I’m a blue-eyed American gaijin (foreigner in Japanese) who lived in Japan during the Showa Period until I was 18 years old. (As you probably know, periods of Japanese history refer to the reigning Emperor.) Thanks to Emperor Akihito’s wife, Empress Michiko, I have been fascinated by the imperial family since I was a child. Like a true princess, Michiko was kind to everyone. Her elegant sense of fashion was fantastic. I'm still an Empress Michiko fan.