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Japan’s 14-year-old Prince Hisahito receives honourable mention in literature contest

By Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan -, CC BY 4.0,

Japan’s Prince Hisahito of Akishino received an honorable mention for his non-fiction writing submission to a children’s non-fiction literature contest.

The 14-year-old’s work was chosen out of 357 contest entries from elementary and junior high school students. Prince Hisahito wrote about his trip to the Ogasawara Islands, also known as the Bonin Islands. He went to these Pacific Islands with his mother, Princess Kiko. Though the trip was four years ago, it had a powerful impact on Prince Hisahito. During the online ceremony he commented: “The islanders took us on tours and we got to see rich nature in the mountains and the seas. The experience of interacting with people on Chichijima and Hahajima remains clearly in my mind.”

Japanese actor and writer, Lily Franky, was part of the selection committee and described Prince Hisahito’s work as balanced, beautiful prose.

Prince Hisahito is the third child and only son of Prince Akishino, and Princess Kiko. He is the first male born to the Imperial House of Japan since 1965 when his father was born. His uncle is Emperor Naruhito and the prince is second in line to the throne after his father. Before the arrival of Prince Hisahito, there was a proposal to allow women to inherit the throne. But shortly after Prince Hisahito’s birth, then Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, removed that proposal, effectively ending the Japanese succession controversy. 

The Ogasawara Islands are listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Located 1,000 kilometers south of Japan’s main island in the Pacific Ocean, the group of 30 islands is home to 190 endangered species of birds, 400 native plants and marine life.