Kiko, Princess Akishino
Princess Akishino on 23 December 2009.
11 September 1966 (age 49 years)|
Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
|Spouse||Fumihito, Prince Akishino (m. 1990)|
|Issue||Princess Mako of Akishino
Princess Kako of Akishino
Prince Hisahito of Akishino
|House||Imperial House of Japan|
|Japanese Imperial Family|
Kiko, Princess Akishino (文仁親王妃紀子 Fumihito Shinnōhi Kiko?), born Kiko Kawashima (川嶋紀子 Kawashima Kiko?) on 11 September 1966, is the wife of Fumihito, Prince Akishino, the second son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan. She is also known as Princess Kiko.
Kiko was born in Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. She is the eldest daughter of Kazuyo and Tatsuhiko Kawashima. Her parents brought her to Philadelphia in 1967 and lived in a second-floor, walk-up apartment with her parents in University City when her father enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a doctorate at University of Pennsylvania in 1971 in regional science and later taught there. Meanwhile, Kiko mastered English and enrolled at the Lea School, 47th and Locust Streets.
Kiko attended elementary and high school in Vienna, Austria, when her father became the chief researcher at The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, where he studied spatial science and NGO activities. The future princess became fluent in English and German. The family returned to Japan in 1972, and Tatsuhiko Kawashima became a member of the faculty of Gakushuin University in Tokyo and later worked as an economics professor there. She lived with her parents and brother in a tiny on-campus apartment in Tokyo. She graduated from the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Letters of Gakushuin University with a Bachelor of Letters degree in Psychology in 1989 and received a Master of Humanities degree in Social Psychology from the Graduate School of Gakushuin University in 1995. She received the PhD degree in Humanities from Ochanomizu University.
She participated in The Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) in 1987 and continues to be a supporter of the program.
Prince Fumihito first proposed marriage to Kiko Kawashima on 26 June 1986 while they were both undergraduates at Gakushuin. Three years later, Imperial Household Council announced the engagement on 12 September 1989 and the engagement ceremony was held on 12 January 1990. No marriage date would be set until the official one-year mourning period ended for Fumihito's grandfather, Emperor Hirohito, who had died in January 1989. Following the announcement of her engagement she became Japan's most famous graduate student and high-school girls had taken to cutting their hair Kiko-style and mimicking her polite smile.
The wedding took place at an exclusive shrine at the Tokyo Imperial Palace on 29 June 1990. The Imperial Household Council had previously granted the prince permission to establish a new branch of the Imperial Family and the Emperor granted him the title Akishino-no-miya (Prince Akishino) on his wedding day. Upon marriage, his bride became Her Imperial Highness The Princess Akishino, known informally as Princess Kiko. As of tradition dictates, upon her entry into the imperial family and like other members, she received a personal emblem (o-shirushi (お印?)): iris setosa (hiougi-ayame (檜扇菖蒲?)).
The engagement and marriage of Prince Akishino to the former Kiko Kawashima broke precedent in several respects. At the time, the groom was still a graduate student at Gakushuin and married before his older brother, Crown Prince Naruhito. At one point, said a Japanese magazine, Fumihito became so angry over the Imperial Household Agency's opposition to the marriage that he threatened to renounce his royal status. But Empress Michiko intervened and helped deflect the opposition. Additionally, the princess was the first woman from a middle-class background to marry into the imperial family and her humble status has led the Japanese media to dub her "the apartment princess". Although Empress Michiko was also born a commoner, she was from a very wealthy family; her father was the president of a large flour-milling company.
The Princess had said repeatedly that she wanted to finish her master's degree, if circumstances permitted. She completed her post-graduate studies in psychology between her official duties and received her master's degree in psychology in 1995. She is known for her continuing interest in deaf culture and the Deaf in Japan. She learned Japanese sign language and she is a skilled sign language interpreter. She attends the "Sign Language Speech Contest for High School Students" held every August, and "Praising Mothers Raising Children with Hearing Impairments" every December. In October 2008, she participated in the "38th National Deaf Women's Conference." She also signs in informal Deaf gatherings.
In March 2013, Kiko was granted PhD degree in Psychology at the Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences, Ochanomizu University, for her thesis titled "Knowledge, perceptions, beliefs and behaviors related to tuberculosis: A study based on questionnaire surveys with seminar participants of the National Federation of Community Women's Organizations for TB Control and female college students."
Since 1997, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko and their children have maintained a principal residence on the grounds of the Akasaka Estate in Motoakasaka, Minato, Tokyo. The couple have two daughters and one son:
- Princess Mako (眞子内親王 Mako Naishinnō?, born 23 October 1991)
- Princess Kako (佳子内親王 Kako Naishinnō?, born 29 December 1994)
- Prince Hisahito (悠仁親王 Hisahito Shinnō?, born 6 September 2006)
The Prince and Princess are called upon to meet with important overseas visitors to improve diplomatic relations. The Princess was chosen as one of the Young Global Leaders for 2007, drawn from a poll of 4000 candidates.
The Prince and Princess have made numerous official visits to foreign countries. In June 2002, they became the first members of the Imperial Family to visit Mongolia, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations. In October 2002, they visited the Netherlands to attend the funeral of the Prince Claus of the Netherlands. In September 2003, the Prince and Princess made goodwill visits to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, again, the first time ever members of the Imperial Family had visited these countries.  In March 2004, the Prince and Princess returned to the Netherlands for the funeral of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. In January 2005, they visited Luxembourg to attend the funeral of Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte. From October to November 2006, they visited Paraguay to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japanese emigration to that country. In January 2008, they visited Indonesia for a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Indonesia.
Recent among these were the visit to the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania in May 2009 on the occasion of "Japan-Danube Friendship Year 2009", the visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands in August 2009 for the commemorative event of the 400th anniversary of the trade relations between Japan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the visit to the Republic of Costa Rica in January 2011 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Costa Rica, the visit to the Republic of Uganda on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Uganda, the visit to the Republic of Croatia, the Slovak Republic, and the Republic of Slovenia on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the diplomatic relations, and the visit to the Republic of Peru and the Argentine Republic in January to February 2014, on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Peru, and to commemorate 50 years since the immigration agreement between Japan and the Argentine Republic came in effect. From June to July 2014, Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko visited Republic of Zambia and United Republic of Tanzania. They attended the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relationship between Japan and Zambia.
Titles, styles and honours
Kiko is styled as "Her Imperial Highness The Princess Akishino".
- Japan: Paulownia Dame Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown
- Japan: Dame of the Decoration of the Red Cross
- Japan: Recipient of the Red Cross Medal
- Netherlands: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
- Peru: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Merit
- Spain: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic
- Patroness of the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association
- President of the Imperial Gift Foundation Boshi-Aiiku-kai
- Honorary Vice-President of the Japanese Red Cross Society
- Honorary Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
|Princess Mako of Akishino||23 October 1991|
|Princess Kako of Akishino||29 December 1994|
|Prince Hisahito of Akishino||6 September 2006|
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- Valpy, Michael. "The emperor and the tennis pro," Globe and Mail (Canada). June 27, 2009; 紀子さま、高校生手話コンテストで挨拶 2009年8月29日, TBS
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- "Princess Kiko chats with Deaf soccer players in sign language after film show," Deaf Japan News. September 7, 2010.
- "Japan royal baby named Hisahito," BBC News. September 12, 2006.
- "Globis Management Bank President Etsuko Okajima Selected as Young Global Leader 2007 by World Economic Forum". Globis. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino to Visit Mongolia". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Prince, Princess to visit Mongolia". The Japan Times. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "List of Overseas Visits by the Emperor, Empress and Imperial Family (1999 – 2008)". kunaicho.go.jp. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Japan-Fiji Relations". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Japanese Royal visit to Samoa" (PDF). Embassy of Japan in New Zealand. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Prince Akishino to visit Paraguay on Wednesday". AAJ News. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Indonesian president meets Japanese Prince Akishino". China View. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Prince and princess Akishino on official visit to Bulgaria". bulgarian.ibox.bg. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Political relations". Embassy of Romania to Japan. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Dutch appeal to visiting Prince Akishino". typepad.com. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Japanese royals visit Costa Rica". The Tico Times. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Japan royals visit Uganda". New Vision. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Japanese prince and princess Akishino to visit Croatia". dubrovnik.com. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Japan-Slovakia Relations". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Japanese Prince and Princes Akishino to Visit Slovenia". Slovenian Times. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko of Japan visit Peru". Peru this week. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Prince, Princess Akishino in Argentina". News on Japan. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino’s visit to Zambia". Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Zambia. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Prince Akishino of Japan visits Serengeti and Ngorongoro over the weekend". The official website of Tanzania National Parks. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- , Kiko wearing Red Cross Medals
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Princess Akishino.|
- Kunaicho | Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino and their family
- Kunaicho | Press Conference on the Occasion of the Birthday of His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino (2006)
- CNN | Japan's Princess Kiko has boy
- BBC | Japan welcomes imperial baby boy
- CNN | Japan's new prince meets public
|Order of precedence in Japan|
The Crown Princess
HIH The Princess Akishino
The Princess Toshi