Japan’s Princess Aiko attends coming-of-age ceremonies

Pool photo/ The Yomiuri Shimbun
Princess Aiko attends a coming-of-age ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Sunday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s Princess Aiko, the only offspring of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, attended coming-of-age ceremonies at the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo on Sunday.

Princess Aiko, who turned 20 on Wednesday, visited the Three Palace Sanctuaries at the palace to pay respects to the Imperial Family’s ancestors and deities.

She was then awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown from the Emperor in the Houou-no-Ma hall.

Later on Sunday, the princess, dressed in robe decolletee formal attire and wearing a tiara and the decoration, will greet her parents in the same hall.

She will subsequently visit Sento Kari Gosho temporary Imperial residence in Tokyo for the first time to greet her grandparents, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko.

Later, the princess, along with her parents, will receive well-wishes from other members of the Imperial Family, including Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, as well as the heads of the three branches of government.

No banquet or tea ceremony is scheduled to be held as a precaution against the novel coronavirus. Princess Aiko chose not to order a new tiara out of consideration for the people’s lives under restrictions amid the pandemic and instead wore one used by her paternal aunt Sayako Kuroda, who left the Imperial Family upon marriage to a commoner in 2005.

Princess Aiko was congratulated by the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency and others at her residence on her birthday on Wednesday, but major coming-of-age ceremonies were put off to Sunday to put priority on her schoolwork. The princess studies Japanese literature at Gakushuin University in Tokyo.

She will attend the “Shinnen-Shukuga-no-Gi” New Year’s greeting ceremony at the palace on Jan. 1.