Fumihito, Crown Prince of Japan

  (Redirected from Prince Akishino)

Fumihito, Crown Prince Akishino[1] (秋篠宮皇嗣文仁親王, Akishino-no-miya Kōshi Fumihito Shinnō, born 30 November 1965, Japanese: [ɸɯmiꜜçi̥to]) is the younger brother and heir presumptive of Emperor Naruhito of Japan and the younger son of Emperor emeritus Akihito and Empress emerita Michiko. Since his marriage in June 1990, he has had the title Prince Akishino (秋篠宮, Akishino-no-miya) and has headed his own branch of the imperial family.[2] In November 2020, Fumihito was officially declared heir presumptive to the throne, during the Ceremony for Proclamation of Crown Prince (Rikkōshi-Senmei-no-gi) in Tokyo.[3]

Crown Prince Akishino
Prince Fumihito Rome 2016 (4).jpg
Fumihito in 2016
BornFumihito (文仁)
(1965-11-30) 30 November 1965 (age 56)
Imperial Household Agency Hospital, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan
(m. 1990)
HouseImperial House of Japan
MotherMichiko Shōda

Early life and educationEdit

The prince was born on 30 November 1965 in the morning at 12:22 am in the Imperial Household Agency Hospital, Tokyo Imperial Palace in Tokyo. His given name is Fumihito. His mother, Empress Emerita Michiko, is a convert to Shinto from Roman Catholicism. His childhood appellation was Prince Aya (礼宮 Aya-no-miya). He attended the primary and secondary schools of the Gakushūin. He played tennis in primary and secondary schools of the Gakushūin.

In April 1984, the prince entered the Law Department of Gakushuin University, where he studied law and biological science. After graduating from the university with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science, he studied the taxonomy of fish at St John's College, Oxford in the United Kingdom from October 1988 to June 1990.

Upon the death of his grandfather, Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito), on 7 January 1989, the prince became second-in-line to the throne after his elder brother, Crown Prince Naruhito.

The prince received a PhD degree in ornithology from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in October 1996. His doctoral dissertation was titled, "Molecular Phylogeny of Jungle Fowls, genus Gallus and Monophyletic Origin of Domestic Fowls". He conducted field research in Indonesia in 1993 and 1994, and in Yunnan Province in the People's Republic of China. When the Emperor Emeritus was then Crown Prince, he introduced tilapia to Thailand as an important source of protein. Tilapia can be easily cultured and Prince Fumihito, who is also known as a "catfish specialist," has managed to maintain and expand the aquacultural studies with the people of Thailand. The prince has worked as a researcher at The University Museum of The University of Tokyo where he also is an Honorary Fellow.[4]

Prior to Fumihito's birth, the announcement about the then-Crown Prince Akihito's engagement and marriage to the then-Ms. Michiko Shōda had drawn opposition from traditionalist groups, because Shōda came from a Roman Catholic family.[5] Although Shōda was never baptized, she was educated in Catholic schools and seemed to share the faith of her parents. Rumors also speculated that Empress Kōjun had opposed the engagement. After the death of Fumihito's paternal grandmother Empress Kōjun in 2000, Reuters reported that she was one of the strongest opponents of her son's marriage, and that in the 1960s, she had driven her daughter-in-law and grandchildren to depression by persistently accusing her of not being suitable for her son.[6]

Marriage and issueEdit

Fumihito and Kiko with their two daughters

On 29 June 1990, Fumihito married Kiko Kawashima, the daughter of Tatsuhiko Kawashima (professor of economics at Gakushuin University) and his wife, Kazuyo.[7]

The couple met when they were both undergraduates at Gakushuin University.[8][9] Like his father, the emperor emeritus, the prince married outside the former aristocracy and former collateral branches of the imperial family. Upon marriage, he received the title Prince Akishino (Akishino-no-miya – strictly "Prince Akishino") and authorization from the Imperial Household Economy Council to form a new branch of the Imperial Family. The marriage was bitterly resented by officials at the Imperial Household Agency, who had desired that the Prince adhere to tradition and not get married before his elder brother.[9]


Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino have two daughters and one son:


Fumihito serves as the president of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology and the Japanese Association of Zoological Gardens and Aquariums. He is also the honorary president of the World Wide Fund for Nature Japan, the Japan Tennis Association, and the Japan-Netherlands Association.[2]

The prince and princess have made numerous official visits to foreign countries. In June 2002, they became the first members of the Imperial Family to visit Mongolia, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations.[10][11] In October 2002, they visited the Netherlands to attend the funeral of Prince Claus of the Netherlands.[12] In September 2003, they made goodwill visits to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, again, the first time ever members of the Imperial Family had visited these countries.[13][14] In March 2004, the prince and princess returned to the Netherlands for the funeral of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.[12] In January 2005, they visited Luxembourg to attend the funeral of Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte.[12] From October to November 2006, they visited Paraguay to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japanese emigration to that country.[15] In January 2008, they visited Indonesia for a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Indonesia.[16]

The prince and princess visited Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania in May 2009 on the occasion of "Japan-Danube Friendship Year 2009"[17][18] and the Netherlands in August 2009 for the commemorative event of the 400th anniversary of the trade relations between Japan and the Netherlands.[19] They have also visited Costa Rica,[20] Uganda,[21] Croatia,[22] the Slovak Republic,[23] Slovenia,[24] Peru, and Argentina.[25][26]

In addition, Fumihito carried out public duties on behalf of the Emperor when he was hospitalized.[27] He and other members of the imperial family visited the affected areas after the Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011.[27] From June to July 2014, Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko visited Republic of Zambia and United Republic of Tanzania.[28][29]

In accordance with legislation passed allowing his father's abdication, he became heir presumptive to the throne on 30 April 2019. In June–July 2019, the Crown Prince and his wife carried out the first official overseas visit by the imperial family following the accession of Emperor Naruhito. They visited Poland and Finland to participate in the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relationship between Japan and the two countries.[30] In August 2019, the couple and their son, Hisahito, arrived to Bhutan for a visit.[31]

The public proclamation of Fumihito as crown prince did not take place on 19 April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His accession as crown prince took place privately.[32][33][34] On 8 November 2020, Fumihito was formally declared first in line to the chrysanthemum throne.[35] During the ceremony he said "I will carry out my duties by deeply acknowledging my responsibilities as crown prince".[35]

Titles and honoursEdit

Mon of the Akishino branch of the imperial family

Titles and stylesEdit

  • 30 November 1965 – 28 June 1990: His Imperial Highness Prince Aya
  • 29 June 1990 – 30 April 2019: His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino[36]
  • 1 May 2019 – present: His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Akishino[37]


Honorary degreesEdit


  1. ^ Their Imperial Highnesses Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino and their family – names Archived 9 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine – official website of the Imperial Household Agency
  2. ^ a b c d e Kunaicho: personal histories Archived 7 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Japan prince Fumihito declared heir to throne". BBC News. 8 November 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Researcher". The University Museum, The University of Tokyo. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  5. ^ Herbert P. Bix, "Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan", New York, 2001, p. 661
  6. ^ "Japan's Dowager Empress Dead at 97". CBS News. 16 June 2000. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Scenes from An Uncommon Marriage: Japan's Prince Aya Weds a Cinderella Psych Major, Kiko Kawashima" Archived 14 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine. People. June 1990.
  8. ^ "Princess Akishino's pregnancy". Japan Times. 29 March 2006.
  9. ^ a b "Japanese Prince Plans To Marry A Commoner". Chicago Tribune. 13 September 1989.
  10. ^ "Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino to Visit Mongolia". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Prince, Princess to visit Mongolia". The Japan Times. 10 June 2000. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "List of Overseas Visits by the Emperor, Empress and Imperial Family (1999–2008)". kunaicho.go.jp. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Japan-Fiji Relations". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Japanese Royal visit to Samoa" (PDF). Embassy of Japan in New Zealand. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Prince Akishino to visit Paraguay on Wednesday". AAJ News. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  16. ^ "Indonesian president meets Japanese Prince Akishino". China View. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Prince and princess Akishino on official visit to Bulgaria". bulgarian.ibox.bg. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Political relations". Embassy of Romania to Japan. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  19. ^ "Dutch appeal to visiting Prince Akishino". typepad.com. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Japanese royals visit Costa Rica". The Tico Times. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Japan royals visit Uganda". New Vision. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Japanese prince and princess Akishino to visit Croatia". dubrovnik.com. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Japan-Slovakia Relations". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  24. ^ "Japanese Prince and Princes Akishino to Visit Slovenia". Slovenian Times. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  25. ^ "Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko of Japan visit Peru". Peru this week. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Prince, Princess Akishino in Argentina". News on Japan. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  27. ^ a b Komatsu, Natsuki (1 December 2011). "Prince Akishino's remarks show Imperial family crisis". The Daily Yomiuri. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  28. ^ "Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino's visit to Zambia". Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Zambia. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  29. ^ "Prince Akishino of Japan visits Serengeti and Ngorongoro over the weekend". The official website of Tanzania National Parks. Archived from the original on 27 March 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  30. ^ "Japan's Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko leave for European trip". The Japan Times. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  31. ^ "Japan's Crown Prince Akishino and family meet Bhutan's king". The Japan Times. 20 August 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  32. ^ NEWS, KYODO. "Ritual to mark Prince Fumihito's promotion to be held in April 2020". Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  33. ^ "Japan eyes holding crown prince's April ascension rituals as planned". The Japan Times Online. 17 March 2020. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  34. ^ "Japan eyes succession talks after crown prince's April announcement". Mainichi Daily News. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  35. ^ a b "Crown Prince Akishino formally declared first in line to the throne". Japan Times. 8 November 2020. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020.
  36. ^ "Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino and their family". The Imperial Household Agency (Japan). Archived from the original on 17 April 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  37. ^ "Their Imperial Highnesses Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino and their family". The Imperial Household Agency (Japan). Archived from the original on 26 May 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  38. ^ Italian Presidency, S.A.I. Akishino Principe di Giappone
  39. ^ Decoraties Staatsbezoeken Japan en Republiek Korea Archived 4 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine - website of the Dutch Royal House
  40. ^ "Prince Akishino wearing the Order".
  41. ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF).
  42. ^ "Crown Prince Fumihito and Princess Mako receive medals from Paraguay". nippon.com. 6 October 2021.

External linksEdit

Fumihito, Crown Prince of Japan
Born: 30 November 1965
Lines of succession
First Succession to the Japanese throne
1st in line
Succeeded by