Happy Birthday to Empress Michiko of Japan! Born Michiko Shōda , she was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist and was educated in Japan, the UK, and the US. In 1959, she married Crown Prince Akihito of Japan, becoming the first commoner to marry into the world’s oldest ruling dynasty. The couple had three children, Crown Prince Naruhito, Fumihito, Prince Akishino, and Sayako, Princess Nori (now known as Sayako Kuroda). In 1989, the couple succeeded to the Throne as Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. Keen on music and poetry, Empress Michiko and the Imperial family safeguard Japanese cultural heritage and the Shinto religion. In April 2019, the Emperor abdicated, due to old age, and the Imperial couple retired from the public, and she now known as the ‘Empress Emerita (Jōkōgō)’. I wish HIM a very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!