Princess Yuriko Celebrates 101st Birthday, Becomes Oldest Imperial Family Member in Modern Japan

Princess Yuriko, the revered great-aunt of Emperor Naruhito, marked a remarkable milestone on Tuesday as she turned 101 years old. This makes her not only the oldest living member of the Japanese imperial family but also the longest-lived since the Meiji era, which began in 1868.

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Princess Yuriko has been residing at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo since early March after being diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia and a mild stroke. The Imperial Household Agency has assured the public that she is receiving excellent care and is currently undergoing rehabilitation. While she is unable to eat or drink on her own, the agency reported that she is in stable condition and can still communicate.

The Princess’s birthday comes tinged with both celebration and concern. While exceeding the age of her late husband, Prince Mikasa, who passed away in 2016 at 100, her current health necessitates close monitoring.

“Given her advanced age, we will continue to take care of her carefully,” said Buichiro Kuroda, vice grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, at a press conference.

Princess Yuriko’s life has bridged over a century of Japanese history. Born in 1923, she married Prince Mikasa in 1941 and together they had five children. Though her public appearances have dwindled in recent years, her 101st birthday serves as a testament to a life well-lived and a significant chapter in the history of the Japanese imperial family.

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