Japan’s prince makes first trip – Dedication Rite

Two-month-old Prince Hisahito, Emperor Akihito’s first grandson, was taken Tuesday to the Kashikodokoro (Place of Awe), one of three shrines on the grounds of the Imperial Palace, for a Shinto dedication ceremony. It was the first time the infant has left the Akasaka Estate in the Motoakasaka district, where his father and mother, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, live since leaving the hospital Sept. 6, the Imperial Household Agency said. Prince Hisahito, wrapped in white swaddling, was presented to the shrine in the arms of a male agency official. He was later taken to meet with the Emperor and Empress Michiko. Prince Akishino, the Emperor’s second son, and Princess Kiko met with reporters in front of the residence with the prince cradled in her arms.

“We call him Yu-chan now,” said Prince Akishino. “Yu” is the Japanese pronunciation for the Chinese character “Hisa.”

The parents chose the name in the hope that the prince will live a long and peaceful life. Prince Hisahito, the first heir to the Imperial throne born in 41 years, is 58.5 cm tall and weighs 5,244 grams.

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