Arisugawa no miya (有栖川宮)

Arisugawa no miya was the name of the Miyake (house of an imperial prince) that existed long ago. Arisugawa no miya was called one of the four biggest hereditary Imperial Prince's families, along with Fushimi no miya, Katsura no miya and Kan-in no miya. The name of Arisugawa came from Prince Yoshihito, the originator of Fushimi no miya, since his name was also Arisugawa. The second prince, Nagahito, was enthroned and became Emperor Go-Sai.

Arisugawa no miya had taught calligraphy and poetry to succeeding generations and had the trust of the Imperial Family; additionally, he had a close relationship with shogun families as there was a marriage relationship between them and they were close to both court nobles and samurai families. For generations the Arisugawa no miya used to send sons of the family, except for the eldest son, to Kan-ei-ji Temple in Ueno, Edo and to Chion-in Temple in Higashiyama, Kyoto, as imperial princes in holy orders, or so-called priest-princes.

In 1625, Emperor Go-Yozei's seventh prince, Takamatsu no miya Yoshihito, established Arisugawa no miya. The name of the court noble started with Takamatsu no miya and then established Takamatsu-Dono, the palace of his grandmother, Haruko KANSHUJI.

Prince Yoshihito's Empress was Seii Taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians"), Hidetada TOKUGAWA's adopted daughter, Kame-Hime (Princess Kame) (her real father was Hidetada's nephew and son-in-law, Tadao MATSUDAIRA of Echizen han, Echizen domain); but they did not have a male child, so their nephew, Prince Nagahito, Emperor Mizunoo's prince, was adopted to become the second generation of the court nobility, being so named Hanamachi no miya. Since the former Emperor Go-Komyo's adopted son, Prince Satohito (later called Emperor Reigen) was too young to succeed to the Imperial Throne, Prince Nagahito was soon enthroned as Emperor Gosai for the meantime; the Emperor ordered his Prince Arisugawa no miya Yukihito to take over Takamatsu no miya so that his original name as a court noble was changed to Arisugawa no miya (the name came from Prince Yoshihito's temporary palace in Arisugawa, Kyoto). Subsequently, Prince Yoshihito's child, Prince Arisugawa no miya Tadahito, died without having any children, Emperor Reigen's Prince Arisugawa no miya Yorihito succeeded as the fifth court noble, followed by the sixth prince, Arisugawa no miya Orihito; the seventh prince, Arisugawa no miya Tsunahito; the eighth prince, Arisugawa no miya Takahito; the ninth prince, Arisugawa no miya Taruhito; and the tenth prince, Arisugawa no miya Takehito, it was passed down through the lineage; however, on January 5, 1913, after the death of Prince Takehito, it was definite that there was no successor to take over the family, so on June 29, 1923, the family name officially died after Princess Yasuko (Prince Takehito's wife) passed away. However, the event was handed down by the third child of Emperor Taisho and the name of the court noble was changed to Takamatsu no miya.

It is well known they had famous, highly educated people as retainers, such as KAMO no Suetaka, Ganku and Tadahiko IIDA.


There is an episode in which, when Shogun Ietsuna died in 1680, the third successor, Prince Yukihito, was about to be captured by a chief minister, Tadakiyo SAKAI; it is one of the theories that emerged and became known, as both the Imperial Palace and Shogun tried to set up the story.

One of the sixth successors, Prince Orihito's daughter Princess Sazanomiya Takako, became the wife of the twelfth shogun, Ieyoshi TOKUGAWA; moreover, Princess Tomi no miya Yoshiko became the wife of Nariaki TOKUGAWA and had Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA.

The eighth successor, Prince Takahito (1812-1886), was ordered to become the president of Koten Kokyu sho (the former Kokugakuin University) and Shinto Kyodo shoku; after teaching Emperor Meiji and Princess Kazuno miya Chikako in various studies, he was given the Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum in recognition of his achievements as a teacher. Moreover, Arisugawa style calligraphy was established and Prince Takahito wrote an original copy of the "Imperial Covenant Consisting of Five Articles."

The ninth successor, Prince Taruhito (1835-1895), was Princess Kazunomiya's fiancee, who was active as a solider before and after the Meiji Restoration; he also did well politically, serving as a member of the Chamber of Elders, a senator and a chairman. Prince Taruhito became the President after the restoration of Imperial rule in December 1867, but he also acted as Toigun Governor-General during the Boshin War, attack commander in the Seinan War (the Southwestern (Satsuma) Rebellion in 1877), and became Chief General of the Army and Navy in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894.

The tenth successor, Prince Takehito (1862-1914), became a marshal and a full admiral; moreover, he assisted Emperor Taisho when he was still a prince. Prince Takehito's adopted child, Prince Tanehito, died before his father, but he endeavored to make the third generation of Arisugawa no miya, and when the Prince died the Emperor Taisho gave the name of Takamatsu no miya, as an exception, to the third prince, Takamatsu no miya Nobuhito, to succeed Arisugawa no miya in family events. The Prince Nobuhito's Empress, Princess Kikuko, was a maternal grandchild of Prince Takehito.

The Arisugawa no miya fraud incident
In 2003, a person named as a descendant of the Arisugawa no miya family (an illegitimate child of Prince Nobuhito) committed fraud. For details, please refer to the section on the Arisugawa no miya fraud incident.

[Original Japanese]