What could explain the sudden return of a smiling Prince Harry that we knew from his recent solo tour of Japan and Singapore?
Was he happy with the brief release from family obligations that the trip afforded?
Has the warmth of the reception he received dispelled the dark clouds that so often seem to hover around the Duke of Sussex?
Or maybe it’s the influence of the new-age guru who welcomed Harry to Japan: wealthy philanthropist, golfer and sometimes bandleader Haruhisa Handa, 72.
Dr. Handa, who runs more than a dozen businesses, is said to have made a fortune publishing more than 220 self-help books and even founded his own religion.
Dr Haruhisa Handa, 72, who runs more than a dozen businesses, is the multi-millionaire philanthropist who hosted Prince Harry’s visit to Japan
The Duke of Sussex, 38, was greeted on stage by ISPS founder Handa during the ISPS (International Sports Promotion Society) Sporting Values Summit on Wednesday August 9.
The Duke of Sussex is greeted by Haruhisa Handa in Tokyo last week
Beyond his callings as a priest as an operatic baritone, Dr. Handa claims to be a ballet dancer and calligraphy artist, as well as an actor, golfer and poet who has exhibited works of art at the British Museum.
He would be honorary consul in Cambodia.
Prince Harry isn’t Handa’s only royal connection. The multi-millionaire philanthropist has long-standing ties to the British royal family.
Prince William hosted Dr Handa at Kensington Palace in May 2019 thanks to the philanthropist’s role as the founder of ISPS Handa, an organization that sponsors sporting events.
Created in 2006, it aims to harness the “transformative power of sport across the world”.
Princess Anne’s daughter and former Olympic rider, Zara Phillips, along with her former husband, former England rugby captain Mike Tindall and his brother Peter Phillips are all ISPS Handa Ambassadors.
Dr Handa, who also uses the names Toshu Fukami and Toto Ami, was even received at Buckingham Palace in 2010 by Prince Andrew, according to the court circular.
The Duke of York gave him a dinner in January 2011 to honor Dr Handa’s role as Chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture.
Dr. Handa was not without controversy, however.
In 1994, his religious community, then known as Mighty Cosmo Mate, was referred to prosecutors over allegations that it failed to report approximately $50 million in income.
And in October of the same year, he settled out of court two complaints of sexual harassment brought by female followers.
Harry appeared delighted, recognizing the crowd as he was greeted by Dr Handa
Dr Handa is believed to have earned a fortune publishing hundreds of self-help books
The eccentric New Age guru has also faced two civil lawsuits for allegedly extracting money from donations in exchange for a claimed cure. In the end, the government never proved any wrongdoing.
Prince Harry was in Southeast Asia to take part in his Sentebale Polo Cup, sponsored by ISPS Handa, to benefit young people in South Africa.
The Prince also took part in a panel discussion with former New Zealand rugby player Dan Carter, ISPS Handa Ambassador.
Dr. Handa’s self-help DVDs, lucky gifts, and salvation books preach how happiness can be found through spiritual and material prosperity, and his Shinto-based religion called World Mate counts up to 50,000 followers.
He is reported to have written in one of his recent books: “Good luck comes to you from the stars of the universe.
Handa has been described as “one of Japan’s most fascinating and alluring figures” by Forbes magazine.
Another entry promises his followers: “The stars also have a spiritual world, from which power is sent. I will teach you how to get it, a secret that you can possess lucky star power.’
Handa likes advertising. He once posted a photo of himself in the center of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper.
He even conducted a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, although the effect is unclear.
The Guardian reviewer described an appearance made by Handa at a concert in St John’s Smith Square, Westminster, as “the worst musical performance I have ever heard in public”.
Forbes magazine described him as “one of Japan’s most fascinating and alluring figures”.
In addition to his work with ISPS, Handa is also the founder of the Japan Blind Golf Association, Chancellor and Professor at the University of Cambodia and Zhejiang Gongshang University.