29 Facts About Naruhiko Higashikuni


General Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni was a Japanese imperial prince, a career officer in the Imperial Japanese Army and the 30th Prime Minister of Japan from 17 August 1945 to 9 October 1945, a period of 54 days.

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An uncle-in-law of Emperor Hirohito twice over, Prince Higashikuni was the only member of the Japanese imperial family to head a cabinet and was the last general officer of the Imperial Japanese military to become Prime Minister.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni was the founder of the Chiba Institute of Technology.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni was one of the longest-lived members of any royal family.

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Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni was born in Kyoto, the ninth son of Prince Kuni Asahiko and the court lady Terao Utako.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni's father, Prince Asahiko, was a son of Prince Fushimi Kuniie, the twentieth head of the Fushimi-no-miya, the oldest of the sesshu shinnoke or cadet branches of the imperial dynasty from whom an emperor might be chosen in default of a direct heir.

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Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni was a half-brother of Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi, the father of the future Empress Kojun, the wife of Emperor Hirohito.

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Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni married the ninth daughter of Emperor Meiji, Princess Toshiko, on 18 May 1915.

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Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko was a career officer in the Imperial Japanese Army.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni was commissioned a captain in the 29th Infantry Brigade, and promoted to major in the IJA 7th Division in 1915.

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Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni then studied military tactics at the Ecole Speciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr and Ecole Polytechnique in Paris France, from 1920 to 1926, during which time he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1920 and to colonel in 1926.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni had a French mistress, enjoyed fast cars and high living.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni left his wife and children in Japan, and the death of his second son did not prompt his return.

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Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni encouraged and enabled human experiments, providing advice, money, men and equipment.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni personally witnessed human experiments conducted by the military physicians during his tours in Manchukuo.

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Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni was the choice of both Chief of Staffs of the Army and the Navy.

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Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni remained steadfast in his opposition to the war with the Allied powers, and was part of the conspiracy which finally ousted Tojo in July 1944 following the fall of Saipan to American forces.

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The mission of the Naruhiko Higashikuni cabinet was twofold: first, to ensure the orderly cessation of hostilities and demobilization of the Japanese armed forces; and second, to reassure the Japanese people that the imperial institution remained secure.

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Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni resigned in October over a dispute with the American occupation forces over the repeal of the 1925 Peace Preservation Law.

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On 27 February 1946, Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni gave an interview to the Yomiuri-Hochi newspaper in which he claimed that many members of the imperial family had approved Emperor Hirohito's abdication, with Prince Takamatsu serving as regent until Crown Prince Akihito came of age.

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On 4 March 1946, Naruhiko Higashikuni gave a similar interview to the Associated Press indicating that he had proposed to Hirohito possible dates for abdication.

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In 1946, Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni asked the emperor for permission to renounce his membership in the Imperial Family and become a commoner.

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However, along with other members of the Imperial branch families, Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni lost his title and most of his wealth as a result of the American occupation's abolition of the princely houses on 17 October 1947.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni even created his own new Zen Buddhism-based religious sect, the Higashikuni-kyo, which was banned by the American occupation authorities.

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In 1958, Naruhiko Higashikuni published his wartime journals under the title, Ichi Kozoku no Senso Nikki.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni published his autobiographical memoirs, Higashikuni Nikki, in 1968.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni is today mainly remembered as Japan's first postwar prime minister.

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Naruhiko Higashikuni was one of the longest-lived prime ministers of all time, along with Antoine Pinay, Willem Drees and Christopher Hornsrud, and at his death was the last surviving full general of the Imperial Japanese Army.

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From 14 May 1988, when former Netherlands Prime Minister Willem Drees died, until his own death, Naruhiko Higashikuni was the world's oldest living former head of government.

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