Aiko, Princess Toshi
Princess Aiko at the Science Museum in Tokyo, August 2016
1 December 2001|
Imperial Household Agency Hospital, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan
|House||Imperial House of Japan|
|Father||Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan|
On 1 December 2001, the Crown Princess gave birth to a baby girl. She was the couple's first child after 8 years of marriage for the then 37-year-old crown princess and 41-year-old crown prince. Princess Aiko was born at Imperial Household Agency Hospital in Tokyo Imperial Palace at 2:43 PM, and was 49.6 centimeters long, and weighed 3,103 grams. The Crown Prince was in the delivery room during the birth and the Crown Princess was attended by a 12-person medical team, including four doctors.
In a break with tradition, the name of the princess was chosen by her parents, instead of by the Emperor. It was selected from clause 56 of Li Lou II, one of the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Mencius:
"One who loves the others will be constantly loved by them; one who respects others will be constantly respected by them."
Aiko, the princess's personal name, is written with the kanji characters for "love (愛)" and "child (子)" and means "a person who loves others". The princess also has an imperial title, Princess Toshi (敬宮 toshi-no-miya), which means "a person who respects others". This formal title would be dropped if she were to marry a commoner.
Princess Aiko began her education at Gakushuin Kindergarten on 3 April 2006. She left kindergarten on 15 March 2008. On 18 March 2014, Princess Aiko finished at Gakushuin elementary school, then entering Gakushuin Girl's Junior High-school.
In early March 2010, Aiko began to stay home from school due to, along with other girls, being bullied by her elementary school classmates. Aiko returned to school on a limited basis on 2 May 2010. After returning to school, a senior palace official said that she would attend a limited number of classes accompanied by her mother, upon advice from a doctor at the Crown Prince’s household.
The Imperial Household Law of 1947 abolished the Japanese nobility; under provisions of this law, the imperial family was streamlined to the descendants of Emperor Taishō. The laws of succession in Japan prevent inheritance by or through the female line. If the laws were changed, Aiko would be second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
The birth of Princess Aiko sparked debate in Japan about whether 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. Though Empress Genmei was followed on the throne by her daughter, Empress Genshō, Genshō herself was succeeded by her brother's son, thus keeping the throne in the same agnatic line; both Genshō and Genmei, 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
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, at this time it seems unlikely that the succession laws will be changed to allow Princess Aiko to ascend the throne.
She visited a special exhibition on the 150th anniversary of Japan-Italy diplomatic relations on 5 April 2016 at the Tokyo museum.
Titles and styles
Aiko, Princess Toshi
|Reference style||Her Imperial Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Imperial Highness|
Aiko is styled as Her Imperial Highness The Princess Toshi.
|Ancestors of Aiko, Princess Toshi|
- Maygar, James; Ujikane, Keiko (July 13, 2016). "Japan Emperor, Symbol of National Unity, Said to Seek Abdication". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
- Colin Joyce (2001-12-08). "Japan's princess named 'one who loves others'". The Daily Telegraph, 8 December 2001.
- Japan's Princess Aiko, 4, starts kindergarten. redOrbit. April 10, 2006. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
- Princess Aiko finishes kindergarten. The Japan Times. March 16, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
- "Princess Aiko enters high school". 8 April 2017 – via Japan Times Online.
- Princess Aiko celebrates 8th birthday Archived 2009-12-03 at the Wayback Machine.. The Mainichi Daily News. December 1, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
- "Japan princess 'bullied by boys'". BBC News. 5 March 2010.
- "Princess Aiko returns to school". The Japan Times. Tokyo. 2 May 2010.
- Demetriou, Danielle (3 November 2011). "Japan's Princess Aiko suffering from pneumonia". Daily Telegraph. London.
- "Life in the Cloudy Imperial Fishbowl," The Japan Times. 27 March 2007.
- Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 56.
- "Japan-Italy diplomatic relations 150th anniversary special exhibition". Retrieved 13 May 2016.
- Their Imperial Highnesses Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako at the Imperial Household Agency website
- Press Conference by Their Imperial Highness The Crown Prince and Crown Princess After the Birth of Her Imperial Highness Princess Aiko
- Press Conference on the occasion of the First Birthday of Her Imperial Highness Princess Aiko (2002) (Written Answers)
- BBC News | Japan's new princess meets the public
Aiko, Princess ToshiBorn: 1 December 2001
|Order of precedence in Japan|
The Princess Akishino
HIH The Princess Toshi
Princess Mako of Akishino