denka.jpg
A picture of the Prince that I took with my P504iS just several hours before he passed away
As many people know already, H.I.H. Prince Takamado Norihito passed away the day before yesterday. I had just visited the Prince that day around 5 hours before he passed away. He had a heart attack while playing squash at the Canadian Embassy. He was only 47 years old. Several of us had visited him to thank him for accepting our request to give the opening speech for the New Business Forum which he had accepted every year for many years now. I was the vice-chairman of the Forum last year and the chairman this year. It is the role of the chairman to invite the Prince and the introduce him at the forum.

The Prince was a very approachable, intelligent and kind man. He liked technology and gadgets very much. He had recently published a book of his own photographs of his travels. Last year, in his speech he talked about cells phones and "wangiri". (Wangiri became a big problem this year. Wangiri is when people call and let the phone ring once and leave their caller ID on your phone to get you to call them back. It has become a type of spam.)

The day before yesterday, I was showing him my new P504iS phone with the two cameras and we discussed what sort of possible uses there might be for having two cameras. I showed him my phone and took this picture of him, which might be the last picture taken of him.

His death is a great loss to Japan and I will personally miss him very much.

Mainichi article

8 Comments

Wow Joi - that's wild that you have that picture of him, so shortly before he died.

From his obituaries, he sounds like a smart, international, even Chanpon fellow. His visiting South Korea was a honorable step, as was his work at the Japan Foundation. He took English lessons, and travelled widely, cultivating modern interests and associations. So it's sad to see someone with some authority who was working to reach outside the closed systems of this island, die so suddenly and so early.

It is a significant loss to Japan and the world that H.I.H. Prince Takamado Norihito passed away so young. I had the chance to meet him once when I was speaking at a conference in Makuhari Messe and found him to be a thoughtful inquisitor and a gentle, noble man. I offer my condolences to the Imperial Family and the good people Japan.

It is a significant loss to Japan and the world that H.I.H. Prince Takamado Norihito passed away so young. I had the chance to meet him once when I was speaking at a conference in Makuhari Messe and found him to be a thoughtful inquisitor and a gentle, noble man. I offer my condolences to the Imperial Family and the good people Japan.

Joi, continue to be intrigued and amazed at the interesting people you know and meet, saddened about the loss of an Imperial Family Member who seemed to make a connection to the rest of the world, and a bit spooked knowing you have a picture of Prince Takamado so close to his death and yet looking so far from it.

I somehow missed this news and just looked it up today after my Grandmother told me about it.
I was totally shocked to find this out! I met the Prince and his charming wife at our Canadian embassy over ten years ago when I lived in Tokyo. Not only that, but I am an avid squash player (who played a lot in Tokyo) so it was even more disheartening to me to hear that he had died while playing squash.
He was such a friendly and intelligent man--what a loss for the world.
Debra Kato

What a shock it was to learn that HIH Prince Takamado had passed away.
While Prince and Princess Takamado visited Greenland in September 1996, I had the honor of being their escort for the entire week. They requested to visit my parents in Qeqertarsuaq shortly after their dogsled trip on the ice cap, and it was a memorable time for my family.
I pray that his soul will advance in the realms beyond.
Nuka Møller

As the only Argentine-Japanese tango singer I had the privilege to meet H.I.H. Prince Takamado during his visit to Argentina and once again on occasion of recieving an award granted by Japan Fundation.

A great man who dedicated his life to promoting academics, sports and human relations throughout Japan and the world. A truly sad loss. The Prince and Princess were truly an ideal couple to represent Japan on many occasions mainly because of their wit and charm but most importantly their communication skills. The many times I had the pleasure of meeting the Prince was at the All-Japan junior high school speech contest in his name, The HIH Prince Takamado Trophy. This year was the 54th year and my students usually always participate representing our Prefecture in Mie. This year at the reception at the Imperial Hotel I shook hands with the Prince and Princess and had them sign a book for my daughter Julia. The book (a children's book)was written by the Princess Hisako. Three days later the Prince collapsed and passed. A shock to me and a sad loss. I wish comfort for Princess Hisako and daughters and may the Prince's accomplishments continue to blossom.

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