- Prince Mikasa
Takahito, Prince Mikasa (三笠宮崇仁 Mikasa-no-miya
TakahitoShinnō; born December 2, 1915) is the fourth and youngest son of the Emperor Taishōand the Empress Teimei. He is a younger brother of the Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) and the only surviving paternal uncle of the Emperor Akihito. With the death of his sister-in-law, Princess Takamatsu(Kikuko) on 17 December 2004, Prince Mikasa became the oldest living member of the Japanese imperial family. After serving as a junior cavalry officer in the Japanese Imperial Armyduring World War II, the prince embarked upon a postwar career as a scholar and part-time lecturer in Middle Eastern studies and Semitic languages.
Prince Takahito was born at the Kokyo Imperial Palace in
Tokyo, in the third year of his father's reign and a full fifteen years after the birth of the future Shōwa emperor. His childhood appellation was "Sumi no miya". Prince Takahito attended the then-boys' elementary and secondary departments of the Gakushuin (Peers' School or Hall of Learning) from 1922 to 1932. By the time he began his secondary schooling, his eldest brother had already ascended the Chrysanthemum Throneand his next two brothers, Prince Chichibuand Prince Takamatsu, had already embarked upon careers in the Japanese Imperial Armyand the Japanese Imperial Navy, respectively. He enrolled in the Imperial Military Academy in 1932 and was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant and assigned to the Fifth Cavalry Regiment in June 1936. Upon attaining the age of majority in December 1935, Emperor Shōwa granted him the title Mikasa-no-miya (Prince Mikasa) and the authorization to form a new branch of the Imperial Family.
Prince Mikasa was promoted to lieutenant (first class) in 1937; to captain in 1939; and to major in 1941. He served as a staff officer in the Headquarters of the Japanese Expeditionary Forces at
Nanjing, Chinafrom January 1943 to January 1944. Afterward, he served a staff officer in the Army Section of the Imperial General Headquartersin Tokyo until Japan's unconditional surrender in August 1945. In 1994, a newspaper revealed that during the Pacific War, Prince Mikasa had written a stinging indictment of the conduct of the Japanese Imperial Army in China. The Prince had witnessed Japanese atrocities against Chinese civilians. The Army General Staff suppressed the document, but one copy survived and surfaced in 1994.
royal name=Prince Mikasa (Takahito) of Japan
dipstyle=His Imperial Highness
offstyle=Your Imperial Highness
22 October 1941, Prince Mikasa married Takagi Yuriko( 6 June 1923- present), the second daughter of the late Viscount Takagi Masanori. Prince and Princess Mikasa have five children, of whom four are still living. The couple's two daughters left the Imperial Family upon marriage:
*Konoe Yasuko (
néeHIH Princess Yasuko of Mikasa) ( 26 April 1944- present; married 16 December 1966Mr. Konoe Tadateru, younger brother of former Prime Minister Hosokawa Morihiroand adopted grandson (and heir) of former Prime Minister Konoe Fumimaro, currently President of the Japanese Red Cross Society; has a son named, Tadahiro.
Prince Tomohito of Mikasa( 5 January 1946- present); heir apparent to the "Mikasa no miya"; married 7 November 1980Miss Aso Nobuko( 9 April 1955-), third daughter of the late Mr. Aso Takakichi, chairman of Aso Cement Co., and his wife, Kazuko, the daughter of former Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru; has two daughters.
Prince Katsura(Yoshihito) ( 11 February 1948- present), created Katsura-no-miya, 1 January 1988.
*Sen Masako (née HIH
Princess Masako of Mikasa) ( 23 October 1951- present); married 14 October 1983Mr. Sen Masayuki ( 7 June 1956- present), the elder son of Sen Shoshitu XV, and currently the sixteenth hereditary grand master (iemato) of the Urasenke Tea CeremonySchool; and has two sons, Akifumi and Takafumi, and a daughter, Makiko.
Prince Takamado(Norihito) ( 29 December 1954- 21 November 2002), created Takamado-no-miya, 1 December 1984; married 6 December 1984Miss Tottori Hisako ( 10 July 1953- present), eldest daughter of Mr. Tottori Shigejiro, sometime President, Matsui & Co. in France; and had three daughters.
After the war, Prince Mikasa enrolled in the Literature Faculty of
Tokyo Universityand pursued advanced studies in archeology, Middle Eastern studies, and Semitic languages. Since 1954, he has directed the Japanese Society for Middle East Studies. He is honorary president of the Japan Society of Orientology. The Prince has held visiting and guest faculty appointments in Middle Eastern studies and archeology at various universities in Japan and abroad, including: Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Tokyo Christian Women's University, the University of London, the University of Hokkaido and the University of Shizuoka.
* [http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/e03/ed03-08.html Kunaicho | Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Mikasa]
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