The Japanese imperial family was very happy to announce the engagement of Princess Noriko of Takamado to Kunimaro Senge today.
Princess Noriko and her mother, Princess Takamado née Hisako Tottori, visited Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace to report to them the yet unofficial engagement. A traditional rite of betrothal, the “Nosai no gi” is to take place in July. That ceremony will formalize the engagement. The wedding is to be held in Izumo Taisha around October.
In the afternoon Princess Noriko and her fiancé held a press conference. A happy Princess Noriko said: “I’m happy that I can now announce our planned engagement after receiving permission from the Emperor.” About her fiancé she said: “He is generous and sincere. I hope we will have a cheerful and happy family.”. Mr Senge said about Princess Noriko: “She is warmhearted and kind. We want to build a home of endless smiles.” The bride’s mother is very content with her daughter’s choice and said: “I hope Noriko will raise a loving and happy family and will adapt to a new life.”
The couple met in April 2007 when Princess Noriko and her mother visited the Izumo Taisha, the grand shrine in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, of which the Senge family has been in charge of for a long time. Her family and his family have however already known each other for a long time.
Kunimaro Senge was born on 2 September 1973. He is the eldest son of the chief priest of Izumo Taisha, Takamasa Senge, and his wife Ayako. He has two younger brothers. He studied Shinto at Kokugakuin University. He served as a priest at multiple shrines after his studies, including the Iwashimizu Hachimangu shrine in Kyoto. Since March 2005 he has been the senior priest at Izumo Taisha. He loves photography.
Princess Noriko was born on 22 July 1988 as the middle daughter of Prince Takamado (a son of Prince Mikasa, uncle of Emperor Akihito) and Hisako Tottori. Her father died unexpectedly in November 2002. She studied psychology at the Gakushuin University. She loves ballet, theater and music.It will be the first imperial marriage since 2005, when Princess Sayako married Yoshiki Kuroda. Like Princess Sayako Princess Noriko will loose the membership of the Imperial House upon her marriage.
Photos & Copyright: Imperial Household Agency