125th Emperor of Japan
Date of Birth: 23.12.1933
Country: Japan

  1. Biography of Akihito
  2. Educational Background
  3. Marriage and Children
  4. Accession to the Throne
  5. Contributions and Honorary Memberships

Biography of Akihito

Akihito, the 125th Emperor of Japan, was born on December 23, 1933, in Tokyo, Japan. He is a direct descendant of Jimmu, the legendary first Emperor of Japan. Akihito was born into the family of Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako, being their fifth child but the first son.

Educational Background

Following the tradition of members of the Japanese imperial family, Akihito received his education at the Gakushuin School, which is affiliated with the Imperial Household Ministry. In the final years of World War II, he was temporarily evacuated with his classmates from Tokyo to the mountains of Nikko. However, after the war ended, he returned to his homeland and continued his studies.

Due to Japan's defeat in the war, the power of the Japanese emperor was significantly limited, mainly serving ceremonial functions. These new conditions and constraints on imperial power required changes in the education of the heir to the throne. Akihito learned English and gained extensive knowledge of Western culture. In addition to his official specialization, which he acquired while studying political science and economics at Gakushuin University from 1952, Akihito, like his father, developed a passion for marine biology.

Marriage and Children

In April 1959, Akihito married Michiko Shoda (born on October 20, 1934, in Tokyo), a daughter of a wealthy Japanese businessman and a graduate of the Women's Roman Catholic University in Tokyo. Their marriage, which violated a 1500-year tradition of the imperial family, was unanimously approved by the Imperial Household Council led by the Prime Minister.

They had their first child, Crown Prince Naruhito, on February 23, 1960. Prince Akishino was born on November 30, 1965, and Princess Sayako was born on April 18, 1969.

Accession to the Throne

In September 1988, due to his father's illness, Akihito assumed some of the emperor's duties. He was officially proclaimed the Emperor of Japan on January 7, 1989, following his father's death. The official coronation took place on November 12, 1989, in the presence of representatives from 158 countries and two international organizations. The era name of his reign is Heisei, which translates to "Achieving Peace."

Contributions and Honorary Memberships

Apart from his royal duties, Akihito has authored several scientific articles on ichthyology and has co-authored two books on the fishes of Japan, including the collective work "The Fishes of the Japanese Archipelago" (1984). He is an honorary member of the Linnean Society of London (1986), the Zoological Society of London (1992), and the Research Institute for Natural Science of Argentina (1997).