Thursday, December 15, 2011

Prince Akishino

Fumihito, The Prince Akishino (秋篠宮 文仁親王 Akishino-no-miya Fumihito shinnō : born 30 November 1965) is a member of the Japanese imperial family. He is the second son of the Emperor Akihito and the Empress Michiko and currently second in line to the Chrysanthemum throne.

Since his marriage in June 1990, he has held the title of Akishino-no-miya (generally translated into English as Prince Akishino) and headed his own branch of the imperial family.

Early life and education
The prince was born 30 November 1965 at the Aoyama Detached Palace in Tokyo. His given name is Fumihito. His childhood appellation was Prince Aya (礼宮 Aya-no-miya). He attended the elementary and secondary departments of the Gakushuin.

In April 1984, he entered the Law Department of Gakushuin University, where he studied law and biology. After graduating from the university, he studied the taxonomy of fish at St John's College, Oxford in the United Kingdom from October 1988 to June 1990. In 1996, he was awarded a PhD from the National University for General Research.

Upon the death of his grandfather, the Emperor Shōwa, in January 1989, he became second-in-line to the throne after his elder brother, Crown Prince Naruhito.

Prince Fumihito received a PhD in ornithology from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in October 1996. His doctoral dissertation was titled, "Molecular Phylogeny of Jungle Fowls, genus Gallus and Monophyletic Origin of Domestic Fowls." He conducted field research in Indonesia in 1993 and 1994, in Yunnan Province in the People's Republic of China. When the current Emperor was still Crown Prince, he introduced tilapia to Thailand as an important source of protein. Tilapia can be easily cultured and Prince Fumihito, who is also known as "catfish specialist," has managed to maintain and expand the aquacultural studies with the people of Thailand.

He is a big fan of the Beatles and an avid tennis player. As a student, Prince Fumihito ranked among the top ten in the tennis doubles players in the Kanto Region.

He is also known as a successor to Arisugawa school of calligraphy.

On 29 June 1990, Prince Fumihito married Kawashima Kiko, the daughter of Kawashima Tatsuhiko (professor of economics at Gakushuin University) and his wife, Kazuyo.

The couple met when they were both undergraduates at Gakushuin. Like his father, the present Emperor, the Prince married outside the former aristocracy and former collateral branches of the imperial family. Upon marriage, he received the title Prince Akishino (Akishino no miya – strictly "Prince of Akishino") and authorization from the Imperial Household Economy Council to form a new branch of the Imperial Family.

Prince and Princess Akishino have two daughters and one son:
    * Princess Mako of Akishino (眞子内親王) (born 23 October 1991)
    * Princess Kako of Akishino (佳子内親王) (born 29 December 1994)
    * Prince Hisahito of Akishino (悠仁親王) (born 6 September 2006)

Since the third child is male, he is in the direct line of succession to the Imperial Throne and is likely to eventually succeed to the throne, unless Hisahito's uncle, Crown Prince Naruhito, produces a male heir, or the succession laws are changed.

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