Final Cocoon Harvest

On 12th July, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko harvested the cocoons of Japanese oak silkmoth inside Imperial Palace.
It is the last process of Imperial Sericulture this year. After the abdication of HM Emperor Akihito, HIH Crown Princess Masako will succeed the tradition of Imperial Sericulture.

Photo from Asahi

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Advanced Technical Grand Award of Originality

On 11th July, HIH Princess Hisako of Takamado attended the 32nd Award Ceremony of Advanced Technical Grand Award of Originality took place in Tokyo.

Photo from Sankei

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Zonta International

On 3rd July, HM Empress Michiko attended the closing reception of the 64th world convention of Zonta International took place in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Photo from Sankei

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Engagement of Princess Ayako

On 2nd July, Imperial Household Agency announced the engagement of HIH Princess Ayako of Takamado and Mr Kei Moriya.
HIH Princess Hisako and HIH Princess Ayako of Takamado visited Imperial Residence to greet HM Empress Michiko.

HIH Princess Ayako and Mr Moriya attended the Press Conference took place at Imperial Household Agency.

Princess Ayako, Moriya express delight at their engagement

Text from KYODO

TOKYO – Princess Ayako, the youngest daughter of Emperor Akihito’s late cousin Prince Takamado, and Kei Moriya expressed delight at their upcoming engagement as they made their first public appearance together on Monday.
“I am happy,” Princess Ayako, 27, said during a televised news conference in Tokyo following an official announcement of their engagement earlier in the day, as she expressed hope to create a “happy family.”
The princess said she was attracted to Moriya for being a “kind, intelligent and decisive” man. Moriya, a 32-year-old employee at shipping firm Nippon Yusen K.K., described Princess Ayako as a “bright and positive person” who is friendly to anyone she interacts with.
The couple is expected to formally get engaged in a traditional court ceremony on Aug. 12 before their wedding Oct. 29 at Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine.

The two first met last December when they were introduced by the princess’ mother, Princess Hisako, the widow of Prince Takamado. She was hoping to interest her daughter in international welfare activities through meeting Moriya, who is a board member of a nonprofit organization supporting children in developing countries.
Princess Ayako recalled how she enjoyed talking with Moriya when they first met, and that it did not feel like it was their first meeting. She said Moriya proposed to her after dining at a restaurant this year.
“I want to build a happy family full of smiles,” the princess said, while Moriya is seeking to build a relationship in which the two can continue to respect each other.
Princess Hisako has known Moriya’s father for 40 years since both were university students in Britain. Moriya’s deceased mother was a senior director of the organization Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (Children without Borders), and Princess Hisako attended many of its events.
Princess Ayako graduated from Josai International University in Chiba Prefecture and earned a master’s degree there in 2016. She is currently working as a research fellow at the university’s Faculty of Social Work Studies.
Moriya has an international background, having gone to kindergarten in Paris, and attended schools in Switzerland and Britain before graduating from Keio University. His hobbies include marathon and iron man races.

Last year, the agency announced the planned engagement between Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, and Kei Komuro, a commoner. But in February, their wedding was postponed until 2020, due to “lack of preparation.”
Under the Imperial House Law, female members of the imperial family lose their royal family status when they marry a commoner.
After Princess Ayako and Princess Mako marry, the number of imperial family members will drop to 17 and that of female members to 12.
The government has also issued a statement of congratulations on the engagement but Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga noted the challenges associated with the shrinking number of imperial family members.
“There are various views (on how to address the issue) and we need to consider them fully in order to gain national consensus,” he said at a press conference Monday.
When the emperor’s abdication law was enacted in June last year, a resolution was added to it calling on the government to start deliberating succession issues, including an option to allow a princess to establish a branch of the imperial family after marrying a commoner.

Photo from Yomiuri, Asahi1, 2, FNN and Sankei

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Asia-Pacific Ladies

On 29th June, HM Empress Michiko attended the ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society took place in Tokyo.

Photo from Sankei

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Greet Ancestral Gods

On 26th June, HIH Princess Hisako of Takamado visited Imperial Palace Sanctuaries to report her home-coming from Russian Federation to the ancestral gods as the tradition of the Imperial Family.

Photo from Sankei

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Princess Ayako will get engaged

On 26th June, Imperial Household Agency announced that HIH Princess Ayako of Takamado will get engaged.
HIH Princess Ayako is expected to attend the Press Conference on 2nd July with her fiance.

[NEWS] Princess Hisako’s daughter Ayako to get engaged to businessman

Text from The Japan Times

Princess Ayako, the youngest daughter of Princess Hisako and the late Prince Takamado, Emperor Akihito’s cousin, will get engaged to a businessman, the Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday.
The future husband of the 27-year-old princess is Kei Moriya, 32, an employee of major shipping firm NYK Line, the agency announced.
Princess Ayako graduated from Josai International University in Chiba Prefecture and earned her master’s degree there in 2016. She is working as a research fellow at the university’s Faculty of Social Work Studies.
In 2014 her sister Princess Noriko married Kunimaro Senge, the eldest son of the chief priest of Izumo Taisha, a Shinto shrine in Shimane Prefecture.
Last year, the agency announced the planned engagement of Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, and Kei Komuro, but said in February that their wedding had been postponed until 2020 due to “lack of preparation.”
Under the Imperial House Law, female members of the Imperial family lose their royal family status when they marry a commoner.
When Princess Ayako and Princess Mako marry, the size of the Imperial family will drop to 17 and the number of female members to 12.

Takamado Family in 1994; Late Prince Norihito, HIH Princess Ayako, HIH Princess Hisako, Ms Noriko Senge (Former Princess Noriko), HIH Princess Tsuguko

Takamado Family in 2018; HIH Princess Hisako, HIH Princess Tsuguko, HIH Princess Ayako

Photo from Sankei

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Russia Visit of Princess Takamado

From 18th June to 26th June, HIH Princess Hisako of Takamado visited Russian Federation to watch the matches of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia as the Honorary President of Japan Football Association.
It was the first time for a member of Imperial Family to visit Russia since 1916.

Photo from Sankei1 and 2

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Supporting Children with Cancer

On 25th June, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko attended the charity concert supporting the children with cancer and their families took place in Tokyo.

Photo from Sankei

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Japan Academy Prize

On 25th June, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko attended the 108th Award Ceremony of Japana Academy Prize took place in Tokyo.

After the award ceremony, Their Majesties held the tea party for the recipients of the Prize at Imperial Palace. HIH Crown Prince Naruhito, HIH Prince Fumihito and HIH Princess Kiko of Akishino also attended the party.

Photo from Sankei and Jiji

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