Norihito, Prince Takamado

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Prince Takamado
The Late Prince Takamado.jpg
Born (1954-12-29)29 December 1954
Tokyo, Japan
Died 21 November 2002(2002-11-21) (aged 47)
Keio University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Burial 29 November 2002
Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery, Bunkyo, Tokyo
Hisako Tottori (m. 1984)
Full name
Norihito (憲仁)
House Imperial House of Japan
Father Takahito, Prince Mikasa
Mother Yuriko Takagi

Norihito, Prince Takamado (高円宮憲仁親王, Takamado-no-miya Norihito Shinnō, 29 December 1954 – 21 November 2002) was a member of the Imperial House of Japan and the third son of Takahito, Prince Mikasa and Yuriko, Princess Mikasa. He was a first cousin of Emperor Akihito, and was seventh in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne.


The Prince was a graduate of the Department of Law of Gakushuin University in 1978. He studied abroad from 1978 to 1981 at Queen's University Faculty of Law in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. After his return to Japan, he served as administrator of the Japan Foundation from 1981–2002.

Marriage and family[edit]

The Prince became engaged to Hisako Tottori, eldest daughter of Shigejirō Tottori, on 17 September 1984, whom he had met at a reception held by the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. They married on 6 December 1984. He was born as Prince Norihito of Mikasa, and received the title Prince Takamado (Takamado-no-miya) and authorization to start a new branch of the Imperial Family on 1 December 1984 in celebration of his wedding. The couple had three daughters:

  • Princess Tsuguko (承子女王, Tsuguko Joō, born 8 March 1986 at Aiiku Hospital in Tokyo)
  • Princess Noriko (典子女王, Noriko Joō, born 22 July 1988 at Aiiku Hospital in Tokyo); following her marriage to Kunimaro Senge on 5 October 2014, Princess Noriko gave up her imperial title and left the Imperial Family as required by 1947 Imperial Household Law, took the surname of her husband and became known as "Noriko Senge" (千家典子, Senge Noriko).
  • Princess Ayako (絢子女王, Ayako Joō, born 15 September 1990 at Aiiku Hospital in Tokyo)

Public service[edit]

Prince Takamado was honorary president of various charitable organizations involved with sponsorship of international exchange especially involving music, dance, and sports. He was often dubbed "The Sports Prince" (スポーツの宮さま, Supōtsu-no-miya-sama) in Japan. He supported a number of foreign language speech contests. He was also very much involved in environmental issues and environmental education. The Prince was an honorary member of AV Edo-Rhenania zu Tokio, a Roman Catholic student fraternity that is affiliated with the Cartellverband der katholischen deutschen Studentenverbindungen.

Prince and Princess Takamado were the most widely traveled couple in the Japanese Imperial Family, visiting 35 countries together in 15 years to represent Japan on various functions. The Prince’s last visits included Egypt and Morocco in May 2000, Hawaii in July 2001 (to promote the Japanese tea ceremony), and to the Republic of Korea from May to June 2002. The latter was in order to attend the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea-Japan. The goodwill visit by the Prince and Princess to Korea was the first Japanese royal visit since World War II, and was an important step in the promotion of friendly bilateral relations between Japan and Korea. While in Korea, the couple toured the country extensively, met with President Kim Dae-jung and ordinary Koreans, and he visited the facilities for the physically disabled in South Korea that the Princess Nashimoto Masako had sponsored.[1]


On 21 November 2002, while having a squash lesson together with the Canadian ambassador Robert G. Wright at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, the Prince collapsed from ventricular fibrillation and was rushed to Keio University Hospital, where he died of heart failure.[2]

The sudden death of one of the youngest and most active members of the Japanese Imperial Family shocked the nation. The Prince's funeral was held at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in northern Tokyo with around 900 people in attendance including members of the Imperial Family and politicians from Japan and other countries.[3]

The Prince Takamado Cup, Japan's national youth football cup tournament, is named after him. The Japanese artwork and artifacts collection of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto is named the Prince Takamado Gallery of Japan in honour of his close connection with Canada.[4]

Titles and styles[edit]

Styles of
Prince Takamado
Takamado no miya mon
Reference style His Imperial Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial Highness
Alternative style Sir
  • 29 December 1954 – 1 December 1984: His Imperial Highness Prince Norihito of Mikasa
  • 1 December 1984 – 21 November 2002: His Imperial Highness The Prince Takamado


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]

Honorary positions[edit]

  • Honorary President of the Japan Football Association
  • Honorary President of Japan Association of fencing
  • Honorary President of Japan Squash Association
  • Honorary President of Federation of All Japan Baseball
  • Honorary President of the Japan Student Association Foundation
  • Honorary President of Japan Society rescue poorly
  • President of Federation of Japan Amateur Orchestras


Name Birth Marriage Issue
Princess Tsuguko of Takamado 8 March 1986
Princess Noriko of Takamado 22 July 1988 5 October 2014 Kunimaro Senge
Princess Ayako of Takamado 15 September 1990



  1. ^ Yomiuri Shinbun (2002/05/31) 高円宮ご夫妻は31日午前、ソウル近郊の障害者福祉施設「明暉園」を訪問された。同園は、旧皇族・梨本宮家から李王朝最後の皇太子に嫁いだ李方子(まさこ)さん(1989年死去)が1967年に設立した施設。皇族として初の訪問となったこの日、方子さんと手を携え設立に尽力した金寿姙(キムスーイン)さん(81)も出迎え、サッカーボールをあしらったペナントをご夫妻に贈った。
  2. ^ "Prince dies after collapse on embassy squash court". The Japan Times. 22 November 2002. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Funeral held for Japan's prince". BBC. 29 November 2002. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Prince Takamado Gallery of Japan". Royal Ontario Museum. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  5. ^ Italian Presidency, S.A.I. Norihito di Mikasa Principe del Giappone

External links[edit]