Empress Michiko

wife of Emperor Akihito of Japan

Michiko (美智子, Michiko), formerly Michiko Shōda (正田美智子, Shōda Michiko, born 20 October 1934), is the wife of Japan's Emperor Emeritus Akihito.[1]

Empress Emerita of Japan
The Empress wearing the Order of the Precious Crown
Empress consort of Japan
Tenure7 January 1989 – 30 April 2019
Enthronement12 November 1990
BornMichiko Shōda (正田美智子)
(1934-10-20) 20 October 1934 (age 89)
University of Tokyo Hospital, Tokyo City, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
(m. 1959)
HouseImperial House of Japan (by marriage)
FatherHidesaburō Shōda
MotherFumiko Soejima

Early life


Michiko Shōda was born at University of Tokyo Hospital in Tokyo. She is the eldest daughter of Hidesaburo Shōda and Fumiko Soejima, president and later honorary chairman of Nisshin Flour Milling Company.[1]

In 1957, she earned a BA degree at the University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo.[2]



Shōda married Crown Prince Akihito in 1959.[1]

When she married, she became Crown Princess Michiko. She became Empress Michiko in 1989 when her husband became Emperor.

Empress Michiko is the mother of two sons and a daughter.[1]

Titles and Styles

20 October 1934-10 April 1959: Miss Michiko Shoda

10 April 1959-7 January 1989: Her Imperial Highness The Crown Princess or Her Imperial Highness The Crown Princess Michiko

7 January 1989-30 April 2019: Her Majesty The Empress of Japan

1 May 2019-present Her Majesty The Empress Emerita

Name Birth Marriage Children
Naruhito, Emperor of Japan 23 February 1960 9 June 1993 Masako Owada Princess Toshi
Fumihito, Prince Akishino 30 November 1965 29 June 1990 Kiko Kawashima Princess Mako of Akishino
Princess Kako of Akishino
Prince Hisahito of Akishino
Sayako, Princess Nori 18 April 1969 15 November 2005 Yoshiki Kuroda



In August 2019, it was revealed that she was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in July 2019.[3] Empress Michiko had cancer surgery in September of the year.[3]



The chrysanthemum symbol of the Japanese emperor and his family.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Michiko" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 627.
  2. Hoover, Willian D. (2011). Historical Dictionary of Postwar Japan, p. 16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Japan's ex-Empress Michiko has early stage breast cancer". ABC News. August 9, 2019.

Other websites


  Media related to Empress Michiko at Wikimedia Commons