On 17th June, the main funeral service for Prince Yoshihito of Katsuranomiya (Prince Katsura) was held at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Tokyo. About 560 dignitaries including the members of Imperial Family attended the funeral. In line with custom, Their Majesties did not attend the funeral but sent messengers including the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency.
The funeral cortege
During the ceremony, a eulogy to the late prince was read.
After the messengers from Their Majesties bowed to pay their respects, HIH Princess Akiko went up to the altar and offered a tree branch. HIH Princess Akiko, the niece of Prince Katsura acted out the duty of chief mourner.
HIH Prince Takahito and HIH Princess Yuriko of Mikasanomiya moved to the altar in wheelchairs before standing to pay respects to their son.
Other attendees including HIH Crown Prince and HIH Crown Princess followed.
Many people lined up at the cemetery after the ceremony ended as members of the general public were given a chance to pay their respects to the late prince.
After the funeral, the prince’s body became cremated at the crematorium in Shinjuku Ward before his ashes are interred at a stone chamber next to the resting place of his older brother, Prince Tomohito(1946-2012).
HIH Princess Akiko at the grave of Prince Katsura