Prince Arisugawa Takahito

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Arisugawa Takahito
有栖川宮 幟仁親王
Prince Arisugawa Takahito
Arisugawanomiya takahito.jpg
Born (1813-02-17)17 February 1813
Kyoto, Japan
Died 4 July 1886(1886-07-04) (aged 73)
Tokyo, Japan
Spouse Nijō Hiroko
Father Prince Arisugawa Tsunahito
Mother Toshima Katsuko

Prince Arisugawa Takahito (有栖川宮幟仁親王, Arisugawa-no-miya Takahito-Shinnō, 17 February 1813 – 4 July 1886) was the eighth head of the Arisugawa-no-miya (有栖川宮家) house, one of the shinnōke branches of the Imperial Family of Japan, which were eligible to succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne in the event that the main line should die out.


Prince Takahito was born in Kyoto as the first son of Prince Arisugawa Tsunahito. In 1822, he was adopted by Emperor Kōkaku (1771–1840) as a potential heir. The following year he was granted the rank of Imperial Prince by imperial proclamation, with the court title Kazusatai no mikoto. He succeeded his father as the 9th head of the Arisugawa-no-miya house on 2 April 1845.

On 2 June 1848, Prince Arisugawa Takahito married Nijō Hiroko (1819–1875): the daughter of Sadaijin Nijō Narinobu. He had four sons and four daughters, many of whom were by concubines.

Prince Arisugawa was a trusted confidant of Emperor Kōmei (1831–1867). During the unsettled period just prior to the Meiji Restoration, when Sonnō jōi militants battled troops local to the Tokugawa Bakufu in the vicinity of the Kyoto Imperial Palace in July 1864, (an incident known as the Kinmon no Hen), Prince Arisugawa was punished for suspected collusion with Chōshū Domain and sentenced to house arrest.

After the Meiji Restoration, he was restored to the court and promoted to the position of Senior Councilor (gijō). He subsequently served as first director of the Department of Shinto Affairs, where he was influential in the development of State Shinto.

In 1881, he resigned from his political posts and became head of the newly established Research Institute for Japanese Classical Literature (Kōten Kōkyūsho), the forerunner of Kokugakuin University). The prince was a master of waka poetry and Japanese calligraphy. The official copy of the Meiji Charter Oath was in his handwriting, and he supplied many inscriptions for various Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. His pen-name was Shōzan.

Prince Takahito resigned as head of the Arisugawa-no-miya house in favor of his eldest son, Prince Arisugawa Taruhito, on 9 September 1871. He died in Tokyo on 24 January 1886.


  • Griffis, William Elliott. The Mikado's Empire: Volume 2. Book 2. Personal Experiences, Observations, and Studies in Japan, 1870-1874. Adamant Media Corporation (2000) ISBN 1-4021-9742-X
  • Keane, Donald. Emperor Of Japan: Meiji And His World, 1852-1912. Columbia University Press (2005). ISBN 0-231-12341-8