Her Imperial Highness Princess Hisako Takamado (second from right) visited Saanich Saturday as part of a cross country tour. Her third and youngest daughter Ayako Moriya attended Camosun College, here represented by Camosun president Sherri Bell (second from left) and Geoff Wilmshurst, Camosun’s vice-president for partnerships (left). (Geoff Wilmshurst/Twitter).

Camosun College welcomes Japanese princess

Princess Hisako Takamado’s youngest daughter Ayako Moriya attended Camosun

A local post-secondary institution rolled out the royal carpet over the weekend.

Officials from Camosun College Saturday hosted Her Imperial Highness Princess Hisako Takamado of Japan Saturday as part of her cross country tour. Takamado has been visiting Canada to celebrate the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Japan, the 35th anniversary of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and the 30th anniversary of The Japan Society, according to the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and The Japan Society.

RELATED: Japanese-immersion preschool opens in historic Craigflower Schoolhouse

Takamado also has a personal connection to the area, as her third and youngest daughter Ayako Moriya (who since renounced her imperial status after marrying a commoner), studied at Camoson College between 2013 and 2015. Moriya also studied at the University of British Columbia after completing her studies in Camosun’s English Development Program.

“It was an honour to host HIH Princess Takamado in our home this evening,” said , in a tweet. President Sherri Bell also attended the evening.

Takamado is the widow of Prince Norihito Takamado, a first cousin of the former emperor Akihito, who retired from the Chrysanthemum Throne on April 30, 2019 after having held it since 1989 to make room for his eldest son Naruhito as Japan’s new emperor.

Akihito himself had followed Emperor Hirohito, who was Japan’s 124th Tenno from 1926 to 1989.

Moriya’s grandfather was the brother of Hirohito.

RELATED: Camosun College sees influx of international students

This royal visit has come against the backdrop of Camosun’s growing international profile. The school will welcome more than 300 international students from 40 countries this coming school year and has been stepping up efforts to recruit more international students through partnerships with other local post-secondary institutions.


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