Thursday, November 10 1921: Crown Prince Hirohito played golf with his aides at Shinjuku

Prince Hirohito watches his ball after his drive at the Tokyo Golf Club, Tokyo, Japan, August 16, 1926. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

On Thursday, November 10, 1921, Crown Prince Hirohito played golf with his aides at Shinjuku Gyoen. The Emperor Showa Jitsuroku mentions the following in the article of May 9 of the previous year, 1920. He seems to have deepened his interest in golf since he turned 19.

May 9 , 1920 (Taisho 9)
At 10:00 AM, the Emperor visits the Odemon Gate and the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden to play golf. 3:45 PM returned to the temple. Around this time, the Crown Prince became more interested in golf and often practiced it during breaks and after school at the Gogakumonjo.
During his European tour in 1920, Prince Hirohito played golf with members of the local royal family. After returning to Japan, I started to play golf very often.

September 29, 1921 (Taisho 10)
In the afternoon, he went to Sengokuhara Golf Course and played golf with Saionji and Matsudaira, who were both Shikibukan (officials of the Ministry of Ceremonial). After a night stay, he saw a photograph taken by Shikibukan SAIONJI during his tour to Europe, and had a chat with both of them.


October 1, 1921 (Taisho 10)
At 9:30 AM at the Odemon Gate and Sengokuhara Golf Course, a golf game will be held with Shikibukan (officials of the Ministry of Ceremonial) Hachiro SAIONJI and Togu Jiju (chamberlain of the Crown Prince) Kanroji. Although it could be continued in the afternoon, it was cancelled due to fog and rain, and the train will depart at 3:15 PM.


October 11, 1921 (Taisho 10)
In the afternoon, he goes to Shinjuku Gyoen and plays golf.


November 6, 1921 (Taisho 10)
The plan of Onori to go to Shimoshinhama hunting ground in Chiba Prefecture was canceled. In the morning, he spent time walking around the garden and practicing golf, and after that, he heard about former Prime Minister Takashi Hara and the political situation from Arata HAMAO, who was the Togu no daibu (Master of the Crown Prince’s Household).


November 10, 1921 (Taisho 10)
At 10:00 AM, he had an audience with Kazutsugu INOUE, Major General of the Army, a former military attache to the U.S. Embassy, and listened to a lecture on the U.S. situation. He was granted an audience with Nobuyuki ABE, a newly appointed colonel of artillery in the army, who was Goyogakari (a general affairs official of the Crown Prince’s Household) of the Crown Prince’s Household. At 0:30 PM, he went to the exit gate and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden to play golf with Tamemori IRIE, the Grand Chamberlain of the Crown Prince, Taketsugu NARA, the Chief Military Officer of the Crown Prince and others. 4:10: Returned to the Togu Imperial Palace. He sent Motoyoshi MIBU, a military officer of the Crown Prince’s palace, to Chiba Prefecture, the site of the maneuvering exercise of the Imperial Guard Division. Mibu left that day and returned to Kyoto on the 12th.


December 4, 1921 (Taisho 10)
In the afternoon, he went to Shinjuku Gyoen (Imperial Garden) for a visit, and played golf against Yoshitami MATSUDAIRA, Shikibukan (official of the Ministry of Ceremonial), Nagataka KURODA, Jiju (chamberlain), Torahiko OSAKO, a former Togu-shoku official, and Naokuni MATSUDAIRA. At 4:10 PM, he returned to the Togu Imperial Palace.


December 9, 1921 (Taisho 10)
9:00 AM: Go to Odemon Gate, Tokyo Golf Club Komazawa Golf Course. At the entrance, they were welcomed by Hachiro SAIONJI, the first Togu-shoku Goyogakari (a general affairs official of the Crown Prince’s Household), Yoshitami MATSUDAIRA, the Shikibu-kan officer, Nagataka KURODA, the chamberlain, and more than a dozen members of the club. In the morning, the teams of Crown Prince Hajime KAWASAKI and Zenzaburo TANAKA played the game, and after all nine holes, the match ended after four holes. He had lunch at the club house from noon, and had a table with members of the club such as Nobuaki MAKINO, Aisuke KABAYAMA, Yoshihiro TAKAGI, Yoshihisa TOKUGAWA, Mitsuaki OTANI, Hajime KAWASAKI, and Zenzaburo TANAKA. In the afternoon, a match was held against Ichizaemon MORIMURA, and after nine holes, they were neck and neck and played on the first and ninth holes. After the performance, he had an audience with the British Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Charles ELLIOT and Secretary C.J. DAVITSON, and at 3:30 PM he left home.


After marrying Princess Yoshiko, they often played golf together. At that time, golf and tennis, which were becoming popular among the upper class in Japan, were adopted into their lives, and the two of them devoted considerable time to sports.

When the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out due 12 to the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937, Emperor Showa stopped playing golf out of consideration for the people around him. After that, he did not play tennis, and even visited the Institute of Biology in the Imperial Palace. After the war, tennis and biology were reunited, but he stopped playing golf and never held a club again.

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