Happy Birthday to Empress Michiko of Japan, who turns 83 today! 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. I wish HIM a very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!