In 1959, the young Michiko Shoda married the Crown Prince, Akihito, future Emperor of Japan. By her presence, her gestures and also by her waka, japanese poems, Michiko occupied the Japanese and international scene for sixty years. However, this commoner should never have had such a destiny. The capitulation of Japan in 1945 and the new constitution of 1946, relegating the emperor to the rank of symbol of the Nation at the service of the people, decided otherwise; profoundly transforming Japanese society right up to the imperial house.
The trauma of the war, which Michiko and Akihito both experienced, is at the root of their union, a marriage of love but also a true partnership that they will put at the service of the country. Together, they tirelessly tried to heal the wounds of the past, they constantly reminded Japanese of the painful chapters of Japan's history so that mistakes were not repeated; they reached out to the weakest and were the receptacle of the grievances of a whole nation. Michiko has been the link between the Japanese people and the imperial house. Thanks to her, Akihito learned to put himself on the same level as the Japanese, showing a humility unheard of for an emperor. These encounters, these moments of shared emotion made Michiko one of the most popular figures in Japan, especially among Japanese women who could identify themselves in this strong but discreet female figure.
CC&C, NHK, with the participation of France 2, RTBF
France 2, RTBF
Anne-Sophie Chaumier Le Conte
Anne-Sophie Chaumier Le Conte, freely inspired by Shinji Iwata