Japanese Princess to live and study in Dublin


Whatever the dangers of wealth-hording royalty, it's easy to wax poetic about the recent decision by a Japanese Princess to live and study in Dublin.

Although dispersed at the time of the Wild Geese, the Irish Gaelic Order can claim with the Japanese to be among the world’s oldest hereditary "noble" families. The descendants of the O'Neill and the O'Connor, for example, have among the longest and most extensive genealogical records of all histories.

Princess Mako is the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko and she will study English in Dublin for the month of July and the first two weeks in August. The announcement was made by the Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday.

“Princess Mako has a very special interest in Irish culture,” said the anonymous spokesman.

The princess, who is a freshman at International Christian University in Tokyo, will make a private visit to the Irish capital to attend University College Dublin's English language program.

Princess Mako’s grandmother, Empress Michiko, was partly educated by Irish nuns, and studied Irish history, language and literature with them in Tokyo. She is a well-informed Hibernophile. The empress speaks the Irish language, plays the harp and has memorized such poems as I See His Blood Upon The Rose . This according to Wherever Green is Worn, Tim Pat Coogan’s book on the Irish Diaspora, and the Irish Times.

The empress counts poet Séamus Heaney among her friesnds, and is especially fond of ancient Irish poetry, such as the Children of Lir. She first met Heaney in Tokyo in 1987, and then during a state visit to Ireland in 2005, she and her husband Emperor Akihito visited the Nobel laureate at his home in Dublin.

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