Princess Noriko of Takamado, who is the current emperor’s cousin’s daughter, has become engaged to Kunimaro Senge, who is a high priest of Izumo-taisha, a grand Shinto shrine in Shimane Pref, the Imeprial Household Agency said on the May. 27th.
The two hosted a press conference for the announcement of their angagemnt at which they said they were so happy. The two have been close since they were young due to their families’ close relationship. Izumo-taisha(http://www.izumooyashiro.or.jp/) is one of the oldest Shinto shrines and Ohkuninushi, a great leader deity in Izumo region (Shimane Pref. area)is enshrined there. According to the Japanese mythology, Ohkuninushi, who had ruled Japan in ancient times , gave up his power to Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun and moved to the shrine having asked the goddess to build a huge shrine for him, and that is Izumo-taisha. Amenohohi,the second son of Amaterasu was said to have become the first chief priest of the shrine, and since then all the chief priests have been the god’s decsendents in heredity, which was also referred to by Senge at the press conference. Senge is the eldest son of the current chief priest. The shrine experiences rebuilding ceremony of its main building every 60 years and its latest was done last year, which drew a lot of attention and many people visited that shrine in Shimane. The couple will wed in this autumn after having some preliminary rituals according to the conventional protocols of the imperial family.