Japan’s Prince Hitachi, Uncle of Emperor, Turns 88

Courtesy of the Imperial Household Agency
Prince Hitachi is seen with his wife, Princess Hanako, and his miniature dachshund Fukuhime at his residence in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on July 21.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prince Hitachi, the younger brother of Emperor Emeritus and uncle of the Emperor, celebrated his 88th birthday on Tuesday.

The prince underwent surgery for ureteral stones in March and was later hospitalized for urinary tract infection. In August, he contracted COVID-19. But he has recovered and returned to his public duties.

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the prince currently spends most of his time in a wheelchair. He does gait training and stretching exercises with a physical therapist twice a week at home and three times a month at a hospital.

At his residence in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, the prince enjoys watching news, sports and drama programs on television.

The prince owns a three-year-old miniature dachshund named Fukuhime and, when the weather is nice, enjoys walking in his garden with his wife, Princess Hanako, and sometimes goes bird-watching.

The prince attends as many events as he can for organizations for which he serves as head or honorary head.

Although he is no longer actively involved in cancer research, which he has done for more than 40 years, the prince remains interested in carcinogenesis and cancer biology, his fields of expertise, the agency said.