Prince Yamashina Sadamaro

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Prince Yamashina Sadamaro was an imperial prince who King Kalakaua of Hawaii proposed should marry his niece, Princess Kaiulani, in order to forge closer ties between Japan and Hawaii. This proposal was ultimately rejected, in letters to Kalakaua from Foreign Minister Inoue Kaoru and from the Prince himself.

Prince Yamashina was fifteen years old at the time of Kalakaua's visit to Japan in 1881. On March 9 that year, Kalakaua took a tour of Japan's Naval Academy, where Prince Yamashina was a cadet in training. He served as the king's aide-de-camp for the day, accompanying him around the academy, Fukiage Gardens, and Military Barracks of the Guard. From Kalakaua's journals, it is clear that he developed a fondness and admiration for the young prince, who he described as "a lively young, very bright, intelligent and promising lad."

During a secret meeting with the Emperor, Kalakaua suggested the marriage of his niece Kaiulani (then six years old, roughly nine years the prince's junior) to Prince Yamashina, a suggestion the Japanese ultimately rejected. Eleven years later, the prince, now under the name Prince Komatsu, visited Hawaii briefly on October 30, 1893, while serving as a navy lieutenant on the naval cruiser Naniwa.[1]


  • Marumoto, Masaji. “Vignette of Early Hawaii-Japan Relations: Highlights of King Kalakaua’s Sojourn in Japan on His Trip around the World as Recorded in His Personal Diary,” Hawaiian Journal of History 10 (1976), 57-58.
  1. Franklin Odo and Kazuko Sinoto, A Pictorial History of the Japanese in Hawaii 1885-1924, Bishop Museum (1985), 17.