Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

About the Prince Asaka Family

The Prince Asaka Family was established in 1906 by Prince Yasuhiko, the eighth son of Prince Kuni Asahiko. In 1910, Prince Yasuhiko married Princess Nobuko, the eighth daughter of Emperor Meiji, and in 1921, was granted 33,000 square meters of imperial land in Shirokanedai by the emperor.

Prince Yasuhiko went to France to study military affairs in 1922, while he was serving at the Military Staff College. In April 1923, he was involved in a car accident in the suburbs of Paris, which forced him to extend his stay until 1925. He spent the years after the accident together with Princess Nobuko, who joined him in France to nurse him.

This was the golden age of Art Deco in France. In 1925, the International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts (commonly known as the Art Deco Exposition) was held in Paris. The Prince and the Princess attended this exposition on July 9th, accompanied by Paul Léon, the Director of Fine Arts.

Upon returning to Japan, the family settled into their former residence in Takanawa. Their plans to build a new home on the land in Shirokanedai began in 1929, and the Prince Asaka Residence, which incorporated the best of the styles of Art Deco, was completed in May 1933.

Regrettably, Princess Nobuko passed away in November of the year that the house was completed. Nevertheless, the residence continued to serve as the home for the Prince Asaka Family until the end of the Second World War. In October of 1947, the Prince renounced his membership in the imperial family, and now calling themselves simply the "Asaka Family," the family moved to Atami.

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