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Michiko Shoda Empress ofJapan Deborah Mejia 12-C Mr. Gill 20th Century History It is known worldwide that in Asian cultures women are just the backgrounds of society. They are pillars of it by educating the family and maintaining the homes, but they are Still generally seen just as cleaning maids or delicate quiet dolls. In the specific case of countries like Japan or China that have imperial dynasties, it is hard for a commoner to have its existence considered by the Imperial Family, but it is even more dificult for women.

This is the to nex: page story of a commoner 2. 600 to marry an hel Michiko Shoda wa to Businessman Hide Michiko is their eldes origins, but now Mich irl which became the first commoner in ora or buro 20 hi of Japan. 34 in Tokyo, Japan Ife Fumiko Soejima; uro had samurai ther operated the prosperous Nisshin Flour Milling Co. The typical Japanese person has straight black hair, but Michiko was born curly and red haired though, as she grew up, her hair darkened to brown. Her name means: Beautiful Wisdom Child.

Her family was highly educated and she was no exception. Her name did describe her in the part that she was alvvays the first one to raise her hand to answer any uestion her Sensei did in class at Futaba Elementary School. The Shodas last five flour mills and in March 1945 they had to move back to their ancestral home: Tatebayashi Village on the Kanto Plain. The fact that Michiko was talented in playing piano and could speak English amazed the children and added to her keenness in class they got jealous and annoyed.

Michiko then attended Tokyo’s Seishin (Sacred Heart) High School, but was and is Still a Buddhist. She was the top of her class and president of the student governing committee. She was called ‘perfecr and even a teacher once told her that er only defect was that she had none. She earned a bachelor of arts in Japanese literature from the Faculty of Literature at the University of the Sacred Heart and afterwards attended Harvard and Oxford. The Shodas spent their summer vacations at the mountain resort of Karuizawa in there villa.

The resort was a place where elite would go for trips. At this time the Shoda’s Milling Co. was the biggest company in Asia. This is where Michiko and Crown Prince Akihito met for the first time. On August 1957 (Michiko was 22), Prince Akihito was summoning opponents to play against in he tennis courts. Michiko was chosen to play along with a 12 year Old against the Prince and his partner. Michiko and her mate won 5-1. This left a lasting good impresslon on the prince and his tutor Dr. Shinzo Koizumi who had watched the match.

Dr. Koizumi told the Prince he Prince and his tutor Dr. Shinzo Koizumi who had watched the match. Dr. Koizumi told the Prince he had played poorly, but Michiko was indeed a very nice Young lady. From then on the pnnce fell In lave; it was ‘lave at first tennis match. ‘ He took pictures of her and exhibited him in the imperial palace, and she ould carry his tennis rackets and clean his face after his games. They even got to play together against the Shah of Iran and his partner, and won the game. Dr.

Koizumi was the one who supported the Prince in his decision to seek a wife by his own judgment rather than by heritage. On November 3, 1958, Michiko finally gave in to the persistence of the pnnce; she accepted to marry him. The Parliament approved the engagement on November 27, 1958 though some traditionalists opposed a commoner to be integrated to the imperial family as well as Prince Akihito’s mother, Empress Kojun. It was rumored that Empress Kojun ullied Michiko for her origins until she died in the year 2000.

At age 24, Michiko married Prince Akihito on April 10, 1959. They had three children: Crown Prince Naruhito (1 960),Prince Akishino (1 965), and Princess Nori (1969). The couple decided to raise thei own chlldren instead of having Court Chamberlains raising them. On January 7, 1989, Emperor Hirohito died and so, on November 12, 1990, Prince Akihito became Japan’s 125th Emperor and Michiko Shoda became Empress Conso 3Lvf4 Emperor and Michiko Shoda became Empress Consort. The couple has renewed Japan’s Imperial Family, making more ccessible for the people.

The couple has to attend to important events and ceremonies both in Japan and in the rest of the World though the emperor and the empress are now just symbols for Japan because they lost official power since the end of World War II. Still, the stress of being judged for being a commoner in a royal family apart from all of her diplomatic duties have made Michiko sick throughout all her reign. She’s had from simple nervous, depressive breakdowns to intestinal bleedings caused by stress, and it was even rumored she had aborted by his cause.

But, though Japanese women are freer in their societal roles, the tinge of masculine povver Still remains. But women have begun to rise their heads even more thanks to the motivation of the example Michiko has set. She did not earn her position because of money or by her looks, she just acted as everyone should. She was the best person she knew she could be. End Notes: – http. Wwww. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171. 892335-9,00 . html#ixzzl 1 zrUD4pJ -http://www. upi. com/Business_News/Security-lndustry/2007/05 /21 ‘J apans-emperor-kicks-off- Europe-tour/UPl-75501179772394/ -wikipedia. org