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Japan's Princess Noriko of Takamado to marry an Izumo Taisha priest

Princess Noriko, the 25-year-old second daughter of Princess Hisako of Takamado, is engaged to Kunimaro Senge, a 40-year-old Shinto priest at the Izumo Taisha grand shrine, the Imperial Household Agency announced Tuesday.

Princess Noriko is a granddaughter of Prince Mikasa, 98, an uncle of the Emperor, and great granddaughter of Emperor Taisho.

Senge is the first son of Takamasa Senge, the 71-year-old chief priest at the shrine.

The two first met in April 2007 through their parents, who are friends. Since then, the two have dated, enjoying such activities as bird-watching, a hobby shared by both families.

The wedding will be held at the Izumo Taisha this autumn. After the marriage, Princess Noriko will leave the Imperial family in accordance with the Imperial House Law. It will be first such case since the marriage of Sayako Kuroda, then Princess Nori, in 2005.

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Kunimaro Senge, 40, left, and Princess Noriko, 25, a daughter of the late Prince Takamado, attend a press conference to announce their engagement at the Imperial Household Agency in Tokyo on Tuesday, May 27. (AP)

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