This past Thursday, Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako of Akishino visited and learned about the research vessel “Kaimei.” Meaning ‘Enlightened’, the ship is currently docked at Ariake Pier in Tokyo Harbor. The vessel is the property of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. According to the agency, the research ship is the most advanced of its kind in the world. It has the technology to allow scientists to research the origins of mineral and ore deposits. Researchers will also be able to contribute to research relating to climate change and to examine preventative risks associated with earthquakes and tsunamis.
The Princess took a keen interest in the mineral samples taken from Japan’s coastline. She was also showed the controls on the bridge. Returning to the deck, the Princess, dressed elegantly in a cream suit and pearls, rang the ship’s bell. She appeared surprised and laughter with the sound it made.
Princess Mako is the eldest grandchild of the current Emperor and Empress of Japan. She began her royal duties as an adult member of the family in 2011. She worked as a volunteer without revealing her identity in July of that year during the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Princess Mako studied English at the University College Dublin for a month in 2010. And from September 2012 until May 2013, she also studied Art History at the University of Edinburgh. The 24-year-old received a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Cultural Heritage from the International Christian University in Tokyo in March 2014. In september of that year, she moved to the United Kingdom to attend the University of Leicester where she studied museology. She was awarded a Masters degree in Museum Studies in January of this year.
Princess Mako has a keen interest in the hearing impaired community. Like her mother, Princess Kiko, Princess Akishino, Princess Mako can communicate using Japanese sign language.