- Princess Teru (1925-1961)
- Princess Hisa (1927-1928)
- Princess Taka (1929-1989)
- Princess Yori (1931-)
- Prince Hitachhi (1935-)
- Princess Suga (1937-)
He was known as Prince Tsugu as a child (like his granddaughter is Princess Toshi today). He was educated primarily by private tutors before attending Gakushūin School from 1940-1952. Unlike the emperors before him, he did not receive a commission in he Japanese Army at the request of his father. When he was 22 years old, he and his brother were evaccuated from Japan during the WWII battles with The Americans. During the American occupation of Japan, he was tutored in English and Western manners. He briefly studied Poliical Science at Gakushuin University, but never received a degree.
His father died in January 1989, and he was formally invested as Emperor almost two years later, in November 1990. In 1998, during a state visit to the United Kingdom, he was invested with The Most Noble Order of the Garter.
Like most "normal people", the Emperor has had a few health scares in his life time. In January 2003, he underwent treatment for prostate cancer. In 2011, he suffered pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital. In 2012, he underwent heart bypass surgery.
Together, with his wife, he has the following children and grandchildren:
- HIH Crown Prince Naruhito ( 1960, titled Prince Hiro)
- HIH Princess Aiko, Princess Toshi (2001, daughter of the Crown Prince)
- HIH Prince Akishino (1965, titled Aya-no-miya or Prince Aya)
- Princess Mako ( 1991) (daughter of Prince Akishino)
- Princess Kako (1994)(daughter of Prince Akishino)
- Prince Hisahito (2006) (son of Prince Akishino)
- The former HIH Princess Nori ( 1969, titled Nori-no-miya or Princess Nori)