Princess Akiko of Mikasa

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Princess Akiko
Princess Akiko of Mikasa 2012-1-2.jpg
At the new year congratulatory Imperial Palace visit, 2 January 2012.
Full name
Akiko (彬子?)
House Imperial House of Japan
Father Prince Tomohito of Mikasa
Mother Princess Tomohito of Mikasa
Born (1981-12-20) 20 December 1981 (age 33)
Tokyo, Japan
Religion Shinto

Princess Akiko of Mikasa (彬子女王 Akiko Joō?, born 20 December 1981) is a member of the Imperial House of Japan and the eldest daughter of Prince Tomohito of Mikasa and Princess Tomohito of Mikasa (Nobuko).



Princess Akiko at the Oxford graduation ceremony, 28 May 2011

Princess Akiko graduated from Gakushuin University in Tokyo with a bachelor's degree in history. While she was at Gakushuin, she spent the 2001-2002 academic year studying abroad at Merton College, Oxford.[1]

In 2004, she returned to Oxford University as a doctoral student at the Faculty of Oriental Studies. Her research topic was William Anderson Collection at the British Museum - Western Interest in Japanese Art in the Nineteenth Century.[2][3] William Anderson (1842–1900) was an English surgeon who taught anatomy and surgery in Japan and became an important scholar and collector of Japanese art.

In December 2006, Princess Akiko assisted University of Tokyo in opening a special exhibition on the 19th-century art movement known as Japonisme.

In July 2007, she participated in a symposium at Ochanomizu University on the art collection of William Anderson. From January to May 2008, she was at the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford, California doing research for her thesis.[4][5]

Akiko became a doctoral student at Merton College in the United Kingdom from October 2004 till January 2010 when she passed her final examination.[2] In 2011, she was awarded a D.Phil. degree from the University of Oxford,[6] thereby becoming the second member of the Japanese imperial household to achieve a doctorate (Fumihito, Prince Akishino, was the first who earned a Ph.D. degree in Ornithology from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in October 1996).


She had been working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kinugasa Research Organization, Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto since October 2009 to March 2012. She has been working at the Ginkaku Jisho-ji, Kenshu Dojo since April 2012. She was appointed as a Special Invited Associate Professor at the Kinugasa Research Organization, Ritsumeikan University from April 2012 to March 2013, and she was appointed as a Visiting Associate Professor at the same organization from April 2013 to March 2014, and she was appointed as a Visiting Researcher at the same organization from May 2014. She was inaugurated as the Visiting Researcher, Hosei University Research Center for International Japanese Studies from May 2012. She was appointed as a Guest Research Fellow at the Archival Research Center of Kyoto City University of Arts from April 2014. She was inaugurated as the President of Shinyusha, General Incorporated Association from April 2013. She was inaugurated as the President of the Japan-Turkey Society from June 2013. Akiko took over the presidency from her father, Prince Tomohito.[7] She was inaugurated as the President of the Ski Instructors Association of Japan from April 2014.[2]

Public appearances[edit]

At the Chōwaden Reception Hall (January 2, 2011)

In July 1998, Princess Akiko visited Turkey for the first time to view the remains of Kaman-Kalehöyük, arranged by the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan, of which Prince Mikasa serves as Honorary President. Princess Akiko visited many heritage sites on her visit to Turkey. In June 2003, Princess Akiko accompanied Prince Tomohito on the tour of the heritage of Turkey that he had planned.[2]

Princess Akiko came of age in December 2001 and started attending official ceremonies and events in Japan with the other members of the Imperial Family. [8]

In July 2010, Princess Akiko also joined the "Visit to the Dedication Ceremony of the Museum of Archaeology Kaman-Kalehöyük, Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology," which Prince Tomohito had planned.[2] In January 2011, she visited the Republic of Austria to attend the 19th INTERSKI Congress in St. Anton.[2]

On 4 September 2013, Princess Akiko departed for Argentina to meet with members of International Olympic Committee, where members wanted to elect the host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics, with candidates being Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo. Princess Akiko and Princess Takamado were part of the Japanese delegation, supporting Tokyo's successful Olympic bid.[9] On 5 September, the Princess attended a ceremony held at Japanese ambassador’s residence in Buenos Aires in which she delivered a speech. The ceremony was aimed at expressing the gratitude for the support for reconstruction from East Japan Earthquake occurred on 11 March 2011.[10] On 6 September, Princess Akiko toured a Japanese garden in Buenos Aires with the President of Argentina's Japanese Cultural Foundation, Kazunori Kosaka.[11]

She also made an official visit to Chile from 7 September to 12 September 2013. During her stay, Princess Akiko of Mikasa met with President Sebastián Piñera and visited Easter Island—where she expressed her appreciation for Chile’s donation of a moai statue to Minami-Sanriku, a city destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Princess Akiko visited University of Santiago for a conference and conversation with the students of Japanese translation and linguistics.[12] She also visited Valparaíso and chose Viña Viu Manent, in the Colchagua Valley, as the place to learn more about Chilean wine. There, she enjoyed a luncheon hosted by the Viu family at La Llavería visitors center. Chilean wines are the second highest selling wines in Japan today, and the country is one of Viu Manent’s leading export markets.[13][14]

From 12 November to 13 November 2013, Princess Akiko visited Minamisanriku town, Miyagi prefecture; affected area of Great Tohoku Earthquake occurred on 11 March 2011. On 13 November, Akiko inspected the Moai Statue that was presented by Easter Island of Republic of Chile in May.[15]

From 23 April to 30 April 2014, Princess Akiko visited Republic of Turkey. On 27 April, the Princess attended the memorial concert for Prince Tomohito held by the Turkish government. Prince Tomohito was the former president of Japan-Turkey Society and Princess Akiko succeeded to the position.

On 8 June 2014, her uncle, Yoshihito, Prince Katsura died of heart attack, aged 66. On 17th June, the main funeral service for Prince Katsura, called "Renso no Gi", was held at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Tokyo. Princess Akiko acted out the duty of chief mourner and hosted the ceremony.

Prince Tomohito's death[edit]

On 6 June 2012, Prince Tomohito died from multiple organ failure. His funeral ceremony, called "Renso no Gi," was held at the Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Bunkyo Ward and was hosted by Princess Akiko.[16] In June 2013, the Imperial Household Agency said it has reduced the number of households in the Imperial family by one, following the passing of Prince Tomohito a year ago.[17] The household led by the late Prince has been integrated into the one led Prince Mikasa. The step was applied retroactively from 6 June last year, the day of the Prince’s demise.[17] As a result, the number of households in the Imperial family dropped to five, excluding those led by Emperor Akihito and Crown Prince Naruhito. The household integration will not change the living arrangements of the three former members of the late Prince’s household or the amount of living expenses they receive from state coffers, agency officials said.[17]


On 6 December 2013, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko came back to Japan from the visit to India. According to the custom, members of the Imperial Family greeted them at Haneda Airport. During the greeting, Princess Akiko suddenly fell down. She was transferred to Keio University Hospital and received diagnosis of cerebral anemia.[18]

Titles and styles[edit]

Styles of
Princess Akiko of Mikasa
Mikasa-no-miya mon
Reference style Her Imperial Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial Highness
Alternative style Ma'am

Akiko is styled as "Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko of Mikasa".


See also List of honours of the Japanese Imperial Family by country

National honours[edit]



  1. ^ "Princess Akiko cleared for Oxford". The Japan Times. 2001-08-08. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Mikasa and their family". Imperial Household Agency. 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  3. ^ "Oriental Studies Research Students". 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2009-04-14. [dead link]
  4. ^ Hanford Sentinel, 12 April 2008
  5. ^ "Imperial princess doing research in California". Cultural News. August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  6. ^ Obituary of Prince Tomohito of Mikasa - Oxford Today
  7. ^ "The Japan-Turkey Society". Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  8. ^ "Imperial Family Attends Spring Garden Party". Royal Hats blog. 
  9. ^ "Princess Akiko supports Japan in Argentina". 
  10. ^ "Princess Akiko in Buenos Aires". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  11. ^ "Japan's Princess Akiko of Mikasa". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  12. ^ "Histórica visita: princesa imperial de Japón se reúne con estudiantes de la Universidad". Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  13. ^ "Japanese Imperial Princess enjoys an engaging visit and delicious luncheon at Viu Manet winery". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  14. ^ "Japanese Princess Visits Chile". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  15. ^ "Moai Statue". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  16. ^ "Prince Tomohito's funeral draws 660 luminaries". Japan Times. Retrieved 9 January 2013. [dead link]
  17. ^ a b c "Prince’s 2012 passing reduces Imperial household families by one". Japan Times. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  18. ^ "Princess Akiko fell down". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
Princess Akiko of Mikasa
Born: 20 December 1981
Order of precedence in Japan
Preceded by
The Princess Takamado
HIH Princess Akiko of Mikasa
Succeeded by
Princess Yōko of Mikasa