Princess Noriko to wed son of Izumo-Taisha chief priest

Kyodo

Princess Noriko, second daughter of Princess Hisako and the late Prince Takamado, has become engaged to the eldest son of the chief priest of Izumo-Taisha, the grand shrine in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, the Imperial Household Agency said on Tuesday.

Princess Noriko, 25, and Kunimaro Senge, 40, will wed this autumn, according to the agency.

It will be the first marriage involving an Imperial family member since Princess Sayako, now Sayako Kuroda, married an official of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2005.

The Senge family has been in charge of shrine rituals at Izumo-Taisha for generations, and had been friendly with Prince Takamado and Princess Hisako before the prince passed away in 2002.

Princess Noriko first met her fiance in April 2007, while she was on a visit to the shrine with her mother.

A graduate of Gakushuin University, she has two sisters: Princess Tsuguko, who is older, and Princess Ayako, who is younger.

Kunimaro Senge served as priest at shrines in Tokyo and Kyoto after graduating from Kokugakuin University, and has assisted his father, Takamasa Senge, 71, since March 2005. He has two younger brothers.

Prince Takamado was the third son of Prince Mikasa, the youngest brother of Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa.

Princess Hisako said of the engagement, “I hope Noriko will raise a loving and happy family and will adapt to a new life.”