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  • 明仁
Akihito in 2014
Emperor of Japan
Reign7 January 1989 – 30 April 2019
Enthronement12 November 1990
BornAkihito, Prince Tsugu
(1933-12-23) 23 December 1933 (age 90)
Tokyo, Japan
(m. 1959)
Era name and dates
8 January 1989 – 30 April 2019
HouseImperial House of Japan
FatherEmperor Shōwa
MotherNagako Kuni

Akihito (明仁, Japanese: [akiꜜçi̥to]; English: /ˌækiˈht/ AK-ee-HEE-toh or /ˌɑːk-/ AHK-; born 23 December 1933) is a member of the Imperial House of Japan who reigned as the 125th emperor of Japan from 1989 until his abdication in 2019. The era of his rule was named the Heisei (平成) era, Heisei being an expression of achieving peace worldwide.[1]

Born in 1933, Akihito is the fifth child and first son of Emperor Shōwa and Empress Kōjun. During the Second World War, he moved out of Tokyo with his classmates, and remained in Nikkō until 1945. In 1952, his Coming-of-Age ceremony and investiture as crown prince were held, and he began to undertake official duties in his capacity as crown prince.[2] The next year, he made his first journey overseas and represented Japan at the coronation of Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. He completed his university education in 1956. In April 1959, he married Michiko Shōda, a commoner; it was the first imperial wedding to be televised in Japan, drawing about 15 million viewers.[3] The couple has three children: Naruhito, Fumihito, and Sayako.

When his father died in January 1989, Akihito succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne and became emperor of Japan, with an enthronement ceremony in 1990. He made efforts to bring the imperial family closer to the Japanese people, and made official visits to all forty-seven prefectures of Japan and to many of the remote islands of Japan. He has a keen interest in natural life and conservation, as well as Japanese and world history.[2] Akihito abdicated in 2019, citing his advanced age and declining health,[4] and assumed the title Emperor Emeritus (上皇, Jōkō, lit.'Retired Emperor'). He was succeeded by his eldest son, Naruhito, whose era is named Reiwa (令和). At age 90, Akihito is the longest-lived verifiable Japanese emperor in recorded history. During his reign 17 prime ministers served in 25 terms, beginning with Noboru Takeshita and ending with Shinzo Abe.


In Japan, during his reign, Akihito was never referred to by his own name, but instead as "His Majesty the Emperor" (天皇陛下, Tennō Heika) which may be shortened to "His Majesty" (陛下, Heika).[5][failed verification] The era of Akihito's reign from 1989 to 2019 bore the era name Heisei (平成), and according to custom he will be posthumously renamed Emperor Heisei (平成天皇, Heisei Tennō) as the 125th emperor of Japan by order of the Cabinet.

Upon Akihito's abdication on 30 April 2019, he received the title Emperor Emeritus (上皇, Jōkō).[6][7][8][9] Still he is never referred to by his own name, but instead as "His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus" or "His Majesty".

Early life and education[edit]

One year old Akihito with his mother Empress Kōjun, 1934

Prince Akihito (明仁親王, Akihito Shinnō) was born on 23 December 1933 at 6:39 am in the Tokyo Imperial Palace as the fifth child and eldest son of Emperor Shōwa and Empress Kōjun. Titled Prince Tsugu (継宮, Tsugu-no-miya) as a child, Akihito was educated by private tutors prior to attending the elementary and secondary departments of the Peers' School (Gakushūin) from 1940 to 1952.[2] At the request of his father, he did not receive a commission as an army officer, unlike his predecessors.

Akihito at the Crown Prince's investiture ceremony, 1952

During the American firebombing raids on Tokyo in March 1945 during World War II, Akihito and his younger brother Prince Masahito were evacuated from the city. Akihito was tutored in the English language and Western manners by Elizabeth Gray Vining during the Allied occupation of Japan, and later briefly studied at the department of political science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, though he never received a degree.

Akihito, aged 19, at the Van Gogh exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1953

Akihito was the heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne from birth. His formal investiture as crown prince (立太子の礼, Rittaishi-no-rei) took place at the Tokyo Imperial Palace on 10 November 1952. In June 1953, Akihito represented Japan at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London in his first journey abroad. He later completed his university education as a special student in 1956.[2]

Marriage and family[edit]

A Japanese stamp commemorating the imperial wedding

In August 1957, Akihito met Michiko Shōda[2][10] on a tennis court at Karuizawa near Nagano. Initially there was little enthusiasm for the couple's relationship; Michiko Shōda was considered too low class for the young Crown Prince and had been educated in a Catholic environment. Therefore, in September 1958, she was sent away to Brussels to attend an international conference of the Alumnae du Sacré-Cœur. The Crown Prince was determined to keep in contact with his girlfriend but did not want to create a diplomatic incident. Therefore, he contacted the young King Baudouin of Belgium to send his messages directly to his loved one. Later King Baudouin negotiated the marriage of the couple with the Emperor directly stating that if the Crown Prince is happy with Michiko, he would be a better emperor later on.[11]

The Imperial Household Council formally approved the engagement of the Crown Prince to Michiko Shōda on 27 November 1958. The announcement of the then-Crown Prince Akihito's engagement and forthcoming marriage to Michiko Shōda drew opposition from traditionalist groups, because Shōda came from a Catholic family.[12] Although Shōda was never baptized, she had been educated in Catholic schools and seemed to share her parents' faith. Rumors also speculated that Prince Akihito's mother, Empress Kōjun had opposed the engagement. After the death of Empress Kōjun on 16 June 2000, Reuters reported that she was one of the strongest opponents of her son's marriage, and that in the 1960s, she had driven her daughter-in-law and grandchildren to depression by persistently accusing Shōda of not being suitable for her son.[13][failed verification] At that time, the media presented their encounter as a real "fairy tale",[14] or the "romance of the tennis court". It was the first time a commoner had married into the Imperial Family, breaking more than 2,600 years of tradition.[15] The engagement ceremony took place on 14 January 1959, and the marriage on 10 April 1959.

Akihito and Michiko had three children: two sons Naruhito (born 23 February 1960 and titled Prince Hiro; later the 126th Emperor of Japan) and Fumihito (born 30 November 1965 and titled Prince Aya; later Prince Akishino and subsequently the Crown Prince of Japan), and a daughter Sayako Kuroda (born 18 April 1969 and titled Princess Nori before marriage). The three children were born at the Imperial Household Agency Hospital at the Tokyo Imperial Palace.[2]

1987 (Showa 62), the last foreign visit as the crown prince and princess (Andrews Air Force Base, United States)

Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko made official visits to thirty-seven countries. As an Imperial Prince, Akihito compared the role of Japanese royalty to that of a robot. He expressed the desire to help bring the Imperial family closer to the people of Japan.[16]


Emperor Akihito wearing the sokutai at the enthronement ceremony in November 1990
Emperor Akihito's speech from the throne at the National Diet (2011)

Upon the death of Emperor Shōwa on 7 January 1989, Akihito acceded to the throne,[17][18] becoming the 125th Emperor of Japan at the age of 55, becoming the third oldest in history. The enthronement ceremony took place on 12 November 1990.[2] In 1998, during a state visit to the United Kingdom, he was invested with the UK Order of the Garter.

Under the Constitution of Japan, Akihito's role was entirely representative and ceremonial in nature, without even a nominal role in government; indeed, he was not allowed to make political statements. He was limited to acting in matters of state as delineated in the Constitution. Even in those matters, he was bound by the requirements of the Constitution and the binding advice of the Cabinet. For instance, while he formally appointed the Prime Minister, he was required to appoint the person designated by the Diet.

Despite being strictly constrained by his constitutional position, he also issued several wide-ranging statements of remorse to Asian countries, for their suffering under Japanese occupation, beginning with an expression of remorse to China made in April 1989, three months after the death of his father, Emperor Shōwa.

On 23 December 2001, during his annual birthday meeting with reporters, the Emperor, in response to a reporter's question about tensions with South Korea, remarked that he felt a kinship with Koreans and went on to explain that, in the Shoku Nihongi, the mother of Emperor Kammu (736–806) is related to Muryeong of Korea, King of Baekje, a fact that was considered taboo for discussion.[19][20]

In June 2005, the Emperor Akihito and the Empress Michiko visited the island of Saipan (part of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory),[21] the site of a battle in the World War II from 15 June to 9 July 1944 (known as the Battle of Saipan). Accompanied by Empress Michiko, he offered prayers and flowers at several memorials, honoring not only the Japanese who died, but also American servicemen, Korean laborers, and local islanders. It was the first trip by a Japanese monarch to a World War II battlefield abroad. The Saipan journey was received with high praise by the Japanese people, as were the Emperor's visits to war memorials in Tokyo, Hiroshima Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture and Okinawa Prefecture in 1995.

The Emperor and Empress bowing their heads for a moment of silence at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2009
Emperor Akihito giving a New Year's address to the people in 2010
A parade in front of Tokyo Imperial Palace during celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Emperor's ascension to the throne in 2009

After succeeding to the throne, Akihito made an effort to bring the Imperial family closer to the Japanese people. He and Michiko made official visits to eighteen countries and to all forty-seven Prefectures of Japan.[2] Akihito has never visited Yasukuni Shrine, continuing his predecessor's boycott from 1978, due to its enshrinement of war criminals.[22]

On 6 September 2006, the Emperor celebrated the birth of his first grandson, Prince Hisahito, the third child of the Emperor's younger son. Prince Hisahito was the first male heir born to the Japanese imperial family in 41 years (since his father Prince Akishino) and could avert the Japanese imperial succession crisis, as the only child of the Emperor's elder son, the then Crown Prince Naruhito, is his daughter, Princess Aiko, who is not eligible for the throne under Japan's male-only succession law. The birth of Prince Hisahito meant that proposed changes to the law to allow Aiko to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne were dropped.[23][24]

In response to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima I nuclear crisis, the Emperor made a historic televised appearance [ja][25] urging his people not to give up hope and to help each other.[26]

Akihito, at Chōwaden Reception Hall, giving his final New Year's address, as Emperor, to the Japanese people in 2019

On 13 July 2016, national broadcaster NHK reported that the then 82-year-old Emperor intended to abdicate in favor of his eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito within a few years, citing his age. An abdication within the Imperial Family had not occurred since Emperor Kōkaku in 1817. However, senior officials within the Imperial Household Agency denied that there was any official plan for the monarch to abdicate. Abdication by the Emperor required an amendment to the Imperial Household Law, which had no provisions for such a move.[27][28] On 8 August 2016, the Emperor gave a rare televised address, where he emphasized his advanced age and declining health;[29] this address was interpreted as an implication of his intention to abdicate.[30]

On 19 May 2017, the bill that would allow Akihito to abdicate was issued by the Cabinet of Japan. On 8 June 2017, the National Diet passed it, whereupon it became known as the Emperor Abdication Law. This commenced government preparations to hand the position over to Naruhito.[31] Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in December 2017 that the 125th Emperor Akihito would abdicate at the end of 30 April 2019, and that the 126th Emperor Naruhito's reign would begin as of 1 May 2019.[4]

Post-abdication and later years[edit]

On 19 March 2020, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and his wife Empress Emerita Michiko moved out of the Imperial Palace, marking their first public appearance since the abdication.[32] On 31 March, they moved in to the Takanawa Residence.[33]

In December 2021, Akihito celebrated his 88th birthday (beiju), making him the longest-living verifiable Japanese emperor in recorded history.[34] His daily routine is said to include morning and evening walks with his wife, reading and visits to an imperial biology institute.[35]

In August 2023, Akihito and the Empress Emerita visited the tennis court where they first met and interacted with members of the organization responsible for its upkeep.[36]


Emperor Akihito underwent surgery for prostate cancer on 14 January 2003.[37] Later in 2011 he was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia.[38] In February 2012, it was announced that the Emperor would be having a coronary examination;[39] he underwent successful heart bypass surgery on 18 February 2012.[40] In July 2018, he suffered from nausea and dizziness due to insufficient blood flow to his brain. In January 2020, he temporarily lost consciousness and collapsed at his residence, though "no abnormalities" were detected in his brain.[41] He was diagnosed with heart failure in July 2022.[42]


Akihito and Michiko have three children (two sons and a daughter).

The Emperor and Empress with their family in November 2013
Name Birth Marriage Children
Date Spouse
Naruhito, Emperor of Japan
(Naruhito, Prince Hiro)
(1960-02-23) 23 February 1960 (age 64) 9 June 1993 Masako Owada Aiko, Princess Toshi
Fumihito, Crown Prince of Japan
(Fumihito, Prince Aya)
(1965-11-30) 30 November 1965 (age 58) 29 June 1990 Kiko Kawashima
Sayako Kuroda
(Sayako, Princess Nori)
(1969-04-18) 18 April 1969 (age 55) 15 November 2005 Yoshiki Kuroda None

Ichthyological research[edit]

In extension of his father's interest in marine biology, who published taxonomic works on the Hydrozoa, the Emperor Emeritus is a published ichthyological researcher, and has specialized in studies within the taxonomy of the family Gobiidae.[43] He has written papers for scholarly journals such as Gene, Ichthyological Research, and the Japanese Journal of Ichthyology.[44][45] He has also written papers about the history of science during the Edo and Meiji eras, which were published in Science[46] and Nature.[47] In 2005, a newly described goby was named Exyrias akihito in his honour, and in 2007 a genus Akihito of gobies native to Vanuatu also received his name. In 2021, the Imperial Household Agency announced Akihito had discovered two new species of goby fish. The discovery was cataloged in an English-language journal published by the Ichthyological Society of Japan.[48][49]

In 1965, then-Crown Prince Akihito sent 50 Nile tilapia to Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in response to a request for fish that could solve malnutrition issues in the country. The species has since become a major food source in Thailand and a major export.[50]


Country Awards
 Afghanistan Order of the Supreme Sun
 Austria Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria, Grand Star[51]
 Bahrain Order of al-Khalifa, Collar
 Belgium Order of Leopold, Grand Cordon
 Botswana Presidential Order
 Brazil Order of the Southern Cross, Grand Collar
 Bulgaria Order of the Balkan Mountains, Grand Cross
 Cambodia Royal Order of Cambodia, Grand Cross
 Cameroon Order of Valour, Grand Cordon
 Chile Order of the Merit of Chile, Collar
 Colombia Order of Boyaca, Grand Collar
 Côte d'Ivoire National Order of the Ivory Coast, Grand Cross
 Czech Republic Order of the White Lion, Member 1st Class (Civil Division) with Collar
 Denmark Order of the Elephant, Knight (8 August 1953)[52]
 Egypt Order of the Nile, Collar
 Estonia Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, The Collar of the Cross of Terra Mariana[53]
 Ethiopian Empire Order of the Seal of Solomon, Grand Cordon (1960)[citation needed]
 Finland Order of the White Rose, Grand Cross with Collar[54]
 France Légion d'honneur, Grand Cross
 The Gambia Order of the Republic of the Gambia, Grand Commander
 Germany Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Grand Cross Special Class
 Greece Order of the Redeemer, Grand Cross
 Hungary Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Grand Cross with Chain
 Iceland Order of the Falcon, Collar with Grand Cross Breast Star
 Indonesia Star of the Republic of Indonesia, Member 1st Class (Adipurna)
 Ireland Freedom of the City of Dublin, awarded by Lord Mayor of Dublin
 Italy Order of Merit of the Republic, Knight Grand Cross with Collar
 Jordan Order of al-Hussein bin Ali, Collar
 Kazakhstan Order of the Golden Eagle, Recipient
 Kenya Order of the Golden Heart, Chief
 Kuwait Order of Mubarak the Great, Collar
 Latvia Order of the Three Stars, Commander Grand Cross with Chain[55]
 Liberia Order of the Star of Africa, Grand Cross
Order of the Pioneers of Liberia, Grand Cordon
 Lithuania Order of Vytautas the Great, Golden Chain[56]
 Luxembourg Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau, Knight
 Malawi Order of the Lion, Grand Commander
 Malaysia Order of the Crown of the Realm, Honorary Recipient
 Mali National Order of Mali, Grand Cordon
 Mexico Order of the Aztec Eagle, Collar
 Morocco Order of Muhammad, Member Special Class
   Nepal Order of the Benevolent Ruler, Member (19 April 1960)[57]
King Birendra Investiture Medal (24 February 1975)[58]
 Netherlands Order of the Netherlands Lion, Knight Grand Cross
 Nigeria Order of the Federal Republic, Grand Commander
 Norway Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, Grand Cross with Collar (11 August 1953)[59]
 Oman Order of Oman, Member Special Class
 Pakistan Nishan-e-Pakistan, Member 1st Class
 Panama Order of Manuel Amador Guerrero, Collar
 Peru Order of the Sun, Grand Cross with Diamonds
 Philippines Philippine Legion of Honor, Chief Commander[60]
Order of Sikatuna, Grand Collar (Raja)[61]
Order of Lakandula, Grand Collar
 Poland Order of the White Eagle, Knight
 Portugal Order of Saint James of the Sword, Grand Collar (2 December 1993)
Order of Prince Henry, Grand Collar (12 May 1998)[62]
 Qatar Collar of Independence
 Saudi Arabia Badr Chain
 Senegal National Order of the Lion, Grand Cross
 South Africa Order of Good Hope, Grand Cross in Gold (4 July 1995)[63]
 Spain Order of the Golden Fleece, Knight
Order of Charles III, Grand Cross
Order of Charles III, Collar
 Sweden Order of the Seraphim, Knight
 Thailand Order of the Rajamitrabhorn, Knight
Order of the Royal House of Chakri, Knight
King Bhumibol Adulyadej Diamond Jubilee Medal
 Ukraine Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, Member 1st Class
 United Arab Emirates Collar of the Federation
 United Kingdom Order of the Garter, Stranger Knight Companion (985th member; 1998)
Royal Victorian Order, Honorary Knight Grand Cross (1953)
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (2 June 1953)
 FR Yugoslavia a Order of the Yugoslav Star, Yugoslav Great Star
 Zaire b National Order of the Leopard, Grand Cordon
a FR Yugoslavia split into Serbia and Montenegro. As of 2006 this order is аbolished.
b Zaire is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Other awards

Overseas visits[edit]

The following table includes the official visits made by Emperor Akihito, along with Empress Michiko, following succession to the throne on 7 January 1989.[65][66][67] The list includes all the visits made up to 31 December 2017. Although Empress Michiko has made two official visits on her own, in 2002 (to Switzerland) and 2014 (to Belgium), they did not include the Emperor and are not included in this table.

Overseas visits
Serial no. Dates Country Purpose
1 26 September – 6 October 1991  Thailand
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia"
2 23–28 October 1992  China "To foster friendly relations at the invitation of China"
3 6–9 August 1993  Belgium "To attend the funeral ceremony of King Baudouin of Belgium" In gratitude for defending their marriage to the then emperor and for the longlasting friendship.[11]
4 3–19 September 1993  Italy
 Vatican City
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Italy, Belgium and Germany"
5 10–26 June 1994  United States "To foster friendly relations at the invitation of the United States"
6 2–14 October 1994  France
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of France and Spain"
7 30 May – 13 June 1997  Brazil
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Brazil and Argentina"
8 23 May – 5 June 1998  United Kingdom
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of the United Kingdom and Denmark"
9 20 May – 1 June 2000  Netherlands
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of the Netherlands and Sweden"
10 6–20 July 2002  Czech Republic
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary"
11 7–14 May 2005  Norway "To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Norway"
12 27–28 June 2005  United States "To pay tribute to those who died in the war and to pray for world peace in the 60th year after the end of the war"
13 8–15 June 2006  Singapore
"To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the invitation of Singapore and to attend celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the accession to the throne of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand"
14 21–30 May 2007  Sweden
 United Kingdom
"To mark presence as an honorary member of the Linnean Society on the 300th birth anniversary of Carl von Linné at the invitation of Sweden and the United Kingdom and to foster friendly relations at the invitation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania"
15 3–17 July 2009  Canada
 United States
"To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Canada, and to celebrate the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation (Visit to Hawaii)"
16 16–20 May 2012  United Kingdom "To attend a luncheon in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II"
17 30 November – 6 December 2013  India "To foster friendly relations at the invitation of India"
18 8–9 April 2015  Palau "To pay tribute to those who died in the war and to foster international goodwill in the 70th year after the end of the war"
19 26–30 January 2016  Philippines "To foster friendly relations on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations at the invitation of the Philippines"
20 28 February – 6 March 2017  Vietnam "To foster friendly relations at the invitation of Vietnam"


Patrilineal descent[edit]

Patrilineal descent[72]

Akihito's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son.

Patrilineal descent is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations, which means that Akihito is a member of the Imperial House of Japan.

Imperial House of Japan
  1. Descent prior to Keitai is unclear to modern historians, but traditionally traced back patrilineally to Emperor Jimmu
  2. Emperor Keitai, ca. 450–534
  3. Emperor Kinmei, 509–571
  4. Emperor Bidatsu, 538–585
  5. Prince Oshisaka, ca. 556–???
  6. Emperor Jomei, 593–641
  7. Emperor Tenji, 626–671
  8. Prince Shiki, ???–716
  9. Emperor Kōnin, 709–786
  10. Emperor Kanmu, 737–806
  11. Emperor Saga, 786–842
  12. Emperor Ninmyō, 810–850
  13. Emperor Kōkō, 830–867
  14. Emperor Uda, 867–931
  15. Emperor Daigo, 885–930
  16. Emperor Murakami, 926–967
  17. Emperor En'yū, 959–991
  18. Emperor Ichijō, 980–1011
  19. Emperor Go-Suzaku, 1009–1045
  20. Emperor Go-Sanjō, 1034–1073
  21. Emperor Shirakawa, 1053–1129
  22. Emperor Horikawa, 1079–1107
  23. Emperor Toba, 1103–1156
  24. Emperor Go-Shirakawa, 1127–1192
  25. Emperor Takakura, 1161–1181
  26. Emperor Go-Toba, 1180–1239
  27. Emperor Tsuchimikado, 1196–1231
  28. Emperor Go-Saga, 1220–1272
  29. Emperor Go-Fukakusa, 1243–1304
  30. Emperor Fushimi, 1265–1317
  31. Emperor Go-Fushimi, 1288–1336
  32. Emperor Kōgon, 1313–1364
  33. Emperor Sukō, 1334–1398
  34. Prince Yoshihito Fushimi, 1351–1416
  35. Prince Sadafusa Fushimi, 1372–1456
  36. Emperor Go-Hanazono, 1419–1471
  37. Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado, 1442–1500
  38. Emperor Go-Kashiwabara, 1464–1526
  39. Emperor Go-Nara, 1495–1557
  40. Emperor Ōgimachi, 1517–1593
  41. Prince Masahito, 1552–1586
  42. Emperor Go-Yōzei, 1572–1617
  43. Emperor Go-Mizunoo, 1596–1680
  44. Emperor Reigen, 1654–1732
  45. Emperor Higashiyama, 1675–1710
  46. Prince Naohito Kanin, 1704–1753
  47. Prince Sukehito Kanin, 1733–1794
  48. Emperor Kōkaku, 1771–1840
  49. Emperor Ninkō, 1800–1846
  50. Emperor Kōmei, 1831–1867
  51. Emperor Meiji, 1852–1912
  52. Emperor Taishō, 1879–1926
  53. Emperor Shōwa, 1901–1989
  54. Emperor Akihito, b. 1933

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Speeches by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister at the National Diet". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 10 February 1989. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress". Imperial Household Agency. 2002. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  3. ^ "Imperial marriage created bond with people". The Japan Times. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b Enjoji, Kaori (1 December 2017). "Japan Emperor Akihito to abdicate on April 30, 2019". CNN. Tokyo. Archived from the original on 30 April 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Members of the Order of the Garter". The British Monarchy. Archived from the original on 24 June 2009.
  6. ^ Miner, Earl Roy; Morrell, Robert E.; 小田桐弘子 (21 September 1988). The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691008257. Archived from the original on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2019 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "Government panel outlines proposals on Emperor's abdication, titles". The Japan Times Online. 14 April 2017. Archived from the original on 30 April 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Panel stresses clean break once emperor steps down". Nikkei Asian Review. 22 April 2017. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Emperor Akihito to Be Called Emperor Emeritus after Abdication". Nippon.com. 25 February 2019. Archived from the original on 21 March 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  10. ^ Fukada, Takahiro, "Emperor — poise under public spotlight", The Japan Times, 24 November 2009, p. 3. [dead link]
  11. ^ a b NWS, VRT (26 April 2019). "De Brusselse romance van het Japanse keizerlijk paar, met dank aan Koning Boudewijn". vrtnws.be (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 26 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  12. ^ Herbert P. Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, HarperCollins, 2001, p. 661
  13. ^ "Japan's Dowager Empress Dead at 97". CBS News. 16 June 2000. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  14. ^ "The Girl from Outside". Time. 23 March 1959. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  15. ^ "The wedding that broke centuries of tradition". BBC News. 1 September 2017. Archived from the original on 20 May 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Those Apprentice Kings and Queens Who May – One Day – Ascend a Throne" Archived 14 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times. 14 November 1971.
  17. ^ "Hirohito Dies, Ending 62 Years as Japan's Ruler". Los Angeles Times. 8 January 1989. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  18. ^ "MOFA: The 20th Anniversary of His Majesty the Emperor's Accession to the Throne". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Press Conference on the Occasion of His Majesty's Birthday". Imperial Household Agency. Archived from the original on 25 May 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
  20. ^ Chotiner, Isaac (8 August 2016). "What Does the Japanese Emperor Do? And will Japan let him stop doing it?". Slate. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  21. ^ Brooke, James (28 June 2005). "Visiting Saipan, Japan's Emperor Honors Dead". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  22. ^ "Explainer: Why Yasukuni shrine is a controversial symbol of Japan's war legacy". Reuters. 14 August 2021 – via www.reuters.com.
  23. ^ Yoshida, Reiji (27 March 2007). "Life in the cloudy Imperial fishbowl". Japan Times. Archived from the original on 3 September 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Report: Japan to drop plan to allow female monarch". USA Today. McLean, VA: Gannett. The Associated Press. 3 January 2007. ISSN 0734-7456. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
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External links[edit]

Born: 23 December 1933
Japanese royalty
Preceded by Crown Prince of Japan
Succeeded by
Regnal titles
Preceded by Emperor of Japan
7 January 1989 – 30 April 2019
Succeeded by