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Masako Owada, New Empress Of Japan, Graduated From Belmont High

BELMONT (CBS) -- The new empress of Japan Masako Owada graduated from Belmont High School, The Boston Globe reports.

Owada's husband, Emperor Naruhito, ascended to the throne Wednesday after his father took the unusual step of abdicating his title.

masako owada japan empress
Masako Owada, the new empress of Japan. (Photo by TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Boston Public Library archives has the 1981 Belmont High School yearbook featuring Owada, who lived on Juniper Road. She participated on the math team and French club, according to her yearbook entry.

masako owada belmont high
Masako Owada in the Belmont High School yearbook (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

"I came here at the beginning of the junior year and had a wonderful time," Owada writes. "I thank all my friends. . .  friendships forever."

Owada later attended Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude in economics. The Harvard Crimson reported that the future diplomat served as president of the Japanese Cultural Society and as a representative on the Undergraduate Council.

The couple has mostly stayed out of the public eye and Owada, 55, has struggled with depression after fierce public pressure to produce a male heir, according to CBS News.

"Naruhito tried to protect her but she continues to be somewhat reserved and not fully healthy," Professor Koichi Nakano of Sophia University told CBS News. "So I don't think she's likely to take her new role with great zeal or with an agenda."

Owada is the mother of one child, Princess Toshi.

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