Happy Birthday to the Little Prince

September 30, 2008 at 8:49 am 5 comments

Prince Hisahito, the first boy to be born in the Japanese royal family in more than 40 years, turned two on September 6th, sparking a renewed discussion about Japan’s males-only imperial succession law. Basically, Hisahito’s birth in 2006 was a relief to some Japanese conservatives, because it put to rest their fear that imperial gender roles might be on their way out.

While there have been Empresses (tenno) in Japan’s past, the most recent was in 1771, and the position is known as a temporary fix, rather than a long-term solution.

Hisahito’s uncle and aunt, Crown Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako, struggled to have children for seven years, and uncertainty about the royal line kept the country on edge. When Masako gave girth to Princess Aiko, speculation was rampant that the laws of the chrysanthemum throne may have to be altered to preserve the monarchy. If no changes were enacted, what would happen to the imperial line? Would it die off?

The Independent claims that, prior to Hisahito’s birth, public support for allowing Princess Aiko to eventually assume the role of Empress was at 80 percent.

Editorials filled the pages of The Japan Times and Asahi Shimbum, politicians took stances, and talk of adoption also cropped up. The Imperial Household Agency put so much pressure on Masako to have a baby boy that she suffered from stressand depression.

Prince Akishino (Naruhito’s younger brother) and Princess Kiko (then 39) eased Masako’s difficulties when they had Hisahito, who is currently third in line to inherit the throne.

Sarah S.

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  • 1. alinnaDut  |  October 1, 2008 at 6:26 am

    Nice site!


  • 2. Hensiffence  |  October 10, 2008 at 8:27 am


    “The birth took place at the couple’s home (just outside Oslo),” says the palace, adding mother and baby were both well.

  • 3. Loveblog  |  October 11, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog . Yours is pretty interesting too!

  • 4. trevor  |  October 16, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    article, of course, good, but something it lacks.

  • 5. masahira  |  October 19, 2008 at 8:05 am

    i agreed with author. thanksqz

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