Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko Have Redefined the Imperial Family

Kevin Y. Kawamoto
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

After the last of their three visits in the 1960s, Akihito and Michiko did not visit Hawai‘i again for 27 years. When they did return again, much had changed in their lives. By 1994, they had raised three children to adulthood, all born in the 1960s: sons Naruhito (born Feb. 23, 1960) and Akishino (born Nov. 30, 1965) and daughter Sayako (born April 18, 1969). The crown prince and crown princess continued their official duties, which were varied and extensive within Japan and beyond. For whatever reason, however, their overseas travel itinerary did not include Hawai‘i for almost three decades.

During that long absence, one pivotal event occurred that dramatically changed their lives forever.

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