By Sam Arseneau
For the first time since 2004, Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan has visited Prince Edward Island. While on Prince Edward Island, Princess Takamado was received at UPEI in an event to reaffirm her connection to our university and the Island.
Princess Takamado is a member of the Japanese royal family, her late husband was a cousin of the current Emperor of Japan. She also serves as an Honorary International Patron of the L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI.
One of the main events Princess Takamado attended in her role as Honorary International Patron of the L.M. Montgomery Institute was the event on Wednesday, August 28th in Robertson Library, in which a reporter from The Cadre was in attendance.
Princess Takamado and UPEI have a long history; 15 years ago she received an honorary doctorate from UPEI at a special convocation.
During the event, Princess Takamado renewed her title as Honorary International Patron of the L.M. Montgomery Institute. She then received a gift from Vivian MacDonald, L.M. Montgomery’s granddaughter. The gift was a platter from the Marco Polo, a Canadian-built ship known for being the fastest ship in the world in its time. The Marco Polo ran aground near PEI in 1883, an event which Montgomery wrote about.
Princess Takamado was also given an additional gift by the University’s Chancellor, the Hon. Catherine Callbeck, who was assisted by former University President Dr. Elizabeth Epperly.
The formal part of the event finished when after Princess Takamado received gifts from her hosts. The Princess then went on to meet students from Tsukuba University and Meiji Gakuin University, who are currently at UPEI to study English through the English Academic Preparation program.
Students were grateful to have the opportunity to meet Princess Takamado. One student, Tamami Sambongi of Tsukuba University, spoke about her feelings on the experience.
“It was a precious experience because I have never seen her in Japan, so this is excellent.”
Princess Takamado had a short stay, but UPEI was an important and memorable stop for her.