Prince Arisugawa Takehito
Prince Arisugawa Takehito (有栖川宮威仁親王, Arisugawa-no-miya Takehito-Shinnō, January 13, 1862 – July 5, 1913) was the 10th head of a cadet branch of the Japanese imperial family and a career officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Prince Arisugawa Takehito
|Born||January 13, 1862|
|Died||July 5, 1913 (aged 51)|
Kobe, Japan (actual)
Tokyo, Japan (official)
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Years of service||1874–1913|
|Battles/wars||First Sino-Japanese War|
|Awards||Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath |
Order of the Golden Kite (3rd Class)
Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum.
Prince Takehito was born in Kyoto as a scion of the Arisugawa-no-miya (有栖川宮家) house, one of the shinnōke branches of the Imperial Family of Japan, which were eligible to succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne in the event that the main line should die out. As he was born when the country was still under rule by the Tokugawa Bakufu, he was sent as a youth into the Buddhist priesthood, and assigned to serve at the monzeki temple of Myōhō-in in Kyoto. After the Meiji Restoration, he was recalled to secular life, and relocated to Tokyo in 1871.
In 1874, on orders from Emperor Meiji, Arisugawa enrolled in the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy. In 1877, despite his youth, he was sent as an observer to the Satsuma Rebellion, to observe the devastation first hand, and landed in Kagoshima shortly after it was secured by Imperial forces.
In 1879, Arisugawa was sent as a military attaché to Great Britain and embarked upon HMS Iron Duke, the flagship of Britain's Royal Navy in the Far East, for further training. He served in the Channel Squadron for a year before returning to Japan as an ensign.
In 1880, shortly after his wedding, Arisugawa was again sent to England, this time as a cadet at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. He returned to Japan in June 1883. Arisugawa and Maeda Yasuko, his wife made an extensive tour of Europe and America in 1889.
In 1891, Arisugawa was assigned to the escort of Russian Crown Prince Nikolai (later Tsar Nicholas II) during his tour of Japan. However, while he was in the Prince's charge Nikolai was wounded in an assassination attempt, called the Otsu Scandal, which led to a considerable worsening of diplomatic relations between Japan and Russia.
During the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–95), Arisugawa commanded the cruiser Matsushima and subsequently the cruiser Hashidate in combat. He attained the rank of rear admiral on November 11, 1896. In 1896, he travelled to England again to represent Emperor Meiji at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria.
Arisugawa advanced to the rank of vice admiral on September 26, 1899.
King Edward VII appointed Arisugawa an Honorary Knight Grand Cross in the civil division of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath (GCB) in the November 1902 Birthday Honours list published on the British King′s birthday.
Promoted to full admiral on June 28, 1905, Meiji appointed the prince a member of the Order of the Golden Kite (3rd Class) for his service during the Russo-Japanese War. He visited Europe again in 1905, when he and his wife represented the Emperor at the wedding of the German Crown Prince Wilhelm (1882–1951) to Duchess Cecile of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. They visited Great Britain again on their way back to Japan.
Of weak constitution since childhood, Arisugawa took frequent medical leaves during his naval career. He built a summer home in Kobe and went into semi-retirement in 1909. He died on July 3, 1913 at his Kobe residence. However, news of his death was not made immediately public, and his body was rushed back to his palace in Kōjimachi, Tokyo by a specially chartered train, and his death formally announced on July 10, 1913.
He advanced to the honorary rank of marshal admiral on July 7, 1913, which was after his actual death, but before his "official death date", so the award was not considered posthumous. However, he was also awarded the Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum posthumously.
Marriage and familyEdit
On December 11, 1880, Arisugawa married Maeda Yasuko (March 15, 1864 – June 30, 1923), the fourth daughter of Maeda Yoshiyasu, the last daimyō of Kaga Domain (modern Ishikawa prefecture), by whom he had three children.
- Princess Isako (績子女王, October 17, 1885, - September 30, 1886)
- Prince Arisugawa Tanehito (有栖川宮栽仁王, September 22, 1887 – April 7, 1908)
- Princess Mieko (實枝子女王, February 14, 1891 – April 25, 1933); married Prince Tokugawa Yoshihisa.
Since the prince died without a male heir (his son, Tanehito, having died of appendicitis in 1908 while attending the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy at Etajima, Hiroshima), the direct line of descent of the house of Arisugawa-no-miya became extinct.
However, his boyhood friend Prince Yoshihito, Emperor Taishō, revived the house (which reverted to its original name of Takamatsu-no-miya) in favor of his third son, Prince Takamatsu Nobuhito. Prince Nobuhito subsequently married Kikuko Tokugawa, a granddaughter of Prince Arisugawa Takehito.
- The site of Arisugawa’s Tokyo palace is now the Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park. It is located in Minami Azabu, Minato, Tokyo and its extensive gardens are open to the public. The site of his seaside summer home in Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture is now the site of the annex of the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Modern Art
- Arisugawa’s summer villa in Inawashiro, Fukushima, the Tenkyōkaku (which he personally designed) is an Important Cultural Properties of Japan and is open to the public as a museum. On the grounds is a large standing bronze statue of Prince Arisugawa, formerly located at the Naval Staff College in Tsukiji, Tokyo.
- Dupuy, Trevor N. (1992). Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3.
- Jansen, Marius B. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000.
- Keane, Donald (2005). Emperor Of Japan: Meiji And His World, 1852-1912. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12341-8.
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