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Preparations underway for Imperial funeral

Preparations are underway for the funeral for His Imperial Highness Takahito, Prince Mikasa of Japan. The 100-year-old Prince died on 27 October of cardiac arrest after initially being hospitalised for pneumonia. Royal Central‘s Assistant Editor, Moniek, broke the news about his death last week.

The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday, 4 November at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. The late Prince’s coffin will be entombed in accordance with the “renso no go” rite.

Due to Imperial tradition, Their Imperial Majesties, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will not attend the ceremony. However, they did visit the late Prince’s residence, Akasaka Estate in Tokyo to pay their respects to Emperor Akihito’s late uncle, who was laid out in a coffin. Others who paid their respects on this day to the longest-living royal included Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako, Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko and other members of the Imperial Family.

Thousands of Japanese citizens showed up to pay their last respects by signing the condolence books found outside the residence. And even though Their Majesties won’t be attending the public ceremony, they will visit the late Prince’s home twice more to pay their final respects again.

Prince Mikasa is survived by his 93-year-old wife Yuriko Takagi, two daughters and nine grandchildren. His three sons all predeceased him. He was the youngest brother of Emperor Hirohito and the uncle of the current Emperor, Akihito.

The Prince enjoyed a long and successful military career. When World War II ended, he studied Ancient Oriental history. He took his love of learning by teaching at several universities, and he was a strong advocate for peace.

Despite his ill-health, he always supported his eldest brother, Emperor Hirohito and his nephew, Emperor Akihito in their work. The Prince recovered from heart trouble four years ago, but he fell ill this past May and sadly, never recovered.

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