Japan’s Princess Mako, visited Sao Paulo on her two-week visit to Brazil to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to enter the biggest country of Latin America.
Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited several cities bearing symbols of Japanese culture, heritage, products and tradition. The three-day event was attended by almost 4,000 people.
According to an estimate, nearly 250,000 Japanese have immigrated to Brazil since the first group of 781 arrived aboard the Kasado Maru in 1908.
26-year-old Mako maybe dropping her royal status for love but she is currently on royal duties. Mako paid a visit to the Japanese garden at Rio's Botanical Garden where she planted a "Pau Brazil," the country's national tree to honor 100 years of migration from Japan to the South American nation, known for giving Brazil its name.
The Princess explained she “felt the currents of time” as she planted the tree.
She will lose her title in 2020 after marrying the love of her life.
Mako fell in love with Kei Kemuro, a paralegal in Tokyo. The couple was set to marry in 2018 but their wedding was delayed till 2020 after reports of Mako’s mother borrowing 4 million yen, from her ex-boyfriend. She reportedly failed to pay back the money.
This is the first time Princess Mako visited Brazil, earlier in the week, she visited Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue and Botanical Gardens. The young princess also plans on visiting the Monument to Japanese Immigration Pioneers at the city's Ibirapuera Park and the Japanese Pavilion.
In the next two weeks, Princess Mako is set to visit 13 Brazilian cities.
Mako gave a short speech in Japanese, saying she was "happy to make this visit in this memorable year" which celebrates the 110th anniversary of the first ship of Japanese immigrants arriving at the port of Santos in Sao Paulo.
Mako’s parents, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, also visited Hawaii in June to mark the anniversary of the arrival of Japanese immigrants.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Nacho Doce