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Japan

Coming of age ceremonies held for Japan’s Princess Aiko


Screenshot/Fair Use/Imperial Household Agency Video

The traditional imperial coming of age ceremonies have been held for Japan’s Princess Aiko, the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

The ceremonies were held in Tokyo on 5 December to mark Princess Aiko turning 20-years-old, which is adulthood currently in Japan.

Her Imperial Highness first worshipped at the Imperial Palace’s Three Palace Sanctuaries around 10 am before receiving the Grand Cordon of the Order the Precious Crown from her father in the palace’s Phoenix Room. The order is given to all female members of the Imperial Family upon reaching adulthood.

Dressed in formal wear, including the borrowed tiara from her paternal aunt Sayako Kuroda (formerly Princess Sayako), the Princess greeted her parents at the Imperial Palace and then met the press corps. After members of the media congratulated the royal on reaching adulthood, the Princess said a simple, “Thank you.”

Next, she travelled to see her grandparents, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, at their temporary residence in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. This was the first time she had seen her grandparents in around a year and a half due to the global health situation.

Afterwards, she returned to the Imperial Palace for a ceremony with other members of the Imperial Family and the three branches of government.

Princess Aiko turned 20 on 1 December, but her coming of age ceremonies were moved to the weekend, so they did not interfere with her university studies.

The traditional coming of age press conference is expected to be held in March when Princess Aiko will be on spring break from Gakushuin University.

Although she is the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, Aiko is not in the line of succession because Japan does not allow women to ascend the throne. Currently, there are only three people in the line of succession – Crown Prince Akishino, 56, Prince Hisahito, 15, and Prince Masahito, 86.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.