Japanese Prince Hisahito, 2nd on the throne, turns 16

Prince Hisahito, Emperor Naruhito’s nephew and second in line to the Japanese Imperial Throne, is pictured at Akasaka Estate in Tokyo on August 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy Imperial Household Agency/Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Prince Hisahito, Emperor Naruhito’s nephew and second in line to the Japanese Imperial throne, turned 16 on Tuesday after starting high school this spring.

The Crown Prince’s son Fumihito graduated from Ochanomizu University High School in March and entered a high school attached to Tsukuba University, also in Tokyo, the following month.

The high school, officially called Otsuka High School, Tsukuba University, is known to be a highly competitive educational institution.

He became the first member of the post-war imperial family to enroll in a high school unaffiliated with Gakushuin University, which was established in the 19th century as a school for aristocrats. Crown Prince Fumihito is known for his liberal education policy for his children.

As the Emperor and former Emperor Akihito spent their high school years receiving an education as heirs to the Chrysanthemum Throne, how the young prince will spend his years has drawn attention.

Prince Hisahito continues to be drawn to dragonflies, an interest he developed during his elementary school years, and does related fieldwork on the grounds of Akasaka Estate, where he lives with his family, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

At school, he joined the badminton team.

During a three-day school trip to the resort town of Tateshina in Nagano Prefecture in late July, the prince practiced orienteering in the mountains and hiked Mount Tateshina, said the agency.

In the weeks leading up to his high school graduation, the prince worked on a graduation show with his classmates that included a choir concert and a presentation of academic achievements.

Prince Hisahito has two older sisters – former Princess Mako, 30, who married out of the imperial family last year, and Princess Kako, 27 – but they are not heirs to the throne as the Imperial Household law limits heirs to men paternally related to the Emperor.

Since Emperor Naruhito only has one daughter, 20-year-old Princess Aiko, Prince Hisahito is second in line to the throne after his father. The only other remaining heir is the Emperor’s uncle, Prince Hitachi, 86.

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