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The Thames and I

A Memoir by Prince Naruhito of Two Years at Oxford

Naruhito Hugh Cortazzi

166 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Prior to becoming Crown Prince of Japan in 1989, following the death of his grandfather Emperor Showa, Prince Naruhito studied at Merton College, Oxford, from June 1983 to October 1985. His research topic was the River Thames as a commercial highway in the eighteenth century. This marked the first time that anyone in direct succession to the throne had ever studied outside Japan. In 1992, he published a record of his time at Oxford under the title Thames no tomo ni . The memoir, which includes a colour plate section incorporating photographs taken by the Prince, explores his daily life, studies and recreational experiences, including discovering beer and being banned from entering a disco because he was wearing jeans. The Thames and I is a remarkable record, not least because of its candour, but equally because it reveals the Crown Prince as an individual, including his personal charm and sense of humour. It will be of special interest to those wishing to know more about the future emperor of Japan.
Author Bio
Sir Hugh Cortazzi, GCMG, was British Ambassador to Japan 1980-1984 and Chairman of The Japan Society, London, 1985-1995. He has written extensively on Japan. His many books include Isles of Gold: Antique Maps of Japan (1983), The Japanese Achievement (1990) and his memoir Japan and Back and Places Elsewhere (1998). He compiled and edited seven volumes of Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits, most recently volume X (2016).