Profile of Emperor Akihito
They have worked to make the Japanese imperial family appear
Hi, I'm Zach Toombs and today on About.com we're profiling Emperor Akihito of Japan.Emperor Akihito was born on December 23, 1933, in Tokyo, Japan. When he was about four years old, he was separated from his parents to be privately educated by tutors. This was the imperial custom at the time.During the bombing of Tokyo during World War II, Akihito and his brother were evacuated from the city. After the war, he studied at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, although he did not earn a degree. Akihito is the first member of the Japanese royal family prince to marry a commoner. He wed Michiko Shōda in 1959, and they had three children: Crown Prince Naruhito, Prince Akishino, and Princess SayokoAkihito ascended to the throne in 1989 upon the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito. The Chrysanthemum Throne -- as the Japanese monarchy is known -- is the world's longest continuing hereditary monarchy. It was established in 660 BC. and Akihito is its 125th emperor.Akihito has little political power. His official duties include receiving foreign dignitaries, making official visits to other countries, and convening the National Diet -- Japan's legislature.Both Akihito and Empress Michiko are known for their strong sense of duty and lack of imperial hauteur. They have worked to make the Japanese imperial family appear less aloof from the public, warmer and more approachable.Thanks for watching our profile of Emperor Akihito of Japan. For more information go to About.com.