Japanese Royalty: Emperor Tōgu's Children--Prince Mikasa (1915- )

Figure 1.-- This is Prince Mikasa (Tkahito/Sumi) in his school uniform during 1924. A press caption read, "Prince Sumi, fourth and youngest son of the Emperor of Japan is anardent baseball fan. He alsp plays the game well when the opportunity is given him. The rice was nine years old on December 1." The image appeard in American newspaper DEcember 31, 1924. After the Warthe question emerged about his brother' (Emerperor Hirohito) knowlwdge ofJapanese attrocitie and war crimes in China. The extent of his knnowlege is stoll unknown. We so know that his brother Primce Miksa (Sumi) provided reports not only barbarous treatment of Chines vivilns, but also of the infamous Unit 731 and the use of chemical and bological agents in China.

Prince Mikasa also known As Tkahito/Sumi (1915- ) was the the fourth and youngest son of Emperor Taishō and Empress Teimei. He was much younger thn his three brothers. Sumi ws his childhood name within the family. The Prince enrolled in the Imperial Japanese Army Academy (1932). He was commissioned a sub-lieutenant and assigned to the Fifth Cavalry Regiment (1936). Japan subsequently launched its invasion of China (1937). The Prince went on to attend the Army Staff College. He served as a After serving as a junior cavalry officer in China during World War II. The Prince was promoted to lieutenant first class (1937), captain (1939), and major (1941). He observed first hand the barbatity of the Japanese Army as well learned that the Army was engaging in biolgical warfare. He repoted both to his other brother Emperor Hirohito. Thus the Emperor had direct informastion about Japanese war crimes. Prince Mikasa organized long with Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda (a collateral royal branch) a screening of a film Shirō Ishii had made showing planes being loaded with biological warfare bombs (bubonic plague) which were dropped over the Chinese city of Ningbo (1940). [Barenblatt, p. 32.] Surgeon General Shirō Ishii was the microbiologist and the director of the infamous Unit 731 chemica/biological warfare unit. Japan was the only country to use chemical and biological warfare during World War II. The Prince obtained a film of Japanese atrocities, possibly linked to the footage used in 'The Battle of China'. He was so outraged he made his brother, Emperor Hirohito, watch the film. The Prince was assigned as a staff officer in the Headquarters of the China Expeditionary Army at Nanjing (January 1943 to January 1944). This was designed to support the legitimacy of the Wang Jingwei collaboratinist regime. The idea was also to help to coordinate peace initaytives in China as the Pacific War began to go against Japan. This was undone by the Imperial General Staff's Ichi-Go offensve. [Bix, p. 474.] Press reports suggest that the Prine,when he returned to Tokyo wrote a sharp denunciation ofthe Army's behavior in China. The Prince personally witnessed Japanese atrocities against Chinese civilians. The Army General Staff managed to suppress the document, but one copy survived. In the final years of the War, Prince Mikasa served as a staff officer in the Army Section of the Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo. After Japan surrendered the Prince spoke before the Privy Council, arguing that his brother, Emperor Hirohito, should abdicate and take responsibility for the disaterous War. [Bix, p.572.] After the War, the Prince began a career as a scholar and part-time lecturer in Middle Eastern studies and Semitic languages.


Barenblatt, Daniel. A Plague upon Humanity (2004).

Bix, Herbert. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (New York: Harper and Collins, 2000).


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Created: 6:53 AM 9/2/2015
Last updated: 6:53 AM 9/2/2015