Yuriko, Princess Mikasa

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Yuriko, Princess Mikasa (崇仁親王妃百合子, Takahito Shinnōhi Yuriko), born Yuriko Takagi (高木百合子, Takagi Yuriko) on 4 June 1923, is a member of the Imperial House of Japan as the widow of Takahito, Prince Mikasa, the fourth son of Emperor Taishō and Empress Teimei. The Princess is the last surviving paternal aunt of the present emperor, Akihito, and currently is the oldest member of the Imperial Family, and the only living member who was born in the Taishō period during the reign of her father-in-law.

Biography[edit]

Princess Mikasa was born on 4 June 1923 in Tokyo as Yuriko Takagi. She is the second daughter of Viscount Masanari Takagi (1894–1948) and the Hon. Kuniko Irie (1901–1988). Her father was a member of the Takagi clan, formerly lords of the small feudal domain of Tan'an; through her father, she is a great-great-granddaughter of Hotta Masayoshi, a prominent rōjū, or shōgunal minister, during the Bakumatsu period. Her mother was descended from the noble Yanagihara clan, and was a second cousin of the Shōwa Emperor; the Emperor's grandmother, Lady Yanagihara Naruko, was the Hon. Kuniko's great-aunt.[1] Yuriko graduated from Gakushuin Women's Academy in 1941.

Marriage[edit]

On 29 March 1941, Yuriko's engagement to her second cousin once removed, Takahito, Prince Mikasa, was announced. The engagement ceremony was held on 3 October 1941, and the wedding ceremony took place on 22 October 1941. Prince and Princess Mikasa were married for 75 years, until Prince Mikasa's death in October 2016. Princess Mikasa frequently visited her husband who was hospitalized during his final months. On 22 October 2016, they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary in his hospital room.[2] Prince Mikasa died on 27 October 2016, with Princess Yuriko at his side.[2] The Princess hosted her husband's funeral ceremony as the chief mourner.[3]

The Prince and Princess had five children, of whom two are still living. In addition to their five children, they had nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren as of 2015.[4] The couple's two daughters left the Imperial Family upon marriage. All of their sons predeceased them.

Children[edit]

Princess Yuriko and her three eldest children
  • Yasuko Konoe (近衛やす子, Konoe Yasuko) (formerly Princess Yasuko of Mikasa (甯子内親王, Yasuko Naishinno, born 26 April 1944); married on 16 December 1966 to Tadateru Konoe, younger brother of former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa and adopted grandson (and heir) of former Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe, currently President of the Japanese Red Cross Society; has a son, Tadahiro, who has three children.
  • Prince Tomohito of Mikasa (寬仁親王, Tomohito Shinnō, 5 January 1946 – 6 June 2012); heir apparent; married on 7 November 1980 to Nobuko Asō (born 9 April 1955), third daughter of Takakichi Asō, chairman of Aso Cement Co., and his wife, Kazuko, the daughter of former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida; had two daughters.
  • Yoshihito, Prince Katsura (桂宮宜仁親王, Katsura-no-miya Yoshihito Shinnō, 11 February 1948 – 8 June 2014); created Katsura-no-miya on 1 January 1988.
  • Masako Sen (千容子, Sen Masako) (formerly Princess Masako of Mikasa (容子内親王, Masako Naishinnō, born 23 October 1951); married on 14 October 1983 to Sōshitsu Sen (born 7 June 1956), the elder son of Sōshitsu Sen XV, and currently the sixteenth hereditary grand master (iemoto) of the Urasenke Japanese tea ceremony School; and has two sons, Akifumi and Takafumi, and a daughter, Makiko.
  • Norihito, Prince Takamado (高円宮憲仁親王, Takamado-no-miya Norihito Shinnō, 29 December 1954 – 21 November 2002); created Takamado-no-miya on 1 December 1984; married on 6 December 1984 to Hisako Tottori (born 10 July 1953), eldest daughter of Shigejiro Tottori, former President, Mitsui & Co. in France; and had three daughters.

Public service[edit]

Princess Mikasa is honorary president of various charitable organisations, especially those concerned with the preservation of traditional Japanese culture. She also plays an active role in the Japanese Red Cross Society.[5]

In 1948, the Princess became President of the Imperial Gift Foundation Boshi-Aiiku-kai, a position that she resigned from in September 2010. She has participated on several formal occasions in Tokyo and other parts of Japan and she associates with charities that are concerned with mother and child health.[5]

Titles and styles[edit]

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

Born as a daughter of Viscount Masanari Takagi, she was styled as The Honourable Yuriko Takagi. After her marriage, she is styled as Her Imperial Highness The Princess Mikasa.

Honours[edit]

National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]

Honorary positions[edit]

Issue[edit]

Name Birth Death Marriage Issue
Princess Yasuko of Mikasa 26 April 1944 16 December 1966 Tadateru Konoe Tadahiro Konoe
Prince Tomohito of Mikasa 5 January 1946 6 June 2012 7 November 1980 Nobuko Asō Princess Akiko of Mikasa
Princess Yōko of Mikasa
Yoshihito, Prince Katsura 11 February 1948 8 June 2014
Princess Masako of Mikasa 23 October 1951 14 October 1983 Soshitsu Sen Akifumi Sen
Takafumi Sen
Makiko Sen
Norihito, Prince Takamado 29 December 1954 21 November 2002 6 December 1984 Hisako Tottori Princess Tsuguko of Takamado
Princess Noriko of Takamado
Princess Ayako of Takamado

Ancestry[edit]

[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "高木氏 (Takagi genealogy)". Reichsarchiv. Retrieved 28 May 2017.  (in Japanese)
  2. ^ a b "UPDATE: Prince Mikasa, uncle of Akihito, dies at 100 years old". Asahi Shimbun. 27 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "Prince Mikasa laid to rest in Imperial rite". The Japan Times. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Prince Mikasa turns 100". The Japan Times. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Activities of Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Mikasa and their family". The Imperial Household Agency. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  6. ^ a b , Red Cross Medals
  7. ^ Persepolis
  8. ^ Badraie Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Order of precedence in Japan
Preceded by
The Princess Hitachi
Ladies
HIH The Princess Mikasa
Succeeded by
Princess Tomohito of Mikasa