Arisugawa no Miya Imperial Prince Takehito (有栖川宮威仁親王)

Arisugawa no Miya Imperial Prince Takehito (February 11, 1862 - July 5, 1913), Japanese Imperial family, soldier. His official government position was military affairs government adviser. His order of merit was the third kyu of the Grand Order of the Chrysanthemum, the title and rank was Marshal and Admiral.

Arisugawa no Miya Imperial Prince, Takehito's fourth Prince, (the eighth child including Princesses, but only Imperial Prince Taruhito and Takehito, lived past the age of twenty) the birth mother was a court lady, Noriko Mori. Arisugawa no Miya Imperial Prince Taruhito was a half older brother. His name from childhood was Sawanomiya. The Empress was the Lord of the Kaga Domain in Kaga Province, Yoshiyasu MAEDA's daughter, Imperial Prince Takehito's Empress Yasuko.

His childhood

He was born on February 11, 1862 in Kyoto and named Sawanomiya. Since Imperial Prince Taruhito was the oldest son in Arisugawa no Miya family, Sawanomiya was decided unofficially to enter into the Myoho-in Temple and become a priest-prince when he reached the appropriate age, following the custom of the Imperial family. However, due to the change of various regulations after the Meiji Restoration, this custom was abolished, the pre-arrangement for Sawanomiya to enter into the temple to become a priest prince was cancelled in 1871, when Emperor Meiji ordered Imperial Prince Takehito, his father, to move to Tokyo, Sawanomiya also moved to Tokyo.

On July 8, 1874, Sawanomiya was recommended by Emperor Meiji to become a sailor when he visited the Imperial Palace, he entered into the preparatory course for the Naval Academy on July 13. He was engaged to Yasuko MAEDA in 1876.

In 1877 Imperial Prince Taruhito, the Governor-General for the Suppression of the Seinan War called Sawanomiya, went to Kagoshima by ship and inspected the place where the War was taking place, together with the Prince.

The younger days

In April 1878, since there were no children between Imperial Prince Taruhito and the Empress, when he was over forty years old, he asked Emperor Meiji to adopt Sawanomiya as an actual successor to the Arisugawa no Miya family. It was before the Imperial Family Law was introduced at that time, since the Emperor had power to decide who would succeed to the throne, the Imperial order was issued from the Emperor on May 18. Because of this, Sawanomiya became an adopted child of Emperor Meiji, and he was given the name Takehito after receiving an order by Imperial Order to become a Prince on August 26. On this day, Imperial Prince Takehito and his older brother Taruhito held a ceremony to take a pledge to become father and son.

In 1879 Imperial Prince Takehito was ordered by the General Council of State to go aboard the British Navy China sea fleet flagship, 'Iron Duke,' he worked under hard conditions the same as other young navy officers, on the warship, for a whole year. After returning to Japan in 1880, he was appointed as Rear Admiral to start with, and he started his new life as an Imperial navy officer. He married Yasuko MAEDA on December 1, 1880.

In January 1880, just after he married, he left Yasuko behind and went to the Old Royal Naval College in England for study, three and a half years later he finally returned in June 1883.

Life in his prime

While the Prince was a Captain of the cruiser 'Takao' in 1891, he was ordered to accompany Prince NicholasⅡ(Later called NicholasⅡ) (Nikolay Aleksandrovich) of Russian Empire who came to visit Japan, as he was credited for some his experience studying overseas. During Prince Nicholas's stay in Japan, the Otsu Incident occurred in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, this was the first major incident in Japanese history of Japanese authorities harming the Imperial family from overseas. However the relationship between Japan and Russia did not suffer since the issue was dealt with sincerely, Imperial Prince Takehito asked Emperor Meiji himself, to go and see Prince Nicholas, etc.

After Imperial Prince Takehito's older brother, Imperial Prince Taruhito died in 1895, the Prince became the tenth successor of the Arisugawa no Miya family. He had a complete trust of Emperor Meiji, just like Imperial Prince Taruhito, and was appointed as an educator of the Crown Prince (later Emperor Taisho).

Imperial Prince Takehito had three Princesses and Princes with Masako, they were; Princess Isako, Prince Tanehito, and Mieko TOKUGAWA. Princess Isako died soon after she was born. In 1908 Prince Tanehito died young of appendicitis when he was twenty years old, while studying at the naval academy and had no wife and children. Princess Mieko left the Imperial family and married Prince Yoshihisa TOKUGAWA, she gave birth to Kikuko, who later became Takamatsunomiya Imperial Prince Nobuhito's Empress, however she came down with colon cancer in her mid forties and died.

His later years

Imperial Prince Takehito was born weak, he had to take time off for rest while he was a Captain, after Prince Tanehito died, his health got worse as he was shocked by the Prince's death, he rested in Arisugawa no Miya family's villa in Maiko located presently in Tarumi Ward, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture from 1909 to his death, leaving his family behind in Tokyo.

He died in the villa in Maiko on July 5, 1913, when he was fifty two years old. However his death was kept quiet due to various reasons, on July 10 his body was carried on a train while he was said to be in the serious condition, and transferred to the Imperial Palace which used to be located at 2-banchi, San nen-cho, Kojimachi Ward (near the current Cabinet Office). His death was announced for the first time on this day, it was decide the date he died was on July 10. After that the Ceremony of Interment was held on 17, the body was buried in the Toshima ga Oka Mausoleum. After his death, following the Imperial Family Law, it was decided for the Arisugawa no Miya family to be discontinued as there was no male successor in the family, Emperor Taisho who was taught by Imperial Prince Takehito and was fond of him although there was a difference in social standing, the Emperor considered the achievements of the Arisugawa no Miya family especially after the restoration, he let the third Prince, Imperial Prince Nobuhito succeed to the ritual of the family.

Just after the Prince's death on July 7, he was appointed as a Marshal and was conferred the Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, and it was officially decided to be conferred while he was alive.

Places related to Imperial Prince Takehito.

Tenkyo-kaku Residence (This former villa exist in Inawashiro-machi, Fukushima Prefecture, there is a statue in the garden.)

The Arisugawa no Miya Memorial Park (the place where there used to be a villa located in Minato Ward, Tokyo and there is a stutue of his older brother, Imperial Prince Taruhito.)

The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama (the place that used to be a villa, located at Hayama-machi, Miura-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture.
After Imperial Prince Takehito died, this place was changed from Takamatsu no Miya villa to a recreation facility of a private company, and after that, it was handed over to Kanagawa Prefecture.)

Seaside Hotel Maiko Villa (This was where Imperial Prince Takehito died, a hotel build in the place where the villa use to be, located at Tarumi Ward, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture.)

[Original Japanese]