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Michiko Shoda
Empress of Japan
Deborah Mejia 12-C
Mr. Gill
20th Century History

It is known worldwide that in Asian cultures women are just the backgrounds of society. They are pillars ofit by educating the family and maintaining the homes, but they are still generally seen just as cleaning maids or delicate quiet dolls. In the specific case of countries like Japan or China that haveimperial dynasties, it is hard for a commoner to have its existence considered by the Imperial Family, but it is even more difficult for women. This is the story of a commoner girl which became thefirst commoner in 2.600 to marry an heir to the imperial throne of Japan.
Michiko Shoda was born on October 20, 1934 in Tokyo, Japan to Businessman Hidesaburo Shoda and his wife Fumiko Soejima;Michiko is their eldest daughter. The Hidesaburo had samurai origins, but now Michiko’s father and grandfather operated the prosperous Nisshin Flour Milling Co. The typical Japanese person has straightblack hair, but Michiko was born curly and red haired though, as she grew up, her hair darkened to brown. Her name means: Beautiful Wisdom Child. Her family was highly educated and she was noexception. Her name did describe her in the part that she was always the first one to raise her hand to answer any question her Sensei did in class at Futaba Elementary School. The Shodas lost five flourmills and in March 1945 they had to move back to their ancestral home: Tatebayashi Village on the Kanto Plain. The fact that Michiko was talented in playing piano and could speak English amazed thechildren and added to her keenness in class they got jealous and annoyed. Michiko then attended Tokyo’s Seishin (Sacred Heart) High School, but was and is still a Buddhist. She was the top of her class andpresident of the student governing committee. She was called ‘perfect’ and even a teacher once told her that her only defect was that she had none. She earned a bachelor of arts in Japanese...