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February 28, 2017

Michiko Shōda: The First Commoner to Marry into the Japanese Imperial Family – 28 Rare Photos of Michiko Before Becoming the Crown Princess of Japan

Empress Michiko, born Michiko Shōda on 20 October 1934, is the Empress consort of Japan as the wife of Emperor Akihito, the current Emperor of Japan reigning from 7 January 1989. She succeeded her mother-in-law, Empress Nagako, consort of the late Emperor Hirohito.

Michiko married Crown Prince Akihito and became the Crown Princess of Japan in 1959. She was the first commoner to marry into the Japanese Imperial Family. She has three children with her husband. Her elder son, Naruhito, is the current heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne. As crown princess and later as empress, she has become the most visible and widely travelled imperial consort in Japanese history.

Before becoming the Crown Princess of Japan in 1959, here is a rare photo collection of this talented and beautiful woman in her young age.


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