His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince (Naruhito) of Japan (Naruhito Kotashi), Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, the elder son of the Emperor and heir apparent, was born on 23 February 1960 in Tokyo.
Originally titled Prince Hiro (Hiro-no-miya Naruhito Shinno), he attended the elementary and secondary departments of the Gakushuin. The prince graduated from the Department of History in the Faculty of Letters of Gakushuin University in March 1982.
In July 1983 he went to Great Britain, where he entered the Graduate School of Oxford University the following October, studying commodity transport on the River Thames in the latter half of the eighteenth century at Merton College. The prince is an honorary fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.
Prince Hiro became heir apparent to the throne upon the demise of Emperor Shôwa on 7 January 1989. He received his formal investiture as crown prince on 23 February 1990 at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo.
The Crown Prince married Miss Owada Masako on 9 June 1993. Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess (Masako), Order of the Sacred Treasure, was born in Tokyo on 9 December 1963, the daughter of Ambassador Owada Hishashi and Owada Yomiko. Owada Hishashi is a career diplomat. Owada Masako spent her childhood in New York City and Moscow, where her father held diplomatic posts.
The future Crown Princess attended Harvard University, where she concentrated in economics and graduated magna cum laude in June 1990. She later did post graduate work at Balliol College, Oxford University and worked as diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Crown Princess Masako is fluent in English, French and German. She became an honorary fellow of Balliol College, Oxford in July 1995. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess have one child, Princess Toshi (Toshi no miya Aiko Naishinnô), born on 1 December 2001.