Princess Aiko News and Current Events Part 4: January 2021 -


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Welcome to Part 4 of the thread for News and Current Events of Princess Aiko!

The old thread can be found here:

** Princess Aiko News and Current Events Part 3: April 2008 - December 2020 **



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On April 3rd, Princess Aiko attended the online entrance ceremony for Gakushuin University from Akasaka Imperial residence. Since last year's ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic, this year's event welcomed new 2nd year students as well.

The university allowed both remote attendance and students to watch from classrooms on campus. Princess Aiko decided to attend remotely after consulting with Their Majesties and a court doctor.

This year, Gakushuin University wants to offer not only online but also face-to-face lessons while thoroughly implementing infection prevention measures.

Sources: Kyodo, Sankei, NHK

ETA: English articles

Japan Princess Aiko attends college entrance ceremony 1 year late - The Mainichi
The university allowed sophomores to attend the ceremony from either their classroom or locations outside the campus as part of efforts to prevent infection. The 19-year-old princess chose to attend it from home after talking with her parents and a doctor for the family, the Imperial Household Agency said.

Princess Aiko Attends Delayed Univ. Enrollment Ceremony Online | Nippon.com
The 19-year-old princess attended the ceremony for about 30 minutes from 9:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m. GMT) from the Akasaka Imperial Residence in the Japanese capital, listening to the university president's address, according to the Imperial Household Agency...
 
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On July 21st, the Imperial Household Agency released 4 photos of silk moths raised by Princess Aiko at Akasaka residence. She has bred silk moths every year since elementary school. Mainichi reports Princess Aiko is currently busy submitting assignments and writing reports for the end of the semester.

Photos: nikkansports.com, news24.jp, Mainichi
 
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On July 21st, the Imperial Household Agency released 4 photos of silk moths raised by Princess Aiko at Akasaka residence. She has bred silk moths every year since elementary school. Mainichi reports Princess Aiko is currently busy submitting assignments and writing reports for the end of the semester.

Photos: nikkansports.com, news24.jp, Mainichi

Is that an imperial tradition?
 
:previous: I don't know. Maybe Princess Aiko simply has an interest in sericulture. The news24.jp article translation says she received silk moths in 3rd year of elementary school and has bred them annually.

Looking at the old Princess Aiko thread, the IHA also released photos of her sericulture last year but before the pandemic, the agency released photos of Aiko skiing. I think these sericulture photos substitute for the "Aiko skiing" photos/video.
 
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Princess Aiko comes of age (20) on December 1. The IHA reveals some plans.

- Coming-of-age ceremonies will be held on December 5 (Sunday) in consideration of her university classes. December 1 is a Wednesday.
- Aiko will worship at the Three Palace Sanctuaries in the morning
- Her father the Emperor will invest her with the Order of the Precious Crown at the Kyuden
- She will formally greet the Emperor and Empress in the afternoon at the Kyuden and visit Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko
- Other celebrations such as a dinner party will be postponed due to the pandemic
- Aiko's first press conference is being adjusted, could be beginning of next year
- Aiko is expected to attend New Year’s Receptions as her first public activity

Source: NHK
 
Thanks for the update. I was wondering last week how they would go about her coming of age in a little over a month.

What subject/discipline is Aiko studying at university?
 
:previous: IIRC it said that she is studying Japanese literature.

(I could be wrong) Mako and Kako wore white tie attire (with tiara and sash) to greet the then Emperor and Empress. Would be interesting to see if they tone it down for Aiko's due to the pandemic.
 
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The Japanese ceremonies are quite distant, meaning: bowing, empty spaces, handing over items with two widely stretched arms. It was already corona-proof pre corona, so to say. I see no reason why Princess Aiko would not wear festive attire.
 
:previous: I've that thought because their new year reception also toned down (sans tiara this year), not because of social distance or prevention measures but simply considering the struggles and difficulties people were facing. I think it really depends on how the pandemic is at that time (I read somewhere that the situation is improving recently though). Of course I hope they don't change anything, celebrating the coming of age of emperor's only child is a good reason to be grand.
 
news24.jp reports Aiko will wear a tiara.

If Mako was allowed the usual marriage rites, I suspect she and Empress Masako would have worn tiaras at the Choken-no-gi ceremony as well. Perhaps the IHA considers 1-2 tiaras acceptable but not 9 tiaras. Tiaras were worn at the audience ceremony for the Crown Prince proclamation in November 2020.

Japan is easing restrictions but I don't know about tiaras for 2022 New Year Receptions.
 
It is December 1 in Japan. Media released content for Princess Aiko's 20th birthday.

Statement on adulthood: https://www.kunaicho.go.jp/activity/activity/02/activity02-r031201-1.html

Photos: Asahi, afpbb

Princess Aiko turns 20, vows to support parents in official duties - Kyodo News
[...]

"I would like to refine myself and move forward step by step so that I can grow into an adult who can be of service to others," the princess said in a statement released by the Imperial Household Agency.

Official ceremonies to mark the princess's coming of age have been pushed back to the weekend to avoid disrupting her classes at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, where she is currently studying Japanese literature.

A customary coming-of-age press conference has also been postponed to mid-March, when the university is on spring break.

[...]

Thanking the emperor and empress for their "loving and careful upbringing," the princess also expressed gratitude to "all the people who have been involved in my journey up to this day."

She will celebrate her birthday Wednesday by having a meal with her parents after receiving well-wishes from aides at the palace.

[...]

"It is heartbreaking to hear that many people have died due to the novel coronavirus," the princess said in the statement, adding that she hopes "a peaceful and vibrant life" would soon come to all.

Princess Aiko enrolled in Gakushuin University in 2020, where she has been attending online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She has also been taking language courses in English and Spanish, as well as Japanese history and traditional arts classes, and said she sometimes exchanges opinions with her parents when working on assignments.

In September, she moved from the Akasaka Imperial Residence, where she had lived for almost all her life, to the Imperial Palace with her parents, who explained her duties as an adult member of the imperial family.

She is said to be as diligent as ever in taking care of her dog "Yuri" and cats "Mii" and "Seven," which she brought along with her from the Akasaka residence.

[...]
Strolling around the Imperial Palace on November 14 and visiting Sannomaru Shozokan (The Museum of the Imperial Collections) on November 22
TBS/JNN compiled a video of Princess Aiko from birth to adulthood
 
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In the museum photos/video, Princess Aiko learns about an incense ceremony set, Tale of Genji folding panel, Tale of Genji picture book, and Sarashina Nikki (Sarashina Diary).

After her online classes ended on December 1, Princess Aiko and Emperor Naruhito received greetings from senior IHA, staff, and aides. Empress Masako was absent because she wasn't feeling well. Regarding the Empress' physical condition, an aide thinks Her Majesty is fatigued from many preparations for the birthday.
Sources: news24.jp, Jiji, Sankei

Sankei reports Princess Aiko will wear 3 dresses on December 5.

Most Imperial family members will visit the Imperial Palace's Kyuden for birthday greetings on December 5: Crown Prince Akishino, Princess Kako, Prince Hitachi, Princess Hanako, Princess Yuriko, Princess Nobuko, Princess Akiko, Princess Yohko, Princess Hisako, and Princess Tsuguko.
Source: Asahi Imperial schedule 11/30-12/5

Her studies will take priority so Princess Aiko is not expected to attend New Year Lectures or Poetry Reading as such events are usually scheduled on weekdays, per FNN.

Princess Aiko comes of age | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
[...]

In a written statement released by the Imperial Household Agency, the princess says she is pleased to be able to reach the coming-of-age milestone without incident.

Taking inventory of her life, the princess says that through meeting many people and interacting with them, she has learned how wonderful it is for people to join hands and widen their range of exchanges. She says all her experiences have become assets.

She expresses her deep gratitude to all the people who have been involved in her journey up to this day.

[...]

Princess Aiko wraps up her statement by referring to the coronavirus pandemic. She says it is heartbreaking to hear that many people have passed away, and she is worried that a large number of people are still leading difficult lives.


[...]
Princess Aiko turns 20, vows to help others and her parents | The Asahi Shimbun
[...]

In her spare time, Aiko gets involved in physical activities such as playing badminton with her parents and staff.

Aiko expressed her sense of gratitude toward people, her parents and grandparents, the Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, in the statement, by saying, “I realize that the years I have spent were well colored and blessed with lots of learning.

“I would like to live in a state of constant kindness and appreciation, cherish a sense of satisfaction and take it step by step to cultivate myself to grow up to be an adult who can be of help to others,” she said.

[...]
 
The statement is what I was expecting - gratitude for her upbringing, pleasant reminiscences about her experiences growing up, a pledge to serve others, concern for pandemic victims.

Were coming-of-age press conferences given by the Akishino, Takamado and Mikasa princesses or is that reserved for daughters of emperors?

While it is a good look that she will not receive special treatment from her university in terms of being given time off for royal engagements, I wonder if postponing the press conference until spring break might also have part of its motivation in the hope that both the pandemic and the public backlash against the imperial family over the Komuro marriage will have cooled down by then.
 
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Yes, indeed 'the right words' but not much of her personality is shining through yet. Hopefully that will come over the years (although I am not sure that is appreciated in Japan).
 
[...]

Were coming-of-age press conferences given by the Akishino, Takamado and Mikasa princesses or is that reserved for daughters of emperors?

While it is a good look that she will not receive special treatment from her university in terms of being given time off for royal engagements, I wonder if postponing the press conference until spring break might also have part of its motivation in the hope that both the pandemic and the public backlash against the imperial family over the Komuro marriage will have cooled down by then.
Great observation. Some distance from the Komuro marriage will be helpful as marriage/ideal partner is usually one of the questions asked.

Mikasa and Akishino princesses had coming-of-age press conferences whereas Takamado princesses released written statements.

Tsuguko: https://www.kunaicho.go.jp/activity/activity/08/press08-h18.html
Noriko: https://www.kunaicho.go.jp/activity/activity/08/press08-h20.html
Ayako: https://www.kunaicho.go.jp/activity/activity/08/press08-h22.html

Full press conferences for Princesses Akiko and Yohko
I could only find clips of Princesses Mako and Kako's press conferences.
 
https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/a0bc32668112112c400dd701e78b0a24ad915b23
https://news.tbs.co.jp/newseye/tbs_newseye4420272.html (video)

Aiko (and her first tiara appearance) after greeting her parent for her coming of age ceremony. She also borrowed her aunt's necklace (which isn't mirrored like most of the other parures in the family).

I had said that I'm not a big fans of this tiara but I think the alternation works for Aiko, it suits her so well. Good that Aiko didn't wear it like her aunt (wearing it like a headband) and placed it upright, it looks more substantial and regal.
 
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Princess Aiko goes through official coming of age ceremonies - Kyodo News
Princess Aiko, the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, went through official ceremonies Sunday to mark her coming of age as she was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown at the Imperial Palace.

The princess, who became an adult member of the imperial family when she turned 20 last Wednesday, also visited sanctuaries that enshrine the family's ancestors and Japanese gods earlier in the day to offer prayers.

[...]

Later in the day, the princess greeted her parents wearing a tiara borrowed from her aunt Sayako Kuroda, the emperor's sister who left the imperial household upon marriage to a commoner in 2005.

She decided not to create a new tiara in light of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the agency.

[...]

- Princess Aiko worshipped at the Three Palace Sanctuaries at 10am
- Then, she received the Order of the Precious Crown from Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace's "Hōō no ma" 鳳凰の間 (Google translation: Phoenix Room)
Source: Yomiuri

Photos: Mainichi, Asahi, FNN, Getty Images


Princess Aiko leaving the Imperial Palace after greeting Their Majesties. The greeting was also held at the "Hōō no ma" (Phoenix Room) not the "Matsu no Ma" state room per Sankei
Princess Aiko attends her coming-of-age events | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
[...]

The princess met her grandparents for the first time in about one year and nine months due to the pandemic.

She is scheduled to return to the palace and receive congratulatory greetings from members of the Imperial family, including Crown Prince Akishino, as well as the heads of the three branches of government, including Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-C-l7c0pck
 
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Have to say i also like the tiara better on Aiko then her aunt because she wears it upright and has a proper hairstyle with it.
 
Soo lovely and this tiara was perfecr on her!!!!
 
Princess Aiko visited her grandparents Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko and then returned to the Imperial Palace to receive congratulations with her parents from:
- heads of the three branches of government, including Prime Minister Kishida Fumio
- Imperial family members
- former royalty and relatives

Photos: FNN, Mainichi (updated)

 
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Aiko is so confident and comfortable :flowers: Without the coat the outfit looks much more youthful. Even with the masks you can tell how proud and happy her parents are.

Question: I don't remember did her cousins and other princesses had met the representatives from the government, is that because she is the daughter of the Emperor so unlike the others she've to meet the government as well?
 
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Very beautiful and likeable young lady.
 
Would someone be kind enough to translate what then CP Masako was saying at minute 1:52?
She looked tearfully how nice to see then CP comfort her physically in public

 
https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/a0bc32668112112c400dd701e78b0a24ad915b23
https://news.tbs.co.jp/newseye/tbs_newseye4420272.html (video)

Aiko (and her first tiara appearance) after greeting her parent for her coming of age ceremony. She also borrowed her aunt's necklace (which isn't mirrored like most of the other parures in the family).

I had said that I'm not a big fans of this tiara but I think the alternation works for Aiko, it suits her so well. Good that Aiko didn't wear it like her aunt (wearing it like a headband) and placed it upright, it looks more substantial and regal.

The final sentence of the article states that the age for adulthood is changing from 20 to 18 in Japan next April, so it seems, the next coming of age ceremony - for her cousin and future emperor - will be 2 years earlier.
 
I enjoyed seeing Princess Aiko wearing a tiara for the first time.
 
I agree HIH Princess Aiko wears this tiara , well I hope we will have many more occasions to see this tiara shine
 
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