The Imperial Family

Members of the Imperial Family

Members of the Imperial Family The Empress, the Grand Empress Dowager, the Empress Dowager, Shinno (Princes) and their consorts of Shinno, Naishinnno (Princesses), O (Princes) and their consorts of O, and Jo-o (Princesses) are members of the Imperial Family (Imperial House Law, Article 5).

Acquisition and loss of the status of a member of the Imperial Family

  • 1 The legitimate children of an Emperor and the legitimate grandchildren of an Emperor in the male line are Shinno (Princes) in the case of males and Naishinno (Princesses) in the case of females. The legitimate descendants of an Emperor in the third and later generations in the male line are O (Princes) in the case of males and Jo-o (Princesses) in the case of females (Imperial House Law, Article 6).
  • 2 The son of the Emperor who is the Imperial Heir is called “Kotaishi” (Crown Prince). In case there is no Kotaishi (Crown Prince), the grandson of the Emperor who is Imperial Heir is called “Kotaison” (Imperial House Law, Article 8).
  • 3 A female outside the Imperial Family becomes a member of the Family when she becomes the Empress or marries a member of the Imperial Family (Imperial House Law, Article 15).
  • 4 An Imperial Family member loses that status when there are special and unavoidable circumstances, as stipulated in the Imperial House Law (Imperial House Law, Articles 11 to 14).