Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko
The love story of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko dates back to 1957 when they first met on a tennis court. Empress Michiko was a member of a wealthy family and had no royal ancestry. Their union in marriage in 1959 marked the first time an Emperor of Japan married a commoner. They have three children: Emperor Naruhito, Prince Fumihito, and former Princess Sayako. Emperor Akihito rose to the Chrysanthemum Throne after the death of his father in 1989 and reigned for 30 years. The Emperor formally expressed his thankfulness for the continued love and support of Empress Michiko on his 85th birthday in 2018.