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Ayako Moriya (守谷 絢子, Moriya Ayako, born 15 September 1990), formerly Princess Ayako of Takamado (絢子女王, Ayako Joō), is a former member of the Imperial House of Japan and the daughter of Norihito, Prince Takamado and Hisako, Princess Takamado. She is the youngest of the couple's three daughters.[1][2] She married Kei Moriya, a commoner, on 29 October 2018. As a result, she gave up her imperial title and left the Japanese Imperial Family, as required by law.

Ayako Moriya
Princess Ayako cropped 1 Janice Varzari and Princess Ayako 201707 2.jpg
Ayako (then Princess Ayako) at the University of Lethbridge in July 2017
BornAyako (絢子)
(1990-09-15) 15 September 1990 (age 28)
Aiiku Hospital, Minami-Azabu, Tokyo, Japan
Kei Moriya (m. 2018)
HouseImperial House of Japan (until 2018)
FatherNorihito, Prince Takamado
MotherHisako Tottori



At the Chōwaden Reception Hall (2 January 2012)

Princess Ayako was born on 15 September 1990 at the Aiiku Hospital [ja] in Minami-Azabu, Tokyo. She was the first member of the Imperial Family to be born in the Heisei period, the era of her first cousin once removed, Emperor Akihito.

Princess Ayako attended the prestigious Gakushūin School for her primary, junior high, and high school education. While she was a student at Gakushūin Women's High School, in 2007, she visited New Zealand under a school-sponsored homestay program. In April 2009, she enrolled in the Josai International University (JIU), Faculty of Social Work Studies.[3]

In 2010 and 2011 the Princess made short term visits to Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, as part of exchange tours with Josai International University.[4] In March 2013, Princess Ayako graduated Josai International University and was accepted into the graduate school.[4] In September 2013, Princess Ayako returned to Camosun College begin intensive English studies. She completed her studies at Camosun College in April 2015. She then spent time at the University of British Columbia before returning to Japan in August 2015. On 16 March, Princess Ayako of Takamado graduated from Josai International University and received a master's degree of social welfare.[4] She is currently a research fellow at JIU's Faculty of Social Work Studies.[5] She continues to attend ceremonies and functions at the palace when studies permit.[4]

Princess Ayako became formally engaged in a ceremony on 12 August 2018 to businessman Kei Moriya, a Keio University graduate who works for the shipping firm Nippon Yusen.[5][6] The two were first introduced to each other in December 2017 by Ayako's mother, Princess Takamado, who has been a friend of Moriya's parents.[7] The wedding took place on 29 October 2018 at Meiji Shrine.[5][8] The wedding ceremony was held privately and featured Shinto rituals.[9] The bride wore "a kimono robe and hakama pants", while the groom appeared in a morning suit and was given a top hat that had previously belonged to Ayako's father, Prince Takamado.[7] A crowd of 1,000 well-wishers lined the area around the shrine.[9] She renounced her royal status in accordance with the Imperial Household Law.[10] A reception banquet also took place on 31 October at New Otani Hotel in Tokyo with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess in attendance.[11] The government decided to bestow a one-time ¥107 million ($950,000) allowance on the couple.[9]

Unlike other princesses who renounced their honorary posts and patronages, Ayako retained her status as honorary president of the Canada-Japan Society and the Japan Sea Cadet Federation. The decision seems to be made due to the shrinking size of the imperial family, although the Imperial Household Agency denied playing an active role in making the decision and described it as "an agreement between the princess and the two organizations".[12]

Titles and stylesEdit

Styles of
Princess Ayako of Takamado
(before her marriage)
Reference styleHer Imperial Highness
Spoken styleYour Imperial Highness
  • 15 September 1990 – 29 October 2018: Her Imperial Highness Princess Ayako of Takamado
  • 29 October 2018 – present: Mrs. Kei Moriya




  1. ^ "The Royal Imperial Highness Princess Takamado Hisa". 日本から、Moshi-moshi!. 25 November 2006. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado and her family". The Imperial Household Agency. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Which schools are good enough for Japan's imperial family?". Education in Japan Community Blog. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d "Activities of Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado and her family". The Imperial Household Agency. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Princess Hisako's daughter Ayako to get engaged to businessman". The Mainichi. Kyodo. 26 June 2018. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  6. ^ Sapra, Bani; Wakatsuki, Yoko (26 June 2018). "Japanese Princess Ayako to marry shipping employee, leave royal family". CNN. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Japan's Princess Ayako weds commoner Kei Moriya in ceremony at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo". The Japan Times. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Japanese Princess Ayako gives up royal status to marry commoner". Reuters. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Regan, Helen; Wakatsuki, Yoko (29 October 2018). "Japan's Princess Ayako surrenders her royal status as she marries for love". CNN. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Japan's Princess Ayako surrenders her royal title". BBC. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  11. ^ Regan, Helen; Wakatsuki, Yoko (28 October 2018). "Having surrendered her royal status, what will Princess Ayako wear to her wedding?". CNN. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Japan's Princess Ayako to retain honorary positions at two organizations after marriage". The Japan Times. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.

External linksEdit