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Prince Takamatsu
 Prince Takamatsu, born in 1905, was the younger brother of Emperor Hirihito. He served as Governor of the Japan Art Association from 1929 until his death in 1987, and was a passionate supporter of the arts.

Now that eight volumes of his diary have been made public, it is well known that Prince Takamatsu worked for an early settlement of the hostilities in the war with the United States. After the war, when Japan had begun to develop economically, Prince Takamatsu declared that the way to achieve understanding was through the arts. It was this mentality that eventually led to the inauguration of the Praemium Imperiale and the Grant for Young Artists.

Princess Takamatsu, also known as Princess Kikuko, passed away on December 18, 2004. She was 92. Princess Takamatsu was the granddaughter of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last Shogun of Tokugawa shogunate. She committed herself to the public welfare services started by Prince Takamatsu, and to the anti-cancer campaign she established as the "Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund."
Princess Takamatsu was very happy to witness the establishment of the Praemium Imperiale in honor of her husband. She attended the awards ceremonies until 1996 and between 1991 to 1998, she invited the laureates and international advisors to her residence for lunch on the day following the awards ceremony. The warmth of Princess Takamatsu will be fondly remembered for many years to come.