FUKUOKA -- Japan's Prince Hisahito, 14, son of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, was awarded a second-place prize in the junior high student division of the "12th Children's Nonfiction Literature Awards," the government of host city Kitakyushu announced on March 12.
According to the city and the Imperial Household Agency, Prince Hisahito, a second-year student at Ochanomizu University Junior High School in Tokyo, wrote an essay titled "Visiting the Ogasawara Islands," as part of his summer vacation homework. The essay was submitted for consideration by his school.
In the work, Prince Hisahito gave an account of his encounters with the Ogasawara Islands' rich natural environment during his 2017 trip there with his mother, when he was a primary school fifth-grader, as well as subsequent interactions with locals. The essay, on 400-character manuscript paper, ran to 19 pages.
The Kitakyushu literature award was established in 2009. For academic 2020, the awards' 12th edition, 260 works were submitted to the primary school division and 97 to the junior high school section, from both in and outside Japan. Children's author Masamoto Nasu, nonfiction writer Hazuki Saisho, and actor and writer Lily Franky serve on the selection committee.
The grand prize was awarded to a fifth-grade elementary school student residing in Germany, for a work titled "My familienbaum (family tree)," and Kazushi Heike, a second-year student at Tama municipal Suwa Junior High School in Tokyo, for a work titled "An encouragement for funerals."
Prince Hisahito plans to attend an online award ceremony on March 20, according to the Kitakyushu Municipal Government.
(Japanese original by Shotaro Asano and Kazuhito Ito, Kyushu News Department)