Aiko Toshi, Princess of Japan, was born December 1, 2001. She is the daughter, and first child of Japan's princess Michiko and prince Naruhito, and the granddaughter of Emperor Akihito. She is not currently eligible for succession to the throne, being female, but the idea of amending the Japanese Constitution to allow a female emperor is already being discussed.
Emperor Akihito bestowed the name Aiko Toshi on his granddaughter in an elaborate Shinto ceremony on friday, December 7. Emperor Akihito chose the name from a list compiled by scholars of ancient Chineese and Japanese texts. He also consulted with the prince and princess prior to his decision. Ai means love, ko means child, and Toshi means respect. They were taken from a chineese text that reads
"Those who love people will be loved by others at all times, and those who respect others will be respected by others at all times."
The ceremony itself consisted of 2 parts. First, A lady in waiting Bathed the child on one side of a room divided by a curtain. On the other side, Shinto priests read from the chronicles of Japan (Nihon Shoki in Japanese) and snapped the strings of 2 meter bows to frighten demons away. Then, the emperors chamberlain, Makoto Watanabe, Delivered the name selection to the grand master of the prince's household, kiyoshi furukawa. After prince Naruhito was shown the paper, a lady in waiting delivered it to princess michiko at the hospital. Finally, it was placed on a pillow near the newborn.
A congratulatory banquet was held by the royal family. Prominent Japanese leaders visited to congratulate the family.