Japans New Prince Gets A Name - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/12/06

Japans New Prince Gets A Name

Princess Kiko, accompanied by husband Prince Akishino, arrives at Tokyo's Aiiku Hospital ahead of the baby's birth on September 6. Princess Kiko, accompanied by husband Prince Akishino, arrives at Tokyo's Aiiku Hospital ahead of the baby's birth on September 6.

TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- Japan's new prince, the first male heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne to be born in four decades, on Tuesday was named Hisahito -- meaning "virtuous, calm and everlasting," the Imperial Household Agency announced.

The infant, who was born September 6 and is third in line to be the country's emperor, was named during a five-minute ceremony following age-old imperial rites at the Tokyo hospital where the prince and his mother, Princess Kiko, who turned 40 the day before, are still recovering.

In the naming ceremony held at Aiiku Hospital on Tuesday afternoon, the baby's father, Prince Akishino, bestowed the name on the child.

Hisahito's name, which uses the Chinese characters for "virtuous, calm and everlasting," was chosen by his parents with the wish that the new prince has a long, prosperous life with even-tempered peace of mind, palace spokeswoman Yuka Shiina said.

The baby's name was written on special rice paper with brush and ink and placed along with his personal crest in a wooden box next to the new prince's pillow. The crest, a stylized Japanese umbrella pine, will be used to mark Hisahito's belongings.

Keeping with custom, Hisahito's name ends with the Chinese character "hito," which means virtuous person, similar to current emperor, Akihito, and his father, Hirohito.

The new royal's birth forestalled a looming crisis for Japan's century's old imperial family, which was badly in need of a fresh male heir.

The boy is Emperor Akihito's first grandson and now third in line to the throne, behind Akishino and Crown Prince Naruhito. Until Wednesday, brothers Akishino and Naruhito had three daughters between them, but no sons.

The government was set to introduce a bill earlier this year to change a 1947 law that limits the throne to only men in an all-male line to the emperor.

But that was put on ice when Kiko's pregnancy was announced in February.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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