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Japan's Emperor birthday
Japan's Emperor Akihito(L) and Empress Michiko(R) wave to well-wishers during his Majesty's 76th birthday greeting at the East Plaza, Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, on December 23, 2009.
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HIH The Prince Mikasa HIH The Princess Mikasa

Empress Michiko of Japan (皇后美智子 Kōgō Michiko, formerly Michiko Shōda (正田 美智子, Shōda Michiko?); born 20 October 1934) is the wife and consort of Emperor Akihito, the current monarch of Japan. She was the first commoner to marry into the Japanese Imperial Family. As crown princess and later as empress consort, she has become the most visible and widely-travelled imperial consort in Japanese history. Her full title is Her Imperial Majesty The Empress of Japan.

Empress Michiko was born in Tokyo, the eldest daughter of Hidesaburo Shōda (1904–1999), president and later honorary chairman of Nisshin Flour Milling Company, and his wife, Fumiko Soejima (1910–1988). She attended Futaba Elementary School in Tokyo, but was obliged to leave during the fourth grade because of the American bombing during World War II. She returned to school after the war ended and attended the Seishin (Sacred Heart) junior high school and High School in Tokyo.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Empress Michiko."