Aiko, Princess Toshi – A potential Empress

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan - CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

From the beginning of the marriage of Crown Prince Naruhito and Masako Owada, the new Crown Princess was under pressure to produce a son, as girls are banned from inheriting the throne under the 1889 Meiji law. Between 1976 and 1993, seven girls but not a single boy was born into the family. And now, only Naruhito and his younger brother were young enough to produce sons. Then the years began to pass, and the press became ever more insistent. Six years after the wedding, it was finally, tentatively, confirmed that Masako was pregnant. At the end of the year, it became clear that Masako had suffered a miscarriage and had to have surgery to remove the fetus. A year later, Masako told the press, “Honestly speaking, it is a fact that I was disturbed by the overheated coverage in the mass media from the very start.”

Masako was now approaching 40, and the couple decided to seek fertility treatments. In April 2001, it was confirmed that Masako was pregnant once more. On 1 December 2001, Masako gave birth to a daughter named Aiko. Her name was chosen by her parents instead of the Emperor. Aiko, the princess’s personal name, is written with the kanji characters for “love (愛)” and “child (子)” and means “a person who loves others.” Her Imperial title is Princess Toshi (敬宮 toshi-no-miya), which means “a person who respects others.”

Aiko began her education at the Gakushuin Kindergarten on 3 April 2006. Since 2014, she is enrolled at the Gakushuin Girl’s Junior Highschool, and she told reporters on her first day of school, “I am looking forward (to starting a new school life).” Aiko was frequently home from school due to bullying from classmates. Now that she is a little bit older, she sometimes joins her parents at official engagements. Aiko attended a course at Eton College and is now attending Gakushuin University, where she majors in Japanese language and literature.

Aiko’s father became the new Emperor of Japan after his father’s abdication on 30 April 2019, but Aiko will not be able to succeed him. Before the birth of her younger cousin Hisahito, there was some debate about whether the Imperial Household Law of 1947 should be changed to absolute primogeniture to allow for the succession of a woman. There have been eight Empresses in their own right in Japanese history, and most European monarchies have changed their laws to allow for female succession. Only Liechtenstein completely bars the succession of women, while Spain still abides by a preference for males. With the male line being dangerously close to extinction, it would only be prudent to allow for Aiko to succeed her father and to abolish the system where Japanese Princesses must give up their Imperial titles if they marry a commoner.

About Moniek Bloks 2254 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.


  1. I Hope Dear Princess Aiko may one day become Empress. Now women may Reign in All Countries. She deserves that right too!!

  2. Princess Aiko is a Lovely Girl. The fighting about Her to be the Empress when her father dies goes on all the time. I Hope that Aiko with WIN!!!!🥰💝🌸🌻💐🎠🙏

  3. Considering the very conservative Imperial Household it is likely that Aiko would be happier not becoming Empress- they made her Mother’s life a misery to the extent that she became clinically depressed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.