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Princess Aiko Makes First Solo Trip to Ise Jingu Shrine

Princess Aiko paid a visit to Ise Jingu to inform the imperial ancestral deity about her university graduation and upcoming role at the Japan Red Cross.



Princess Aiko, the daughter of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, at Ise Jingu in Mie Prefecture on March 26. (Handout)

On March 26, Princess Aiko, the daughter of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, visited Ise Jingu shrine in Ise, Mie Prefecture. Despite the rainy weather earlier that day, the skies cleared just before Princess Aiko arrived. She wore a long white dress for the occasion.

Ise Jingu consists of two main shrines, one of which is Kotaijingu, also known as Naiku. This sanctuary is dedicated to Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess and ancestral deity of the Japanese imperial family. 

Video footage shows sunlight flooding onto the thatched roof of the Kotaijingu's central sanctuary shortly after Princess Aiko passes through the torii gate.

There, she worshipped with a tamagushi offering. A tamagushi is a Shinto offering made from a sasaki tree branch. She also dedicated a prayer informing her ancestral deity of her graduation from Gakushuin University and her forthcoming employment at the Japan Red Cross from April 1.

Princess Aiko at Ise Jingu on March 26. (Handout)

Social Media Reactions

Given Amaterasu's association with the sun, people took to social media platforms such as X (formerly Twitter) to express their admiration and awe. Some characterized the moment the sunlight hit the shrine's roof as "very sacred," "miraculous," or "mystical."

Another said on X, "I can't help but feel [Princess Aiko's] pride as a descendant of Amaterasu Omikami and her dignity of being a sacred existence." Others shared their wonder with posts like "I was honestly amazed" and "I got goosebumps."

Lyricist Yuriko Mori also posted, "No human can explain events like this, as it transcends human understanding. We simply feel the blessing and divine will of Amaterasu Omikami."

The trip marked Princess Aiko's second visit to the Ise Jingu shrine since July 2014, when she was a first-year student at Gakushuin Girls' Junior High School. Her first visit to the shrine was with her parents, who were then the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.



(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Shimpei Okuhara, The Sankei Shimbun

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