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Princess Ayako formally engaged to commoner Kei Moriya in betrothal ceremony

By 外務省ホームページ, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Princess Ayako of Takamado, the youngest daughter of Princess Hisako and Emperor Akihito’s late cousin Norihito, Prince Takamado, has become formally engaged to Kei Moriya in a traditional betrothal ceremony called Nosai no Gi. The ceremony was performed last Sunday and is the first in a series of rites leading up to the wedding on 29 October 2018.

A messenger from Kei Moriya visited the Takamado residence during the ceremony with gifts like sake and sea bream to formally convey the proposal. The rite of announcing the wedding date called Kokki no Gi will be held on 19 September at the Takamado residence. Following this ceremony, a meeting will be convened between the Prime Minister and the speakers of both houses of the Diet to discuss the money that Princess Ayako will receive upon leaving the Imperial Family. Sayako Kuroda, the only daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, received about ¥150 million when she married Yoshiki Kuroda in 2005. Noriko Senge, an older sister of Princess Ayako, was given around ¥100 million when she married Kunimaro Senge in 2014.

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The Princess and her future husband first met last December, according to the Imperial Household Agency. Kei Moriya is a 32-year-old graduate of Keio University who now works for the shipping firm Nippon Yusen K.K. Princess Ayako is a graduate of the Josai International University in Chiba Prefecture and earned a master’s degree in 2016. She is currently working as a research fellow at the Faculty of Social Work Studies. She is known for her interests in soccer and skiing and is a qualified childminder. She was born on 15 September 1990. Her father died in November 2002 at the age of 47 of heart failure.

After the weddings of Princesses Ayako and Mako, the number of the Imperial Family members will drop to 17, of which 12 are female. A resolution was added to the Emperor’s abdicated law, which called on the government to start deliberating the succession issues and to include an option to allow a Princess to establish their own branch within the Imperial Family after they marry a commoner.