Prince Komatsunomiya Akihito made a great contribution to the modernization of Japan. After the samurai government ruled by Tokugawa Shogun's Family, the modern government under the Emperor Meiji started in the second half of the 19th century. Komatsunomiya introduced the policy of European monarchies, that the Imperial family should perform military duties as a high-ranking officer, and he actually stood on the battlefields on his initiative. He finally was promoted to a general of the army. On behalf of the Emperor Meiji, he attended the coronation of Edward the Seventh of the UK in1902, thereafter he took office as a president of Japanese Red Cross Society, and other major social welfare organizations in his twilight years. Most members of the Imperial Family work as an honorary president of welfare organizations now, because the foundation of which was formed by him about 100 years ago.
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