Mitsuko Aoyama

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Mitsuko Aoyama
Countess of Coudenhove-Kalergi
Mitsuko Coudenhove 1 cropped.jpg
Mitsuko Coudenhove-Kalergi
Heinrich Coudenhove-Kalergi
House Coudenhove-Kalergi
Born (1874-07-07)July 7, 1874
Tokyo, Japan
Died August 27, 1941(1941-08-27) (aged 67)
Mödling, Austria
Mitsuko Coudenhove 2.jpg

Mitsuko, Countess of Coudenhove-Kalergi (German: Mitsuko, Gräfin von Coudenhove-Kalergi; 7 July 1874 – 27 August 1941), formerly known as Mitsu Aoyama (青山みつ?), was one of the first Japanese people to emigrate to Europe, after becoming the wife of an Austrian diplomat, Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi, in Tokyo. She was the mother of Richard Nikolaus Graf von Coudenhove-Kalergi.


The daughter of an antiques-dealer and oil tycoon in Tokyo, aged 17 she met the Austro-Hungarian diplomat Dr. Count Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi when she came to help him when his horse slipped on ice (Heinrich often visited her father's shop, not far from the Austrian legation). Heinrich gained her father's permission for her to be employed as a parlour maid in the legation and then (after they fell in love) for them to marry. The latter request was refused, but the couple defied him, marrying on 16 March 1892 in Tokyo with the consent of the Austrian and Japanese foreign ministries. This left her disinherited and banned from her father's house. In 1896 she was received at an imperial reception for foreign diplomats' wives by Empress Eishō (as a commoner Mitsuko would never have been granted such an audience, but as a countess and ambassador's wife she was) and again on the end of Heinrich's diplomatic work shortly afterwards.

The couple then returned to Europe, where Mitsuko and their two sons Johannes and Richard took over management of the family estates in Bohemian Ronsperg. Once established, Mitsuko learned French, German, math, geography and history in an attempt to counter the hostility to Heinrich concerning his return with a foreign wife. Five more children would be born to Heinrich and Mitsuko. Heinrich died in 1906 and Mitsuko took over the estates and the children's upbringing and education, while studying law and economics herself. Mitsuko never again returned to Japan and when she died in 1941 she was buried in the Hietzinger Cemetery.

Children and descendents[edit]

  1. Johann Evangelist Virgilio Graf Coudenhove-Kalergi (1893-1965), born in Tokyo
  2. Richard Nikolaus Graf von Coudenhove-Kalergi (1894-1972), born in Tokyo
  3. Gerolf Joseph Benedikt Maria Valentin Franz Coudenhove-Kalergi (1896-1978), born in Austria, father of the journalist Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi and the artist Michael Coudenhove-Kalergi[1]
  4. Ida Friederike Görres, born in Austria
  5. Elisabeth Maria Anna Coudenhove-Kalergi (1898-1936), born in Austria
  6. Karl Heinrich Franz Maria Coudenhove-Kalergi (1903-1987), born in Austria
  7. Olga Marietta Henriette Maria Coudenhove-Kalergi (1900-1976), born in Austria


Mitsu is a popular figure in Japanese film and a musical was devoted to her life. She is also the main character of the manga, Lady Mitsuko by Waki Yamato.


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