The Japanese monarchy is the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world. The imperial house recognizes 125 monarchs beginning with the legendary Emperor Jimmu (traditionally dated to February 11, 660 BC) and continuing up to the current emperor, Akihito, who occupies the Chrysanthemum throne.
The present emperor Akihito was born in 1933 and married Michiko Shoda in 1959. She was thefirst commoner's daughter in modern history to join the imperial family. He became emperor in January, 1989 when his farther Emperor Showa (Hirohito) died. They have two sons and a daughter. Their oldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito was born 1960 and married Masako Owada in 1993. Masako was diplomat who graduated from Harvard University. They have a daughter, Princess Aiko, who was born in 2001. Their second son, Prince Fumihito was born in 1965, married Kiko Kawashima in 1990, and they have two daughters and a son, Prince Hisahito born in 2006, the only male grandson of the emperor. The emperor's daughter, Sayako, was born in 1969. She had to give up her status as a member of the imperial family when she married in 2005. The Imperial Palace is guarded by 300 imperial policemen. There are also about 1,050 Imperial Household Agents working for them in the palace. The Imperial Household Agency controls the movement, health, security and bloodline of the Royal family to the point of isolating them from the public.