He was educated in Japan. He spent 10 years attending Gakushūin (Peers' School), from 1922-1932. When he began secondary school, his eldest brother had already succeed the throne and his other two elder brothers has already begun their carrrers in the Japanese Army and Japanese Navy. In 1932, he enrolled in the Imperial Japanese Army Academy and was subquently commissioned as a sub-lieutentant and assigned to the 5th Cavalry Regiment in June 1936. He was a graduate of the Army Staff College. In 1937, he was promoted to lieutenant and in 1939, to captain. During his army career, he was critial of the Japanese military's conduct in China, where he served for several years. He was later promoted to Commander, then served as a staff officer in the Army Section of the Imerperial General Headquarters, until Japan surrendered in August 1945. After the war, he spoke before the Privy Council, urging his brother, Emperor Hirohito to abdicate and take responsibility for his part in the war-his brother did not take his advice. After serving as a junior cavalry officer in the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, the prince embarked upon a post-war career as a scholar and part-time lecturer in Middle Eastern studies and Semitic languages.
When he reached the age of majority in 1935, Emperor Shōwa granted him the title Mikasa-no-miya (Prince Mikasa) and the authorization to form a new branch of the Imperial Family.
On 22 October 1941, Prince Mikasa married Yuriko Takagi (1923). Prince and Princess Mikasa had five children, of whom two are still living. In addition to their five children, they had nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren as of 2015:
- Yasuko Konoe (1944)
- Tadateru Konoe (m. 1966)
- Tadahiro Konoe (1970)
- Keiko Kuni (m. 2004, three children)
- Prince Tomohito of Mikasa (1946-2012)
- Nobuko Aso (1955, m. 1980)
- Princess Akiko of Mikasa (1981)
- Princess Yōko of Mikasa (1983)
- Yoshihito, Prince Katsura (1948-2014)
- Masako Sen (1951)
- Sōshitsu Sen (born 7 June 1956, m. 1983)
- Akifumi Kikuchi (1984)
- Makiko Sen (1987)
- Takafumi Sen (1990)
- Norihito, Prince Takamado (1954 -2002)
- Hisako Tottori (b. 1953, m. 1984-2002, his death)
- Princess Tsuguko (1986)
- Noriko Senge (1988)
- Kunimaro Senge (m. 2014)
- Princess Ayako (1990)
Prince Takahito of Mikasa died at the age of 100 on October 27, 2016. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.