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Hisako, Princess Takamado (憲仁親王妃久子, Norihito Shinnōhi Hisako) (born Hisako Tottori (鳥取久子, Tottori Hisako); 10 July 1953), is a member of the Japanese Imperial Family as the widow of Norihito, Prince Takamado.

Princess Takamado
Princess Takamado at TEDxTokyo 2009 opening cropped.jpg
Princess Takamado in May 2009
BornHisako Tottori (鳥取久子)
(1953-07-10) 10 July 1953 (age 66)
 Shirokane, Tokyo, Japan
Norihito, Prince Takamado
(m. 1984; died 2002)
HouseImperial House of Japan (by marriage)
FatherShigejiro Tottori
MotherFumiko Tomoda


Background and educationEdit

Hisako was born in 10 July 1953 in Shirokane, Tokyo. She is the eldest daughter of Japanese industrialist Shigejiro Tottori. Hisako accompanied her father to England, where he was transferred for work, and while still a child became fluent in the English language. She subsequently graduated from Girton College, Cambridge University in the UK in 1975 with undergraduate degrees in anthropology and archaeology. On her return to Japan, she obtained a position working for a translation company, but soon returned to England to learn about legal terminology used in statutes. She returned to Japan again in 1982. After her return, she was hired to assist Prince Mikasa as an interpreter and assistant at the 31st International Asian-North African Cultural Symposium. Princess Takamado received a PhD in arts from the Osaka University of Arts in February 2012.

Marriage and familyEdit

On 23 April 1984, she attended a reception hosted by the Embassy of Canada in Tokyo, where she first met Norihito, Prince Takamado. He proposed on 20 May and the Imperial Household Council announced the engagement on 1 August 1984. The formal engagement ceremony made on 17 September 1984, and the wedding held on 6 December 1984. The Prince and Princess had three daughters:

  • Princess Tsuguko (承子女王, Tsuguko Joō, born 8 March 1986 at Aiiku Hospital in Tokyo)
  • Princess Noriko (典子女王, Noriko Joō, born 22 July 1988 at Aiiku Hospital in Tokyo); following her marriage to Kunimaro Senge, a commoner, on 5 October 2014, Princess Noriko gave up her imperial title and left the Imperial Family as required by 1947 Imperial Household Law, took the surname of her husband and became known as "Noriko Senge" (千家典子, Senge Noriko).
  • Princess Ayako (絢子女王, Ayako Joō, born 15 September 1990 at Aiiku Hospital in Tokyo); following her marriage to Moriya Kei, a commoner, on 29 October 2018, Princess Ayako gave up her imperial title and left the Imperial Family as required by 1947 Imperial Household Law, took the surname of her husband and became known as "Ayako Moriya" (守谷絢子, Moriya Ayako).

Public serviceEdit

Princess Takamado during the 21st Pacific Science Congress.
Princess Takamado on the way to the castle church at the Royal Palace in Stockholm before the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O'Neill in June 2013.

Prince and Princess Takamado were the most widely traveled couple in the Japanese Imperial Family, visiting 35 countries together in 15 years to represent Japan on various functions. The Prince’s last visits included Egypt and Morocco in May 2000, Hawaii in July 2001 (to promote the Japanese tea ceremony), and to the Republic of Korea from May to June 2002. The latter was in order to attend the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea-Japan. The goodwill visit by the Prince and Princess to Korea was the first Japanese royal visit since World War II, and was an important step in the promotion of friendly bilateral relations between Japan and Korea. While in Korea, the couple toured the country extensively, met with President Kim Dae-jung and ordinary Koreans, and he visited the facilities for the physically disabled in South Korea that the Princess Masako Nashimoto had sponsored.[1]

Prince Takamado died of ventricular fibrillation while playing squash with the Canadian ambassador, Robert G. Wright, at the Canadian Embassy, leaving a widow and three young daughters. Since the Prince’s death, Princess Takamado has been extremely active in a very large number of charitable organizations involving sports, cultural exchange and the environment, taking on all of the posts formerly held by her late husband, as well as numerous new posts.

In June 2003, she visited Dublin, Ireland for the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games. In June 2004, she made an official visit to Canada, traveling extensively across the nation as part of the 75th Anniversary of the formal diplomatic relations between Canada and Japan. During this visit, she received two honorary doctorates in Law, one from the University of Alberta and the other from the University of Prince Edward Island. In November 2004, she visited Bangkok, Thailand, to attend the 3rd IUCN World Conference as Honorary President of BirdLife International.

In March 2004, the Princess was elected to succeed Queen Noor of Jordan as Honorary President of BirdLife International. She visited Montevideo, Uruguay in 2008, and Buenos Aires, Argentina for the Birdlife World Conservation Conference. During this visit, she attended special high goal polo exhibition played by the Novillo Astrada brothers in her honor at the La Aguada Polo Club.

In June 2005, she visited Germany to attend the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, attending matches between Germany against Argentina, and Japan against Brazil. Afterwards, she visited Jordan to attend the royal wedding of Princess Badiya bint El Hassan. In November of the same year, returned to England for the Global Council Meeting of BirdLife International. In January 2006, she returned to Canada to attend the opening of the "Prince Takamado Gallery of Japan" at the Royal Ontario Museum. She also returned to Germany later that year in order to attend the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In June 2013, she visited Sweden to attend the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O'Neill. On 18 June 2014, Princess Hisako departed for Federative Republic of Brazil, Republic of Colombia and French Republic. In Brazil, she watched the World Cup soccer game as the honorary president of Japan Football Association. In Colombia, she visited Colombian Football Federation. In France, she attended the event of International Kyudo Federation as the honorary president of the federation. She came back to Japan on 24 June.

The Princess is the author of two children's books published in English; Katie and the Dream-Eater (OUP, 1996) and Lulie the Iceberg (OUP, 1998).

Since November 2002, with the death of Prince Takamado, the princess has served as the Honorary President of the Prince Takamado Trophy, All Japan-Middle School English Oratorical Contest.[2]

Titles and stylesEdit

Styles of
Princess Takamado
Reference styleHer Imperial Highness
Spoken styleYour Imperial Highness

Since her marriage, Hisako is styled as Her Imperial Highness The Princess Takamado.


National honoursEdit

Foreign honoursEdit

Honorary degreesEdit

Princess Takamado shortly after receiving an honorary doctorate and delivering the convocation speech at the University of Alberta, 10 June 2004.

Honorary positionsEdit

  • Patron of the Japan Grass Ski Association
  • Patron of the Federation of Japan Amateur Orchestras Corp
  • Honorary President of the Ikebana International[6][7]
  • Honorary President of the Amateur Rubberball Baseball Association of Japan
  • Honorary President of the All Japan Archery Federation
  • Honorary President of the Japan Fencing Federation
  • Honorary President of the Marine Rescue Japan
  • Honorary President of the Japan Hockey Association
  • Honorary Patron of the Japan Football Association
  • Honorary President of the Japan Spanish Society
  • Honorary Patron of Center For Promotion of Folk-Performing Arts
  • Honorary President of the National Japan Bowl
  • Honorary President of the Inamori Foundation
  • Honorary President of the Japan Sailing Federation
  • Honorary Chairman of Japan Squash Association
  • Honorary President of Junior Sea Friend's Federation of Japan
  • Honorary Patron of the Japan National Student Association Fund
  • Honorary Patron of the Asiatic Society of Japan
  • Honorary Patron of Les Amies de Langue Francaise
  • Honorary Governorship of the Japan-Egypt Association
  • Honorary Patron of the Canada-Japan Society
  • Honorary President of BirdLife International
  • Honorary President of The International Kyudo Federation[8]
  • Honorary President of the Prince Takamado Memorial Foundation for Japan-Korea Exchange
  • Honorary Chairman of the International Education Center Supporter Association
  • Honorary Vice-President of the Japanese Red Cross Society
  • Honorary Patron for Asia, Bird life International's Rare Bird Club


Name Birth Marriage Issue
Princess Tsuguko of Takamado 8 March 1986
Princess Noriko of Takamado 22 July 1988 5 October 2014 Kunimaro Senge
Princess Ayako of Takamado 15 September 1990 28 October 2018 Kei Moriya


  1. ^ Yomiuri Shinbun (2002/05/31) 高円宮ご夫妻は31日午前、ソウル近郊の障害者福祉施設「明暉園」を訪問された。同園は、旧皇族・梨本宮家から李王朝最後の皇太子に嫁いだ李方子(まさこ)さん(1989年死去)が1967年に設立した施設。皇族として初の訪問となったこの日、方子さんと手を携え設立に尽力した金寿姙(キムスーイン)さん(81)も出迎え、サッカーボールをあしらったペナントをご夫妻に贈った。
  2. ^ Jnsafund Archived 2015-12-06 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Princess Takamado in Sweden
  4. ^ a b , Hisako wearing Red Cross Medals
  5. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  6. ^ Ikebana International
  7. ^ Ikebana International Archived 2008-12-28 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Ikyf

External linksEdit