Naruhito, his wife Masako and his brother Prince Akishino.
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In 2012, Masako, who spent large parts of her early life overseas and speaks several languages, acknowledged that she had been battling a stress-related illness for a long time.Naruhito's interests in medieval transport and environmental causes seem safely worthy, if dull, though royal watchers say he has broken new ground, like advocating hands-on fathering, uncommon in a country where there is still a strong gender-based division of labor both at work and home.Images of Akihito and Michiko, informally dressed and kneeling to talk to disaster victims in evacuation centers are imprinted in public memory, and they have also visited centers for the disabled and elderly.Miiko Kodama, professor emeritus at Musashi University, said Masako's ultimate elevation to empress could, however, prove a boon to the unhappy princess, as it did to her mother-in-law.Michiko, the first commoner to marry a royal heir, grew gaunt and visibly unhappy in her younger days due to stress, but became the most visible and widely traveled imperial consort in Japanese history.
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