Aiko, Princess Toshi

Aiko, Princess Toshi

Infobox Person
name = Aiko, Princess Toshi

caption =
birth_date = birth date and age|2001|12|1
birth_place = Tokyo, Japan
title = Princess Toshi
spouse =
children =
relatives = Naruhito and Masako
infobox hrhstyles
royal name=Princess Toshi (Aiko) of Japan

dipstyle=Her Imperial Highness
offstyle=Your Imperial Highness
altlang="denka" 殿下|lang=Japanese|
nihongo|Aiko, The Princess Toshi|敬宮愛子内親王殿下|Toshi no miya Aiko naishinnō denka, born December 1, 2001, is the first child of Their Imperial Highnesses Crown Prince Naruhito, heir apparent to the Japanese throne, and Crown Princess Masako.

Aiko, the princess's personal name, is written with kanji character for "love" and "child" and means "a person who loves others." She also has an imperial title, Princess Toshi (敬宮 "toshi no miya") which means "a person who respects others." This formal title will be dropped if she marries a commoner. The Imperial Household Law of 1947 abolished the Japanese nobility; and under provisions of this law, the imperial family was streamlined to the descendants of Emperor Taishō. [ "Life in the Cloudy Imperial Fishbowl,"] "Japan Times." March 27, 2007.]

In a break with tradition, the name was chosen by her parents, instead of by the emperor. It was selected from the teaching of the Chinese philosopher Mencius. It reads "A person who loves others will be loved by others, and a person who respects others will always be respected by others."

In 2005 Princess Toshi began her education at the National Children's Castle in Tokyo. She enjoyed doing pottery, rhythmic gymnastics, and gardening inside the Togu Palace with Princess Masako.

Princess Toshi (or Princess Aiko, as she is more widely known) began her formal education at the Gakushuin Kindergarten, Tokyo, in April 2006.

An avid sumo fan, she attended her first basho in September 2006 with her parents.



The birth of Princess Aiko sparked lively debate in Japan about whether the "The Imperial Household Law of 1947" should be changed from the current system of agnatic primogeniture (male-only) to equal primogeniture, which would allow a woman to inherit the Chrysanthemum Throne over other men, even her brothers. Although Imperial chronologies include eight reigning empresses in the course of Japanese history, their successors were most often selected from amongst the males of the paternal Imperial bloodline, which is why some conservative scholars argue that the women's reigns were temporary and that male-only succession tradition must be maintained in the 21st century. [see above] Empress Gemmei, who was followed on the throne by her daughter, Empress Genshō, remains the sole exception to this conventional argument.

A government-appointed panel of experts submitted a report on October 25 2005, recommending that the Imperial succession law be amended to permit equal primogeniture. On January 20 2006, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi used part of his annual keynote speech to address the controversy when he pledged to submit a bill to the Diet letting women ascend to the throne in order that the imperial throne be continued into the future in a stable manner. Koizumi did not announce a timing for the legislation to be introduced nor did he provide details about the content but he did note that it would be in line with the conclusions of the 2005 government panel.


Proposals to change the male-only law of imperial succession were shelved temporarily after it was announced in February 2006 that the Crown Prince's younger brother, Prince Akishino and his wife Princess Kiko were expecting their third child. On September 6 2006, at 8:27 a.m. (Japan Standard Time), Princess Kiko gave birth to a son, Hisahito, who is third in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne under the current law, after his uncle, the Crown Prince and his father, Prince Akishino. The prince's birth provided the first male heir to be born in the imperial family in 41 years. On January 3, 2007, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that he would drop the proposal to alter the Imperial Household Law. Therefore, it seems increasingly unlikely that the succession laws will be changed to allow Hisahito's cousin, Princess Aiko, to become reigning Empress.

See Japanese Imperial succession controversy.



External links

* [ Kunaicho | Press Conference by Their Imperial Highness The Crown Prince and Crown Princess After the Birth of Her Imperial Highness Princess Aiko]
* [ Kunaicho | Press on the Occasion of the First Birthday of Her Imperial Highness Princess Aiko]
* [ BBC News | Japan's new princess meets the public]

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