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  #381  
Old 08-18-2006, 09:35 PM
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I have yet to see a pic of Princess Kiko where she actually LOOKS pregnant. She just looks like she has clothes on that are way too big for her.
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  #382  
Old 08-18-2006, 09:36 PM
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On behalf of all men in the planet I apologize for all the trouble we are making because of our Y chromosome.

That said, anyone knows if there is a movement to liberate the royals from the cursed Imperial Household people that control their lives and mating rituals? Anyone from Japan (or that can read Japanese newspapers) knows of any attempt from the government to eliminate this group now that they have been exposed to so much bad publicity?

Although if that baby ends up being a girl (remember some of us thought Letizia would have a boy and Mary was going to have a girl?) that will certantly rock them off their chairs!
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  #383  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandria
Thanks again Emily.

It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me though: A son born to the happily married daughter of the Emperor and Empress is bypassed for a son born to a son of the Emperor and Empress and his concubine. Where is the reasoning in that?
It's the precious imperial Y chromosome, you see. They even had geneticists in on the discussion about the succession and what it would mean to let Aiko rule without just being a placeholder for a male cousin.

The really idiotic thing is that the imperial line is supposed to trace back to a female deity, so the imperial Y chromosome presumably didn't start with her.
  #384  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte1
Note here that this is extreme traditionalist thinking, on par with religious fundamentalism, most Japanese do not subscribe to this thinking. It's just the one that gets the most press as it's the most sensational, like religious fundamentalism.
Charlotte, do you mean to say that "extreme traditionalist thinking" is the whole Imperial Establishment, though? And if the Diet is a representative democracy --- why isn't more of the "thinking most Japanese subscribe to" being represented? I am not getting this. In America we have had a very vocal group of religious fundamentalists influencing politics for the past several years. But, as often happens, there is a backlash building right now to move things toward the center again. Why isn't this happening in Japan?
  #385  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:13 PM
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The Civil Service, to which a lot of these dinosaurs belong, isn't quite as dependent on public opinion as the politicians. And Japan has effectively been ruled by one party for a long time now, so the devil really is in the details.
  #386  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth
It's the precious imperial Y chromosome, you see. They even had geneticists in on the discussion about the succession and what it would mean to let Aiko rule without just being a placeholder for a male cousin.

The really idiotic thing is that the imperial line is supposed to trace back to a female deity, so the imperial Y chromosome presumably didn't start with her.
This week I was reading for the zillion time one of my favorite books, Titles, How the King Became His Majesty by LG Pine. The section on Indian titles mentions something that caught my interest because it brings to mind the ridiculous situation caused by the Y cromosome in Japan. India had many title holders passed from male to male but one, Travancore, where the kingship was passed in the female line. And that also brings to my mind another book I read years ago by the late Linda Scheele on the Mayas. She states in those ancient Maya Kingdoms kingship was matrilineal, the legacy of the mother was the one that counted. Cultures as ancient as Japan's decided that the female line is as acceptable as the male line.
So we go back to the recent root of this problem. The Japanese constitution was influenced by extremely chauvinistic ideas of those who won WW II, like McArthur. Who would have thought in the post war era imposing a foreign nation of another nation's viewpoint would have created this problem we see today with the sucesion to the Japanese throne.
  #387  
Old 08-19-2006, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily
Charlotte, do you mean to say that "extreme traditionalist thinking" is the whole Imperial Establishment, though? And if the Diet is a representative democracy --- why isn't more of the "thinking most Japanese subscribe to" being represented? I am not getting this. In America we have had a very vocal group of religious fundamentalists influencing politics for the past several years. But, as often happens, there is a backlash building right now to move things toward the center again. Why isn't this happening in Japan?
Japan does have a minority and quite extreme right wing power group, they seem to be the ones most quoted by foreign media, especially over things like the female sucession. Japanese people themselves though, culturally are not protestors, to create a scene or be critical is 'not the Japanese way'. That's why when Naruhito went public with his complaints of the pressure Masako had been under it caused such a sensation. Not what he said, I think most Japanese would have been well aware how tradition bound and difficult life was for her as part of the Imperial Family, but rather that he made it public. Westerners, particularly from cultures that have a strong sense of protest against governments and policies they don't agree with do find it difficult to understand the Japanese way of just accepting, rather than protesting to change. To create a scene or 'get loud' as one of my Japanese friends said is just about the worst thing you can do.
Also caught up in this, is the importance Japanese place on tradition. While, particularly young Japanese see the Imperial Family as irrelevant there's still the sense that 'that's the way it is, that's our tradition' It's the Japanese way. It's the foreign journalists in Japan that write articles about the relevance of the monarchy and should Japan retain their monarchy, for the Japanese ( and Japanese media) it's a non-issue. It's tradition, you don't mess with tradition. So while young women would state they wouldn't wish Masako's life ( or Kiko's for that matter) on their worst enemy they're not really going to vote through parliament for a huge change. Demographically too Japan is top heavy with older people, there are fewer younger people, last year for the first time the birthrate dropped below the deathrate. Older people are more conservative, and place a greater importance on tradition and the status quo.
  #388  
Old 08-19-2006, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo
That said, anyone knows if there is a movement to liberate the royals from the cursed Imperial Household people that control their lives and mating rituals? Anyone from Japan (or that can read Japanese newspapers) knows of any attempt from the government to eliminate this group now that they have been exposed to so much bad publicity?

There's no real movement in Japan to reform the IHA, but please realise that they are just a huge bureacracy that is very traditional bound to serve an extremely traditional institution. Change happens very slowly in Japan, and it doesn't happen through criticism. The Imperial Family members aren't totally helpless the crown prince couple recently appointed a new head of household who was a former diplomat with Masako's father. Bad publicity is in the foreign press, there is a different cultural value system at play. Some Japanese that I've spoken too about the whole bad press sitution are very dismissive of the sensational reporting of the foreign media. All that evil IHA stuff, Masako as the 'broken butterfly' to them it's not all that accurate and shows a total lack of understanding of Japanese institutions. Very emotive and not necessarily accurate, there's a lot of selective misquotation. The one that's the most glaringly obvious is the statement by Prince Tomohito. The first part which is always quoted "the crown prince could take a concubine" the end of the sentence which is not "but in this day and age that's socially unaccetable".
  #389  
Old 08-19-2006, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily
And with ultrasound having been done to determine placenta previa, surely the Dr. knows.
It's not so easy. If you do ultrasound and you see the penis of the baby boy, then it's clear, it's a boy. But if you don't see his penis, it doesn't mean it's a girl because it could be that the sign of the baby's maleness is just hidden. That's why here in Germany, a lot of gynacologists offer the possibility to film the ultrasound results over hours till you get the movement that exposes the signs of the gender....
  #390  
Old 08-19-2006, 03:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte1
The Imperial Family members aren't totally helpless the crown prince couple recently appointed a new head of household who was a former diplomat with Masako's father.
I got the impression that it is mostly the emperor who is behind the situation. Masako was chosen by his son out of love, I bet the emperor would have preferred another daughter-in-law. I guess they tried to remodel her into the "typical" princess but failed while Masako realized that because of the way she is she is never going to be really accepted by her in-laws.

Especially no without delivering a boy! IMHO there is enough psychological material there to crash any family, not only the so strictly traditional Japanese Imperial one. And once Masako was ill, there was no way of her becoming mother again as the medication against depression does not allow for a pregnancy.
  #391  
Old 08-19-2006, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine
I got the impression that it is mostly the emperor who is behind the situation. Masako was chosen by his son out of love, I bet the emperor would have preferred another daughter-in-law.
No, the Emperor is very much the non interferring father ( and Emperor). Plus Akihito himself went through a tough time when he wanted to marry Michiko. There was a very strong backlash to him wanting to marry a commoner. Led quite strongly by his own mother the Empress Nagako ( who then ended up as the interferring Mother in law from hell) Empress Nagako wanted Akihito to marry a woman from one of the disenfranchised noble families, there wasn't a specific one, the requirement was just that she was noble. Akihito held out and was allowed to marry Michiko, so he of all people would understand marrying for love and fighting to be allowed to marry that person. ( To this day it's cute to see Akihito and Michiko together as they're obviously still a close couple) Akihito in his birthday interview after Naruhito's outburst, said that wasn't aware of how difficult Masako was finding her situation as he separated the crown prince couple's household from that of the emperor's ( probably because of his own experience of interfering parents making life tough!) The 2 households were totally separate and run separately, they are physically separate too. Different parts of Tokyo. While it seems amazing that that Akihito had such little impact on the crown prince couple, this was as he wanted them to get on with things with no interference or input from him. They would meet for official events and family occasions and that was it.
  #392  
Old 08-19-2006, 11:52 AM
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Is there any English translation of that book? The "Princess Masako-Imprisoned Butterfly" one?
  #393  
Old 08-19-2006, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine
It's not so easy. If you do ultrasound and you see the penis of the baby boy, then it's clear, it's a boy. But if you don't see his penis, it doesn't mean it's a girl because it could be that the sign of the baby's maleness is just hidden. That's why here in Germany, a lot of gynacologists offer the possibility to film the ultrasound results over hours till you get the movement that exposes the signs of the gender....
My friend is now in her 21st week of pregnancy. She and her husband both wanted to know the sex of their baby. She was told that if the sex of the baby couldn't be determined during the routine ultrasound of her 18th week, then she could do a second more advanced ultrasound, which is a 3D ultrasound. You have to pay a little bit more but you can see things more clearly. I don't know if such equipment is available in Japan, but if it were and someone wanted to know enough, it could be performed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo
On behalf of all men in the planet I apologize for all the trouble we are making because of our Y chromosome.
Very funny Toledo! If only the IHA were so humble about that Y chromosome!
  #394  
Old 08-20-2006, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SyberiaWinx
Is there any English translation of that book? The "Princess Masako-Imprisoned Butterfly" one?
It was written in English for an English reading audience. It's called "Masako, the broken butterfly"
  #395  
Old 08-20-2006, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine
It's not so easy. If you do ultrasound and you see the penis of the baby boy, then it's clear, it's a boy. But if you don't see his penis, it doesn't mean it's a girl because it could be that the sign of the baby's maleness is just hidden. That's why here in Germany, a lot of gynacologists offer the possibility to film the ultrasound results over hours till you get the movement that exposes the signs of the gender....
There are other tests that can be done earlier in pregnancy than ultrasound which are considerably more accurate. There are also ways to pretty much ensure ahead of time that the baby is a boy (or girl, if you want a girl) - google on "gender selection". We don't know that those methods were resorted to, but considering that this pregnancy seemed to have been all about providing a male heir, it would be highly surprising if it were being left to chance.
  #396  
Old 08-20-2006, 02:10 AM
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well, i'm kinda hoping that the baby would be a boy so that kiko won't undergo the same kind of potential blackash that masako went through and that this whole succession issue would be settled.
  #397  
Old 08-20-2006, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth
There are other tests that can be done earlier in pregnancy than ultrasound which are considerably more accurate. There are also ways to pretty much ensure ahead of time that the baby is a boy (or girl, if you want a girl) - google on "gender selection". We don't know that those methods were resorted to, but considering that this pregnancy seemed to have been all about providing a male heir, it would be highly surprising if it were being left to chance.
But aren't these methods much more risky for the mother and the child? Apart from IVF, that is?
  #398  
Old 08-20-2006, 11:42 AM
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Well, yes, they're more risky, but in this particular case they're playing for high stakes. I mean, there aren't all that many people who would agree that this pregnancy has nothing whatever to do with needing to produce a boy. The other thing is that because of Princess Kiko's age, the chances are that she'd be having some of these tests anyway to check that there were no congenital problems with the foetus, so doing the gender check at the same time wouldn't increase the risks, assuming they hadn't done pre-implantation gender selection where they knew what gender the child would be before the pregnancy ever got going.

I realise this is getting into the realms of speculation, but if it was that important to Akishino, Kiko, the Emperor and Empress, and the IHA for Kiko to have a son, then the risk to a given pregnancy wouldn't be that important because if she lost the baby or it was found that she was carrying a girl, they could start over. It doesn't seem as though this is one of those happy accidents which sometimes happen to women around 40 who thought their child-bearing years were over; the timing of this pregnancy suggests that it was planned to the nth degree.
  #399  
Old 08-24-2006, 11:34 AM
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I'm not accusing anyone and I'm not trying to be mean but I am tired of post after post of seeming venom toward the prospect of Kiko having a boy and some criticism of her and her husband for trying for a son and heir for their country's throne. While this pregnancy might not have happened naturally, neither did Masako's. She only managed to have one child six years into her marriage (with help) and she and Naruhito have not produced a son which is required under that country's constitution. I'm not criticising her or Naruhito but that's just the way it is. And though it may not be right for females to be excluded from the line of succession that's the way it is in Japan right now.

I know that everytime I bring up the exclusion of Catholics regarding the British Royal Family I am promptly smacked down and reminded of the British constitution, the Act of Settlement, 1701 and on and on. Why can't people just accept that Kiko might have a son which would make her the mother of the heir to her country's throne and be happy for her? She has carried out her duties in this very conservative royal family for 16 years and still looks radiant, beautiful and happy with her life and family. Why can't we just be happy for her and her family?
  #400  
Old 08-24-2006, 12:06 PM
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Well, if you look at the threads about the Catholic exclusion in the UK, you'll see several posters complaining about religious discrimination and advocating that the law be changed (seeing as I'm one of the posters who does this, I know it's happening!). It's just really sad, seeing these princesses reduced to this sort of practically forced breeding because of the combination of the male-only tradition in Japan and the severe pruning of the imperial family after the war.

I think the reason that people are critical of Prince Akishino is that he publicly opposed his brother when the Crown Prince tried to stand up for his wife. Then Akishino's wife falls pregnant after 11 years. It seems more like manoeuvring for favour at court than anything.
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