Little Princess Aiko of Japan Smiles at her Father’s Return
15 February 2009: With happy faces Crown Princess Masako of Japan and her daughter Aiko welcomed their husband and father Naruhito back home from his trip to Vietnam.
On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between the countries, the heir to the Japanese throne visited Hanoi, Hue, Quang Nam, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Tien Giang. While in Ho Chi Minh City, Prince Naruhito visited a school where 211 Japanese primary and secondary pupils are enrolled, and the Vietnam-Japan Centre for Human Resource Training. For photos and a video of his trip, see this thread.
When the Crown Prince had publicly taken leave from his family on the 9th February in order to travel to Vietnam, his young daughter had not been present, and this had probably been beneficial to the peace of mind of everybody concerned: it seems that the little princess does not at all like to see her father leave, as could be noticed when several months ago, on July 16 last year, the prince went for an official visit to Spain. On that occasion, he bade farewell to his wife and daughter at the entrance of the Togu Palace – where the family lives – and Princess Aiko at first obviously struggled hard to be a good girl and keep her composure. But finally she gave in and began to cry, and her mother Masako had to comfort her (see image and video).
Aiko, who is also called The Princess Toshi, is the couple’s only child, and it cannot be overlooked that she and her parents are very close to each other. At a press conference several months after Aiko’s long awaited birth on the 1st December 2001, her mother was moved almost to tears when she told journalists: “Beginning of life means that a new life starts being very very tiny, grows more and more and then comes into the world in a huge rush of energy. I have felt very strongly that children are really being born in order to live and to be loved by their parents.”
The crown prince was an enthusiastic father. Resolved to have his part in the education of his daughter, he put aside traditional ideas of stoicism and “samurai”-spirit: he took his bath with baby Aiko, fed her and read to her. He told the press: “I as a father want to take part in the nursing of the child. In this way I can develop a feeling of unity not only with my child but also with my wife. In education, the part of the father is very important, too.”
In August 2002, the world saw for the very first time in history a Japanese crown prince carrying his child on his back in public. Together with his wife and daughter, prince Naruhito was hiking through the highland marsh of Nasu, renowned for its alpine flora. The heir to the Japanese throne was and is to this day a dedicated and experienced sportsman and mountaineer: last year, on the 8th August, he reached for the first time the summit of Mount Fuji. But after his excursion to Nasu with Masako and Aiko, he declared that this was for him a very special way of “mountaineering”, with his child on his back, and that he had always hoped to one day be able to live this experience.Filed under Japanese Royals
Tagged Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako, Princess Aiko.
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