|Birth Day:||December 23, 1933|
|Birth Place:||Tokyo, Japan|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He learned English and Western culture while Japan was occupied following World War II and briefly studied at the Department of Political Science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo.
Prince Akihito (明仁親王, Akihito Shinnō) was born on 23 December 1933 at morning of 6:39 am in the Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan as the fifth child and the eldest son of the Emperor Shōwa (father; Hirohito) and the Empress Kōjun (mother; Nagako), they had seven children, two sons and five daughters as their parents. Titled Prince Tsugu (継宮, Tsugu-no-miya) as a child, the emperor was educated by his private tutors prior to attending the elementary and secondary departments of the Peers' School (Gakushūin) from 1940 to 1952. Unlike his predecessors in the Imperial family, he did not receive a commission as an army officer, at the request of his father, the Emperor Hirohito.
During the American firebombing raids on Tokyo in March 1945, Akihito and his younger brother, Prince Masahito (Yoshi-no-miya), were evacuated from the city. During the Allied occupation of Japan following the World War II, Prince Akihito was tutored in the English language and the Western manners by Elizabeth Gray Vining. He briefly studied at the Department of Political Science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, though he never received a degree.
Akihito was heir-apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne from the moment of his birth. His formal Investiture as Crown Prince (立太子の礼, Rittaishi-no-rei) was held at the Tokyo Imperial Palace on 10 November 1952. In June 1953 Akihito represented Japan at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London, the UK.
In August 1957, he met Michiko Shōda on a tennis court at Karuizawa near Nagano. Initially there was low enthusiasm for the relationship between the couple. Michiko Shōda was considered too low-born for the young Crown Prince and was 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 also didn't want to commit a diplomatic incident. Therefore, he contacted the young King Baudouin of Belgium to send his messages directly towards his loved one. Later King Baudouin also 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.
The Imperial Household Council formally approved the engagement of the Crown Prince to Michiko Shōda on 27 November 1958. At that time, the media presented their encounter as a real "fairy tale", 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. The engagement ceremony took place on 14 January 1959, and the marriage on 10 April 1959.
Upon the death of Emperor Hirohito on 7 January 1989, Akihito acceded to the throne, became the 125th Emperor of Japan with the enthronement ceremony taking place on 12 November 1990. In 1998, during a state visit to the United Kingdom, he was invested with the UK Order of the Garter.
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, the Emperor Showa (Hirohito).
The following table includes the official visits made by Emperor Akihito, along with Empress Michiko, following succession to the throne on 7 January 1989. 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.
The announcement about the then-Crown Prince Akihito's engagement and marriage to the then-Ms. Michiko Shōda drew opposition from traditionalist groups, because Shōda came from a Roman Catholic family. Although Shōda was never baptized, she was educated in Catholic schools and seemed to share the faith of her parents. Rumors also speculated that his 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 her of not being suitable for her son.
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.
Emperor Akihito underwent surgery for prostate cancer on 14 January 2003.
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), 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 soldiers, Korean labourers, 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.
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. He has written papers for scholarly journals such as Gene, Ichthyological Research, and the Japanese Journal of Ichthyology. He has also written papers about the history of science during the Edo and Meiji eras, which were published in Science and Nature. 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.
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 is the first male heir born to the Japanese imperial family in 41 years (since his father Prince Akishino) and could avert a possible succession crisis as the Emperor's elder son, the then Crown Prince Naruhito, has only one daughter, Princess Aiko. Under Japan's male-only succession law, Princess Aiko is not eligible for the throne. The birth of Prince Hisahito could mean that proposed changes to the law to allow Aiko to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne will not go through after being temporarily shelved following the announcement of Princess Kiko's third pregnancy in February 2006. The supporters of changes criticized the current law as it placed a burden on the few aging males old enough to perform royal duties as females left the family.
In response to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima I nuclear crisis, the Emperor made a historic televised appearance urging his people not to give up hope and to help each other. The Emperor and Empress also made a visit on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 to a temporary shelter housing refugees of the disaster, in order to inspire hope in the people. This kind of event is also extremely rare, though in line with the Emperor's attempts to bring the Imperial family closer to the people. Later in 2011 he was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia. In February 2012, it was announced that the Emperor would be having a coronary examination; he underwent successful heart bypass surgery on 18 February 2012.
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 has 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. On 8 August 2016, the Emperor gave a rare televised address, where he emphasized his advanced age and declining health; this address was interpreted as an implication of his intention to abdicate.
On 19 May 2017, the bill that would allow Akihito to abdicate was issued by the Japanese government's cabinet. On 8 June 2017, the National Diet passed a one-off bill allowing Akihito to abdicate, and for the government to begin arranging the process of handing over the position to Crown Prince Naruhito. The Japanese government (Prime Minister Shinzo Abe) announced in December 2017 that the 125th Emperor Akihito would abdicate on 30 April 2019, and that the 126th Emperor Naruhito's reign would begin as of 1 May 2019.
Upon Akihito's abdication on 30 April 2019, he received the title of Jōkō (上皇, Emperor Emeritus), an abbreviated form of Daijō Tennō (太上天皇, 'abdicated sovereign'). A new era, Reiwa (令和), was established when his son, Emperor Naruhito, acceded to the throne.
On 19 March 2020, the Emperor Emeritus Akihito and his wife the Empress Emerita Michiko moved out of the Imperial Palace, marking their first public appearance since the abdication.
On 31 March 2020, they moved in to the Takanawa Residence.
Akihito got married to Michiko Shoda on April 10, 1959; he has three children: Crown Prince Narhutio, Prince Akishino and Princess Nori.
Currently, Akihito is 87 years, 8 months and 28 days old. Akihito will celebrate 88th birthday on a Thursday 23rd of December 2021. Below we countdown to Akihito upcoming birthday.
Japanese Emperor Celebrates 78th Birthday | THEAsiaN