The 12-year-old only grandson of Emperor Akihito of Japan, Prince Hisahito, has graduated from elementary school.
Prince Hisahito graduated from Tokyo’s Ochanomizu University affiliated elementary school, Ochanomizu University Elementary School, on Friday, 15 March.
The Prince and his parents posed for the press outside his school on Friday with his diploma. His Imperial Highness was responsible for taking care of the school’s flower beds and rabbits in his final year. In March, he also took part in an overnight school trip to the Nagano Prefecture where activities included pottery and curling.
His Imperial Highness wrote an essay as part of the graduation process in which he looked back on his elementary school years that included researching Tokyo’s municipalities and searching for herbs and trees. In a nod to the latter, the Prince attached a handwritten note to his essay saying, “We live in the midst of nature.”
He will now continue his education as a junior high school affiliated with the same university.
The Prince will soon be second in line to the Japanese throne once his grandfather abdicates in favour of his uncle, Crown Prince Naruhito, on 30 April. Naruhito will ascend the throne the following day with his younger brother, Prince Akishino becoming heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Japan does not allow for women to rule in their own right meaning the Japanese Imperial Family is increasingly shrinking. By May, there will only be three people in the line of succession: Prince Akishino, Prince Hisahito, and 83-year-old Masahito, Prince Hitachi – the younger brother of Emperor Akihito.
Prince Hisahito of Akishino was born on 6 September 2006 in Tokyo’s Aiiku Hospital as the third child of Fumihito, Prince Akishino and Kiko, Princess Akishino. He has two older sisters, Princesses Mako and Kako.
He was the first member of the Imperial Family to attend an elementary school, in the post-war era, that was not Gakushuin Primary School.