Princess Akiko of Mikasa

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Princess Akiko cropped 1 The New Year Greeting 2011 at the Tokyo Imperial Palace.jpg
Princess Akiko during the New Year Greeting on 2 January 2011.
Born (1981-12-20) 20 December 1981 (age 34)
Tokyo, Japan
Full name
Akiko (彬子?)
House Imperial House of Japan
Father Prince Tomohito of Mikasa
Mother Princess Tomohito of Mikasa
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 elder 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 to major in Japanese art history.[1]

In 2004, she returned to the University of Oxford as a doctoral student at the Faculty of Oriental Studies.[2] Her research topic was William Anderson Collection at the British Museum - Western Interest in Japanese Art in the Nineteenth Century.[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 the University of Tokyo in opening a special exhibition on the 19th-century art movement known as Japonism.

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 from 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 was also appointed as a Visiting Associate Professor at the same organization from April 2013 to March 2014, and again 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 in May 2012. She was appointed as a Guest Research Fellow at the Archival Research Center of Kyoto City University of Arts in April 2014. She was inaugurated as the President of Shinyusha, General Incorporated Association in April 2013. She was inaugurated as the President of the Japan-Turkey Society in 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 in April 2014.[2]

Public appearances[edit]

At the Chōwaden Reception Hall (January 2, 2012)

In July 1998, Princess Akiko paid a visit to Turkey for the first time. The trip was done under the arrangement of the Middle Eastern Culture Center, an oranisation associated with her grandfather. During the trip the Princess viewed the remains of Kaman-Kalehöyük alongside many other sites.[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 June 2003, Princess Akiko went on a tour of the heritage of Turkey that her father had planned.[2]

In July 2010, she also visited "the Dedication Ceremony of the Museum of Archaeology Kaman-Kalehöyük, Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology".[2] In January 2011, she went to Austria. The main purpose of this trip was attending the 19th INTERSKI Congress held 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 delivered a speech during a ceremony held at Japanese ambassador’s residence in Buenos Aires.[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 toured Easter Island—where she appreciated Chile for its 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, in order 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]

In November 2013, Princess Akiko visited Minamisanriku that was affected during the Earthquake on 11 March 2011.[15]

Princess Akiko meeting Ömer Çelik, Minister of Culture and Tourism, in Turkey on 27 April 2014

From 23 April to 30 April 2014, Princess Akiko visited 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.

Princess Akiko attending the ceremony to commemorate victims of the Frigate Ertuğrul Disaster at Kushimoto Town Cultural Center in Kushimoto, Wakayama, on 3 June 2015

On 8 June 2014, her uncle, Yoshihito, Prince Katsura died of heart attack, aged 66. On 17 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.

In May 2016 Princess Akiko made a public appearance at the Fifth World Butoku Sai in Kyoto, Japan sponsored by the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai martial arts organization. This was notable as it was the first time in the events 121-year history that she has attended.[16]

Prince Tomohito's death[edit]

On 6 June 2012, Prince Tomohito died from multiple organ failure. His funeral was held at the Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery. The ceremony, called "Renso no Gi", was hosted by Princess Akiko.[17] In June 2013 in a statement about the Prince's household, it was announced by the Imperial Household Agency that "it [had] reduced the number of households in the Imperial family by one", integrating it into the household led by his father.[18] According to the agency's officials the household integration won't have any effect on the lives of the widow and daughters of Prince Tomohito.[18]


On 6 December 2013, the Emperor and Empress returned from their visit to India. The Imperial Family gathered at Haneda Airport to greet them. During the greeting, Princess Akiko suddenly fell down. She was taken to Keio University Hospital and was diagnosised with cerebral anemia.[19]

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 g "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. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  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. ^ "Martial Arts Team Travels to Japan, Brings Home Competition Accolades". Old Dominion University. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  17. ^ "Prince Tomohito's funeral draws 660 luminaries". Japan Times. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Prince's 2012 passing reduces Imperial household families by one". Japan Times. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  19. ^ "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