Aiko, Princess Toshi

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Princess Aiko
敬宮愛子内親王
Princess Toshi
Full name
Aiko (愛子?)
House Imperial House of Japan
Father Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan
Mother Masako, Crown Princess of Japan
Born (2001-12-01) 1 December 2001 (age 12)
Imperial Household Agency Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Religion Shinto
Japanese Imperial Family
Imperial Seal of Japan.svg


HIH The Prince Mikasa
HIH The Princess Mikasa

Princess Aiko (敬宮愛子内親王 Toshi-no-miya Aiko Naishinnō?, born 1 December 2001) is the only child of the heir apparent to the Japanese throne, Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan, and his wife, Masako, Crown Princess of Japan.

Aiko, the princess's personal name, is written with kanji character for "love (愛)" and "child (子)" and means "a person who loves others."[1] She also has an imperial title, Princess Toshi (敬宮 toshi-no-miya) which means "a person who respects others."[1] This formal title will be dropped if she marries a commoner. The Imperial Household Law of 1947 abolished the Japanese nobility; and under provisions of this law, the imperial family was streamlined to the descendants of Emperor Taishō.[2] The laws of succession in Japan exclude inheritance through a female line; if the laws were changed, Aiko would be second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Name[edit]

In a break with tradition, her name was chosen by her parents, instead of by the emperor. It was selected from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Mencius. In clause 56 of Li Lou II, Mencius said "One who loves others will be constantly loved by them; one who respects others will be constantly respected by them. (人者人恆之,人者人恆之。)"

Personal life[edit]

Princess Aiko began her education at Gakushuin Kindergarten on April 3, 2006.[3] She graduated from the school on March 15, 2008.[4] On 18 March 2014, Princess Aiko graduated from Gakushuin elementary school and on 6 April 2014 she entered Gakushuin Girl's Junior High-school.

On Princess Aiko's eighth birthday, it was revealed her interests include but are not limited to: writing Kanji characters, calligraphy, jump rope, playing piano and violin, and writing poetry.[5]

In November 2011, Princess Aiko was hospitalized with pneumonia.[6]

Bullying incident[edit]

In early March, 2010, Aiko began to stay home from school due to being bullied by her elementary school classmates.[7] Aiko returned to school on a limited basis on May 2, 2010. Since returning, she has attended a limited number of classes accompanied by her mother.[8] The Imperial Household Agency has denied reports in the Japanese media that it advised Gakushuin's administration to add drugs to the lunches of Aiko's tormentors to calm them down.[9]

Throne[edit]

Debate[edit]

The birth of Princess Aiko sparked debate in Japan about whether the The Imperial Household Law of 1947 should be changed from the current system of agnatic primogeniture to absolute primogeniture, which would allow a woman, as firstborn, to inherit the Chrysanthemum Throne ahead of a younger brother or male cousin. Although Imperial chronologies include eight empresses regnant in the course of Japanese history, their successors were always selected from amongst the members of the paternal Imperial bloodline, which is why some conservative scholars argue that the women's reigns were temporary and that male-only succession tradition must be maintained in the 21st century.[2] Though Empress Gemmei was followed on the throne by her daughter, Empress Genshō,[10] Genshō herself was succeeded by her brother's son, thus keeping the throne in the same agnatic line; both Genshō and Gemmei, as well as all other empresses regnant and emperors, belonged to the same patriline.

A government-appointed panel of experts submitted a report on 25 October 2005, recommending that the Imperial succession law be amended to permit absolute primogeniture. On 20 January 2006, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi used part of his annual keynote speech to address the controversy when he pledged to submit a bill to the Diet letting women ascend to the throne in order that the Imperial throne be continued into the future in a stable manner. Koizumi did not announce a timing for the legislation to be introduced nor did he provide details about the content but he did note that it would be in line with the conclusions of the 2005 government panel.

Birth of male cousin[edit]

Proposals to replace agnatic primogeniture were shelved temporarily after it was announced in February 2006 that the Crown Prince's younger brother, Fumihito, Prince Akishino and his wife Kiko, Princess Akishino were expecting their third child. On 6 September 2006, at 8:27 a.m. (Japan Standard Time), Princess Kiko gave birth to a son, Hisahito, who is third in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne under the current law, after his uncle, the Crown Prince and his father, Prince Akishino. The prince's birth provided the first male heir to be born in the imperial family in 41 years. On 3 January 2007, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe announced that he would drop the proposal to alter the Imperial Household Law. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the succession laws will be changed to allow Princess Aiko to become Empress regnant.

Titles and styles[edit]

Styles of
Aiko, Princess Toshi
Imperial Coat of Arms
Reference style Her Imperial Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
  • 1 December 2001 – Present : Her Imperial Highness The Princess Toshi

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Colin Joyce, "Japan's princess named 'one who loves others'", The Daily Telegraph. 08 Dec 2001.
  2. ^ a b "Life in the Cloudy Imperial Fishbowl," The Japan Times. 27 March 2007.
  3. ^ Japan's Princess Aiko, 4, starts kindergarten. redOrbit. April 10, 2006. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
  4. ^ Princess Aiko finishes kindergarten. The Japan Times. March 16, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  5. ^ Princess Aiko celebrates 8th birthday. The Mainichi Daily News. December 1, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  6. ^ Demetriou, Danielle (3 November 2011). "Japan's Princess Aiko suffering from pneumonia". Daily Telegraph (London). 
  7. ^ "Japan princess 'bullied by boys'". BBC News. 5 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Kyodo News, "Princess Aiko returns to school", Japan Times, May 2, 2010.
  9. ^ Kyodo News, "Imperial Household Agency demands publisher apologize over Aiko article", Japan Today, June 5, 2010.
  10. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 56.

External links[edit]

Aiko, Princess Toshi
Born: 1 December 2001
Order of precedence in Japan
Preceded by
The Princess Akishino
Ladies
HIH The Princess Toshi
Succeeded by
Princess Mako of Akishino