Emperor Akihito of Japan Visits the Smithsonian, by Minor-Penland, Laurie, 1994, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Emperor Akihito of Japan is seen here peering into a microscope with David Johnson, a curator in the Division of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History. His Majesty Emperor Akihito and Her Majesty Empress Michiko of Japan visited the Smithsonian in June 1994. The royal couple viewed selections from the Freer's world-famous collection of Japanese art. The emperor, who has a scholarly interest in marine biology, also visited with a group of fellow ichthyologists at Natural History..