JAPAN: Son of Son of Sun

More than sheltered has been Japan's little Crown Prince Akihito; he has lived in a positive vacuum. At the age of three he was removed even from his own family, shut up in a house of 774 mats (3,096 square yards of floor space) on the Palace grounds, under the constant surveillance of four tutors, two governesses, three physicians and 60 retainers. At the age of five he was permitted to meet eight hand-picked noble moppets, who visited his compound on Saturdays and squabbled over his princely bicycle and sandbox, while Akihito stood by and gaped.

On rare occasions, he...

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