Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu
Portrait Japan Yasuhito

Full Name Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu
Born 25 June 1902

Tokyo, Japan

Allegiance Flag-JAP Empire of Japan
Political Party Unaffiliated (Imperial Household of Japan)

Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu, also known as Prince Yasuhito, is a younger brother to the reigning Emperor Hirohito of the Empire of Japan. He was the second son of the previous Emperor Taishō and is currently a major in the Imperial Japanese Army.

Early Life

Yasuhito was born at Aoyama Palace in Tokyo as the second son of Crown Prince Yoshihito and Crown Princess Sadako, later Emperor Taishō and Empress Teimei. He and his elder brother were separated from their parents and entrusted to the care of a respected ex-naval officer, Count Sumiyoshi Kawamura and his wife. After Kawamura died in 1904, the young princes rejoined their parents.

He attended the elementary and secondary departments of the Gakushuin Peers' School along with Crown Prince Hirohito, and his younger brother, Prince Nobuhito (born in 1905). A fourth brother, Prince Takahito, would be born in 1915. Prince Chichibu enrolled in the Central Military Preparatory School in 1917 and then in the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1922.

On 26 May 1922, Emperor Taishō granted his second son the title Chichibu no miya and the authorization to start a new branch of the imperial family. In 1925, the Prince went to Great Britain with the intention to study at Magdalen College, Oxford, but his time in the country was cut short by the British Revolution. Until the birth of his nephew Crown Prince Akihito in December 1933, Yasuhito was heir presumptive to the Chrysanthemum throne.


On 28 September 1928, the prince married Matsudaira Setsuko (born 9 September 1909), the daughter of Matsudaira Tsuneo, Japanese ambassador to the United States. Although technically born a commoner, the new princess was a scion of the Matsudaira of Aizu, a cadet branch of the old Tokugawa shogunate. Her paternal grandfather was Matsudaira Katamori, the last daimyō of Aizu, whose heir had been created a viscount in the new kazoku system in 1884. As of 1936, Prince and Princess Chichibu have no children.

Military Service

Yasuhito received his commission as a second lieutenant in the infantry in October 1922 and was assigned to the First Imperial Guard Division. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1925 and became a captain in 1930 after graduation from the Army War College. He received a promotion to the rank of major and assigned to command the Thirty First Infantry Division stationed at Hirosaki, Aomori in August 1935.

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