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Shigeko Higashikuni

Shigeko Higashikuni Japanese princess

Japanese princess
Shigeko Higashikuni
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Japanese princess
A.K.A. Princess Shigeko Higashikuni, Shigeko-naishinnō, Shigeko Naishinnō
Was Princess Noble
From Japan
Type Royals
Gender female
Birth 6 December 1925, Tōgū Palace; Akasaka Palace, Japan
Death 23 July 1961, Bunkyō-ku, Japan (aged 35 years)
Star sign SagittariusSagittarius
Family
Mother: Empress Kōjun
Father: Hirohito
Siblings: Atsuko IkedaTakako ShimazuSachiko, Princess HisaKazuko TakatsukasaAkihitoMasahito, Prince Hitachi
Spouse: Morihiro Higashikuni
Children: Nobuhiko Higashikuni
Awards
Order of the Precious Crown, 1st Class  
Shigeko Higashikuni
The details
Biography

Shigeko Higashikuni (東久邇 成子, Higashikuni Shigeko, 6 December 1925 – 23 July 1961), born Shigeko, Princess Teru (照宮成子内親王, Teru-no-miya Shigeko Naishinnō), was the wife of Prince Morihiro Higashikuni and eldest daughter of Emperor Shōwa and Empress Kōjun. She was the eldest sister to Japan's Emperor Emeritus Akihito.

Biography

Princess Shigeko was born at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo while her father was still Prince Regent for her grandfather the Taishō Emperor. Her childhood appellation was Teru-no-miya (照宮). As was the practice of the time, she was not raised by her biological parents after the age of three, but by a succession of court ladies at a separate palace built for her and her younger sisters in the Marunouchi district of Tokyo from 1930. Emperor Shōwa opposed the move, but could not defy court tradition. She entered the girls elementary department of the Gakushūin Peer's School in 1932 and completed the secondary department in 1942, learning cooking and literature.

On 9 May 1939, Princess Shigeko rode on the Chōshi Electric Railway Line in Chiba Prefecture from Chōshi to Tōdaimae and back as part of a Gakushūin school outing.

In 1941, she was formally engaged to the eldest son and heir of Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni, Prince Morihiro Higashikuni. The bride and groom were double first cousins once removed, through both the main imperial line, in descent from Emperor Meiji (the bride's maternal grandfather and the groom's father were siblings; meaning that the groom was a first cousin of the bride's father), and through collateral imperial lines, or ōke, that were cadet branches of the Fushimi-no-miya cadet branch of the imperial house. The couple were officially wed in 1943, upon which her official appellation became Shigeko, Princess Morihiro of Higashikuni (盛厚王妃成子内親王, Morihiro Ōhi Shigeko Naishinnō). As the wedding occurred in the middle of World War II, ceremonies and expenses were kept to a minimum, and she wore a junihitoe kimono belonging to her mother, Empress Kōjun, rather than having special clothing created for the occasion.

In 1947, the Higashikunis were reduced to commoner status with the abolition of titles of nobility by the American occupation forces. With rampant post-war inflation, high taxation, and various failed business ventures by her husband, the Higashikuni family was reduced to poverty. In January 1958, she accepted an offer by the Japanese national television network, NHK, to appear before a live audience and explain the New Year's poetry card reading contest and other royal ceremonies. She fell ill in 1960, complaining of stomach pains, and was diagnosed with cancer. Hospitalized at the Imperial Household Agency Hospital in Tokyo, she died on 23 July 1961. Her grave is at the Toshimagaoka imperial cemetery in Bunkyo, Tokyo.

Family

Prince and Princess Higashikuni had five children, the last three of whom were born after they were reduced in status to commoners:

  1. Prince Nobuhiko Higashikuni (東久邇宮 信彦王, Higashikuni-no-miya Nobuhiko ō) (born 10 March 1945, died 20 March 2019); married 1973 Miss Shimada Yoshiko, with one son, Higashikuni Yukihiko (b. 1974)
  2. Princess Fumiko Higashikuni (文子女王, Fumiko joō, born 23 December 1946); married Mr. Omura Kazutoshi.
  3. Hidehiko Higashikuni (東久邇 秀彦, born 30 June 1949): adopted by the Mibu family as "Mibu Motohiro"
  4. Naohiko Higashikuni (東久邇 真彦, born 1953); married to Ms. Sato Kazuko, with two sons, Teruhiko and Mutsuhiko
  5. Yūko Higashikuni (東久邇 優子, born 1954) Married.

Titles and styles

  • 6 December 1925 – 10 October 1943: Her Imperial Highness The Princess Teru
  • 10 October 1943 – 14 October 1947: Her Imperial Highness Princess Morihiro of Higashikuni
  • 14 October 1947 – 23 July 1961: Mrs. Morihiro Higashikuni

Honours

National honours

  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown

Ancestry

8. Mutsuhito, Emperor Meiji
8. Mutsuhito, Emperor Meiji
4. Yoshihito, Emperor Taishō
9. Lady Naruko Yanagihara
2. Hirohito, Emperor Shōwa
10. Prince Kujō Michitaka of the Fujiwara Clan
5. Lady Sadako Kujō
11. Lady Ikuko Noma
1. Shigeko, Princess Teru
12. Asahiko, 1st Imperial Prince Kuni
6. Kuniyoshi, 2nd Imperial Prince Kuni
13. Lady Makiko Izumi
3. Princess Nagako of Kuni
14. Prince Shimazu Tadayoshi
7. Princess Chikako Shimazu
15. Lady Sumako Yamazaki
8. Mutsuhito, Emperor Meiji
4. Yoshihito, Emperor Taishō
9. Lady Naruko Yanagihara
2. Hirohito, Emperor Shōwa
10. Prince Kujō Michitaka of the Fujiwara Clan
5. Lady Sadako Kujō
11. Lady Ikuko Noma
1. Shigeko, Princess Teru
12. Asahiko, 1st Imperial Prince Kuni
6. Kuniyoshi, 2nd Imperial Prince Kuni
13. Lady Makiko Izumi
3. Princess Nagako of Kuni
14. Prince Shimazu Tadayoshi
7. Princess Chikako Shimazu
15. Lady Sumako Yamazaki
4. Yoshihito, Emperor Taishō
9. Lady Naruko Yanagihara
2. Hirohito, Emperor Shōwa
10. Prince Kujō Michitaka of the Fujiwara Clan
5. Lady Sadako Kujō
11. Lady Ikuko Noma
1. Shigeko, Princess Teru
12. Asahiko, 1st Imperial Prince Kuni
6. Kuniyoshi, 2nd Imperial Prince Kuni
13. Lady Makiko Izumi
3. Princess Nagako of Kuni
14. Prince Shimazu Tadayoshi
7. Princess Chikako Shimazu
15. Lady Sumako Yamazaki
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 10 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Reference sources
References
https://web.archive.org/web/20091027071807/http://www.geocities.com/jtaliaferro.geo/showa.html
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,722879,00.html?promoid=googlep
http://reichsarchiv.jp/%E5%AE%B6%E7%B3%BB%E3%83%AA%E3%82%B9%E3%83%88/%E6%9D%B1%E4%B9%85%E9%82%87%E5%AE%AE%E5%AE%B6
https://archive.org/details/emperorhirohitos0000larg
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,723348,00.html
https://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb16938641b
https://data.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb16938641b
http://isni.org/isni/0000000023732619
https://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n81057048
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