field. Two members of the family were awarded the Cultural Medal, the most noble order of the King for artists. Photo: Imperial Household Agency

At that time, the love story of the Crown Prince stirred up both curiosity and concern in the Japanese society as the Crown Prince, for the first time in the history of the Japanese Royal family, himself decided to get married to a girl (Michiko in that case) other than someone appointed by the agency responsible for the Royal Family’s internal affairs as a tradition. In fact, the Japanese public was very surprised when Crown Prince Akihito announced to marry Michiko Shoda, breaking the traditional rules of the Japanese Imperial Family. This was also the first time the Japanese people have experienced a member of the noble Royal Family getting married to an ordinary. Although Michiko was born from a common family but she soon won the hearts and souls of Japanese people by the traditional humble and serious lifestyle of her family. Photo: Imperial Household Agency

Dr. Shinzo Koizumi, who tutored Crown Prince Akihito for many years, spoke about the marriage, "The Crown Prince has chosen the Princess and so have us." Photo: Getty Image

The whole country celebrated the royal wedding with magnificent horse-drawn carriage in a joyful atmosphere. More than 500,000 people joined the event. It was one of the happiest days in Japan in postwar times. Photo: Pinterest

The Crown Prince and Princess have a happy family with 3 children: Prince Naruhito, Prince Fumihito and Princess Sayako. On contrary to the traditional rules, the Crown Prince and Princess decided to keep their children with them. Princess Michiko took care and brought up her children by her own. Photo: Pinterest

Later in an interview, she said: "I always seek advice from the Emperor on every issues. I am very grateful for valuable advice from the Emperor. They are very useful to me." Photo: Imperial Household Agency

Since taking the throne in 1989, the current Emperor and Empress have excellently performed their responsibilities, and are now promoting their positions as the symbol of the State and national unity. They have narrowed the gap between the Royal Family and the people. Photo: Getty Image

In the palace, the Emperor and Empress host hundreds ceremonies, tea parties and meetings around the year. They have chances to meet people from all walks of life, including governmental officials, local leaders, businesspeople, farmers, fishermen, social officers and artists. Photo: Pinterest

Thanks to the enthusiastic support of Empress Michiko, Emperor Akihito has more energy to well perform his work  within the duty of the Japanese Emperor as well as other new areas. Photo: Imperial Household Agency
Since taking the throne in 1986, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have made official visits to 26 countries. The Emperor and Empress have also visited all the 47 cities and provinces as well as remote places and islands of Japan. They both actively participated in social activities and festivals to protect the environment, support poor people and carry out welfare activities for children, the elderly and people with disabilities across Japan. Photo: PA

Although they are aged, the Emperor and Empress always get up early in the morning to walk in the forest and royal garden, where they can witness seasons changing and be close to the nature. At weekend, if they have free time, they will play tennis, their favorite sport. Photo: Getty Image

It has been 60 years since the love story about Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko began. The Japanese people always admire and pride the marriage.  In the Japanese people’s eyes, the great love between the Japanese Emperor and Empress, which has never faded with time, has become the most beautiful love story in modern times. Photo: Getty Image

By An Nhien