Prince Hisahito of Japan Turns 17, Pressure Mounts as He Approaches Adulthood

Prince Hisahito of Japan

Today, September 6, 2023, Prince Hisahito, the only son of Crown Prince Fumihito of Japan, and second-in-line to the Chrysanthemum throne turns 17. Spotlight focuses once again on this teen prince as he grows into adulthood.

So many expectations have been entrusted to his young shoulder as Japan's imperial prince who could save and carry the continuation of the dwindling House of Chrysanthemum.

Prince Hisahito of Japan
Prince Hisahito of Japan. Photo credit: Imperial Household Agency

Japan still has not changed its law of line of succession. They still follow the archaic Agnatic Primogeniture Succession where females are barred from succeeding the throne. Japanese ministers continue to refuse to introduce modern changes. Despite the fact that about 80% of Japanese are open to the possibility of having a regnal empress. 

This stubborn refusal of Japan's DIET (parliament) to change the law of succession worsened the dwindling succession of the House of Chrysanthemum.

Prince Hisahito of Japan
From left Crown Prince Fumihito, his son Prince Hisahito, and his uncle Prince Hitachi

As of now Emperor Naruhito only has three male successors, his younger brother - Crown Prince Fumihito, his nephew - Prince Hisahito, and his childless 87-year-old uncle Prince Hitachi. 

So the hope of continuing the House of Chrysanthemum lies now in the 17-year-old Prince Hisahito as there are no other male-line descendants of the former Emperor Hirohito who could possibly inherit the throne. Prince Hisahito is expected to marry someday and beget a son. 

Emperor Naruhito of Japan
Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, and their only child Princess Aiko. Photo credit: Imperial Household Agency

Emperor Naruhito's only child, Princess Aiko, is not eligible to succeed her father because she's a female. Early this year, Japan's Prime Minister was hinting at the parliament's plan to open the discussion again of changing the law of succession so that Princess Aiko could succeed her father someday but no development has been laid so far. 

The son of Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko, Prince Hisahito, is currently in his high school years at Otsuka, University of Tsukuba. According to the Japan Times, the prince has been actively involved in his studies, club activities, and events with his peers.

Prince Hisahito is the first member of the imperial family in the postwar era to attend a high school that is not affiliated with Gakushuin University, which was established in the 19th century to educate aristocrats. 

Prince Hisahito of Japan
Seated from left: Princess Kiko, Crown Prince Fumihito, and Prince Hisahito. At the back: Princess Kako and the former Princess Mako

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the number of subjects the prince is studying has increased, and his assignments have also become more challenging. He is a member of the school's badminton club.

He slowly began taking royal duties. This summer, he made his debut in accompanying his father Crown Prince Fumihito on a regional visit, attending various events, including the late July opening of a national culture festival for high schools in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

In early August, he attended a lecture on rice genome analysis during a visit to the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization.

The prince continues to pursue his longstanding interest in dragonflies that developed in his elementary school years. He does related fieldwork, including on the grounds of the Akasaka Estate, where he lives with his family.

Prince Hisahito has two older sisters - Mako Komuro (who now lives in New York with her husband after marriage, is \no longer a member of the Japanese Imperial Family for marrying a commoner, thus, not titled Princess anymore) and Princess Kako.


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