Princess Kako Honors Japanese Immigrant History in Peru; Meets 104-Year-Old Matriarch of Japanese Peruvian Family

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Princess Kako, front left, talks with Kamado Arakaki, front right, at the Japan Peru Cultural Center in Lima on Friday.

LIMA — Princess Kako, the second daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, met with Japanese Peruvians at the Japan Peru Cultural Center in Lima on Friday morning (late Friday night Japan time), during her visit to Peru.

Princess Kako talked with Kamado Arakaki, a 104-year-old first-generation Japanese resident of Lima. Dressed in a kimono, Princess Kako stooped to make eye contact with Arakaki, who was seated in a wheelchair.

When asked by Arakaki if she had come from Japan, Princess Kako responded with a smile. She listened intently to the hardships Arakaki faced after emigrating to Peru, nodding and holding Arakaki’s hand. When Princess Kako asked what she liked to do, Arakaki said, “Watching television.”

Born in Okinawa Prefecture, Arakaki moved to Peru alone at the age of 17 in 1936 and married 22-year-old Kameji Arakaki. Despite the hardships and occasional longing to return to Japan, Arakaki now heads a large family spanning five generations, including eight children, 23 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and seven great-great-grandchildren.

After the meeting, Arakaki smiled and said, “It was really nice to meet [Princess Kako].”

Later that afternoon, Princess Kako attended a ceremony at the Torre Tagle Palace in Lima, home to the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

At the ceremony, Princess Kako referenced the Japanese Peruvian community’s history of overcoming difficulties and sorrows while supporting each other. “I will keep in mind the contributions that the Japanese community has made to Peruvian society while earning its trust,” she said.

On Friday night (Saturday morning in Japan), Princess Kako left Lima by air for Cusco.