LIST: Japanese princesses who lost royal status

Michael Bueza

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LIST: Japanese princesses who lost royal status


(UPDATED) Since 2005, two Japanese princesses have married commoners and left the Imperial Family, while two are about to do so as well

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Japanese monarchy was put in the spotlight following news about two princesses’ engagement to commoners.

Princess Mako – a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito – will be married in 2020 to her college sweetheart Kei Komuro.

Meanwhile, Princess Ayako, a daughter of the Emperor’s cousin, was recently engaged to Kei Moriya, an employee of a shipping firm.

As a result, after their respective marriages, Princess Mako and Princess Ayako will lose their royal status. This rule does not apply to male royals.

Their departures also sparked a debate on whether to allow princesses born into the Imperial Family to remain in their royal roles even after marriage, to increase the number of potential male successors to Emperor Akihito.

Since 2005, two Japanese princesses have taken the same path – leaving the Imperial House to marry the love of their life.

Sayako, Princess Nori (now Sayako Kuroda)

Photo from Wikipedia

Princess Nori (or Princess Sayako) is the youngest child and only daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. She was born on April 18, 1969.

After graduating from Gakushuin University in 1992, where she earned a degree in Japanese letters and literature, she became a research associate then a researcher at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology. Kingfishers piqued the princess’ interest at the institute.

On November 15, 2005, at 36 years old, she married Yoshiki Kuroda, then 40, an urban planner for the Tokyo metropolitan government.

According to reports, Kuroda was a close friend of Fumihito, Prince Akishino, her brother. The princess and Kuroda first met during childhood, went to the same university, and reacquainted later in adulthood.

Princess Noriko (now Noriko Senge)

Photo from Wikipedia

Born on July 22, 1988, Princess Noriko is the second daughter of the late Prince Norihito – Emperor Akihito’s cousin – and Princess Hisako of Takamado. 

In 2011, she earned a psychology degree from Gakushuin University.

Three years later, on October 5, 2014, she married then 41-year-old Kunimaro Senge, the eldest son of the head priest of the Izumo Taisha shrine.

The couple first met in 2007, when she and her mother visited the shrine, reported the Japan Times. Their relationship blossomed through bird-watching and tree-planting. –

Sources: The Imperial Household Agency, various news reports

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Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.