Crown Prince Akihito and Elizabeth Gray Vining
Elizabeth Janet Gray Vining (October 6, 1902 – November 27, 1999) was an American professional librarian and author who tutored Emperor Akihito of Japan in English while he was crown prince. She was also a noted author, whose children's book Adam of the Road received the Newbery Medal in 1943.
From 1946 to 1950 during the Allied occupation of Japan after the war, Vining was selected by Emperor Hirohito himself(and not the United States government, as is erroneously claimed) to become a private tutor to Crown Prince Akihito, the heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne.: As part of her teaching program, she arranged for closely supervised occasions when four Western teenaged boys in Tokyo would get together to help the crown prince practice English conversation.
In addition to teaching English-language skills, Vining introduced the children of the Imperial Household — Prince Hitachiand the Princesses Kazuko, Atsuko and Takako — to Western values and culture. She also lectured at Gakushūin and at Tsuda College.