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Prince Naruhisa Kitashirakawa (北白川宮成久王, Kitashirakawa-no-miya Naruhisa-ō, 18 April 1887 – 1 April 1923), was the 3rd head of a collateral branch of the Japanese Imperial Family.

Prince Naruhisa Kitashirakawa
HIH Prince Kitashirakawa Naruhisa.jpg
Japanese Imperial Army Colonel Prince Kitashirakawa Naruhisa
Born(1887-04-18)18 April 1887
Tokyo, Japan
Died1 April 1923(1923-04-01) (aged 35)
Perriers-la-Campagne, France
AllegianceEmpire of Japan
Service/branchWar flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service1908–1923

Early lifeEdit

Prince Naruhisa was the son of Prince Yoshihisa Kitashirakawa and Princess Tomiko.[1] Prince Naruhisa succeeded as head of the house of Kitashirakawa-no-miya after the death of his father in November 1895 during the First Sino-Japanese War. He was the brother of Prince Tsunehisa Takeda and classmate of Prince Yasuhiko Asaka, Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni and Prince Fumimaro Konoe (peer). Prince Naruhisa graduated from the 20th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy with a commission as a sub-lieutenant in 1904, and the 27th class of the Army Staff College with the rank of colonel. His field of study was artillery.

Marriage and familyEdit

On 29 April 1909, Prince Kitashirakawa married Fusako, Princess Kane (1890–1974), the seventh daughter of Emperor Meiji. Prince and Princess Kitashirakawa had one son and three daughters:

  1. Prince Nagahisa Kitashirakawa (北白川宮永久王, Higashikuni Nagahisa-ō, 1910–1940) Married Sachiko Tokugawa
  2. Princess Mineko Kitashirakawa (美年子女王, Mineko Joō, 1910–1970); Married Viscount Tanekatsu Tachibana
  3. Princess Sawako Kitashirakawa (佐和子女王, Sawako Joō, 1913–2001); Married Viscount Motofumi Higashizono
  4. Princess Taeko Kitashirakawa (多惠子女王, Taeko Joō, 1920–1954); Married Yoshihisa Tokugawa.

Later lifeEdit

Between 1920 and 1923, Prince Naruhisa studied military tactics at the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr in France, along with his cousins Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni and Prince Yasuhiko Asaka. However, on 1 April 1923, he was killed in automobile accident in Perriers-la-Campagne, a Paris suburb that seriously injured Princess Kitashirakawa (who had accompanied her husband to Paris), and which left Prince Asaka with a limp for the rest of his life.

Dowager Princess Kitashirakawa became a commoner on 14 October 1947, with the abolition of the collateral branches of the Japanese Imperial Family by the American occupation authorities. The former princess served as custodian and chief priestess of the Ise Shrine until her death on 11 August 1974.



  1. ^ Takenobu, Yoshitaro. (1906). The Japan Year Book, p. 24., p. 24, at Google Books


  • Fujitani,T. Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan. University of California Press; Reprint edition (1998). ISBN 0-520-21371-8
  • Lebra, Sugiyama Takie. Above the Clouds: Status Culture of the Modern Japanese Nobility. University of California Press (1995). ISBN 0-520-07602-8
  • Takenobu, Yoshitaro. (1906). The Japan Year Book. Tokyo: Japan Year Book Office. OCLC 1771764