The funeral was held Tuesday for Prince Katsura, the 66-year-old cousin of Emperor Akihito, who died of heart failure on June 8.
The funeral rite, known as "Renso no Gi," was held at the Toshimagaoka Imperial cemetery. As per imperial custom, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko did not attend. They were represented by the grand chamberlain. Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako and other Imperial family members attended, along with government leaders.
The chief mourners were Prince Katsura's parents, Prince Mikasa and his wife, Princess Yuriko, both of whom are in their 90s and who are confined to wheelchairs. The death of Prince Katsura means that all three sons of Prince Mikasa and Princess Yuriko have died. They have two daughters who left the imperial family after getting married.
Prince Katsura was the sixth in line to the Japanese imperial throne. He had been in ill health for some time. In 1988, he had surgery for acute subdural hematoma, and in 2008, was hospitalized for septicemia.
The prince, who was not married, had been confined to a wheelchair for the past few years.© Japan Today