Charlotte, I have never said that I can give absolute evidence for Kiko´s unhappiness. But this was and is my impression for which I have named the reasons in this forum. And those reasons consist of more than just my interpretation of official pictures of the Akishino couple as you will have noticed. I admit, though, that these pictures definitely make an important part. Concerning this, I do not think that the fact that the IHA is in control of the publication of pictures can be made accountable for my impression of Kiko presently being unhappy. The pictures of young princess Kiko and of the rest of the family have also been released by the IHA and there I do not receive the impression of unhappiness, not even from Masako who is or has been on one hand certainly and obviously weakened and depressed but - as far as I can see - not in relation to her husband.
However, you have, of course, the right to have and to express your own opinion. I would only ask you to express it in a way that shows that you respect my right to do the same. Maybe you are speaking your mind so vehemently now because you have been silent for too long a time? After all, this has by far not been the first time for me to explain what I think about princess Kiko´s state of mind.
If that should be the case I would prefer you to express your disagreement earlier and more often if you wish but then in a way that would render it unnecessary for you to start with: Sorry but
We all from time to time have to apologize afterwards for what we have said as none of us is infallible. But what sense does it make to be sorry in advance and still insist on saying it that way? Dumbledore has justly remarked that when people start with something like: I do not want to be uncivil but
they are usually very unfortunate in realizing their purpose and continue shockingly often by saying something that sounds pretty impolite
I have always appreciated your very informed postings, and I have always admired your obviously abundant knowledge concerning the imperial family and Japan in general. If possible, I would wish for the future that if we happen again to not have the same information and/or opinion we could come to terms about it in a more peaceful way independent from the question if the reason for our information not matching turns out to be that one of us has indeed committed an error which can always happen or if it should be so that we got our information from sources that contradict each other.
However, concerning the length of Kiko´s stay abroad, you are indeed right to a great extent. I have checked the facts and see that I have been misled partly by the many pictures of Kiko at Gakushuin university (whereas Masako has never attended a Japanese university). I certainly knew that Kiko is fluent in English and German and of her daughter´s visit in Austria but I somehow had received the impression that she had come back to Japan when still a child and then had stayed there. This is indeed not true. She spent her preschool days in the United States when her father received a PhD in Regional Economy from the University of Pennsylvania and later taught there. Princess Kiko also attended elementary and high school in Vienna, Austria, when her father became the chief researcher at The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, where he studied spatial science and NGO activities. Princess Akishino - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I have to admit that here I have bought into the IHA propaganda of Masako could not adjust to the ways of the imperial family as she has been living abroad for too long a time and has in consequence become unjapanese, and Kiko was able to adjust perfectly as she has passed most of her life in Japan as it should be. without checking the facts. But I would still insist on the view that it makes a difference if a woman has been living abroad as an a.dult and by herself which Masako has done, at Harvard and in Oxford, and Kiko has not. Masako´s father had even advised his daughter to better stay in the US and work there which would have been easy, coming from Harvard. She had already received several very tempting employment offers from leading banks and investment corporations. As far as we know Kiko, in her turn, has never considered such a perspective for herself. So, for these reasons I still think that Masako would, even nowadays, have better chances to find satisfying work abroad than Kiko.
Concerning the contact of women who marry into the imperial family with their parents I insist on what I have said. (I am expressly NOT talking here about princesses who become commoners there is a big difference, as far as I am informed: Sayako Kuroda (Princess Sayako): Current Events
Sayako Kuroda (Princess Sayako): Current Events
In 2003, Masako went with Aiko to visit her parents´ home for a day (going back to the palace in the evening) FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER NINE YEARS. And that probably only because she was already feeling unwell: In the same year, on the 2nd December 2003, she broke down and was diagnosed with herpes zoster. A German book about Crown Princess Masako
It is true that, as an extraordinary exception, she was allowed in 2004 to stay four weeks with her parents because her health had not ameliorated and the doctors had recommended her to pass some time with her family in a quiet place. The ailing princess received great benefit from this stay and, after a while, showed first signs of recovery but then the IHA decided that the vacation had been lasting long enough. And, indeed, for a Japanese vacation it had been enormously long only that it had not been meant as a vacation but as a sort of medical treatment. And as such it had been much too short to have any lasting effects: Back home in the palace the princess soon got apathetic again. And it was this what finally alarmed her husband to such a degree that he decided to call publicly for help for his sick wife. A German book about Crown Princess Masako
This is the information I have got from the book by Martin Fritz and Yoko Kobayashi that I have summarized. If you have information that contradicts it please name your source.
Concerning what you say about divorce in Japan (women who are not at fault get custody of their children) I am not sure what you want to say by that in the present context. Can you really see it happening - under any circumstances - that an imperial princess gets a divorce, with her husband being seen to be at fault, that she accordingly gets the custody of her children and walks away with them, among them the only male heir to the chrysanthemum throne in the youngest generation? Or, if not, what is it that you want to say?
Maybe I have to add that if I am calling Kiko´s situation difficult I am not at all talking about Japanese women in general.