In what could be Japan’s first royal wedding in nearly a decade, the engagement of Princess Noriko to the eldest son of a family that manages a shrine known for enshrining a god for good match-making was announced Tuesday.
The 25-year-old daughter of the late Prince Takamado is engaged to Kunimaro Senge, a 40-year-old Shinto priest, according to the Imperial Household Agency. Prince Takamado was the cousin of current Emperor Akihito.
The two met seven years ago when the then 18-year old princess visited the Izumo Shrine, which Mr. Senge’s family manages, in Shimane Prefecture, central Japan. The Izumo Shrine is one of the oldest in the country and several buildings in the compound are on the list of Important Cultural Properties of Japan.
The last royal wedding was in 2005 when Princess Sayako, the daughter of Emperor Akihito, married Yoshiki Kuroda, a civil servant.
As required by Imperial House Law, Princess Noriko will exit the Imperial House upon marrying. With only three princes in line to succeed the current Emperor, and the seven princesses possibly marrying outside of the Imperial Family, Princess Noriko’s marriage could reignite the discussion on amending this law to ensure the stable continuation of the Imperial Family.
The administration under the previous Democratic Party of Japan considered amending the law to allow the Emperor’s daughters and granddaughters to remain in the Imperial House after marriage. But the discussion has stalled under current administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Source: Wall Street Journal