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  #21  
Old 06-26-2018, 05:16 PM
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Wow, that's quickly.

Poor Mako was dating her groom to be for years and years and had to postpone her engagement and wedding (never to take place?) and now this second cousin meets someone who is apparently approved by the court very easily and is getting married at about the time she was supposed to be married.

It's quite hard to understand how status is far more important than anything else regarding the marriages of imperial princesses especially since they loose their status by marrying. It seems a rather cruel system.
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  #22  
Old 06-27-2018, 03:22 AM
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I didn't sense disapproval until Mrs. Komuro's financial dispute surfaced. The IHA released a schedule of events and secured a location. Part of me feels Mako/Akishino family caved quickly but who knows the truth? It is awkward Mako's marriage is postponed for 2 years due to "important upcoming events/lack of preparation" while Ayako's is scheduled in a few months. So far, it seems major Japanese media have been kind enough to gloss over Mako's delay. I did see some chuckles on Japanese tweets that "Ayako's getting married before Mako" or "Poor Tsuguko...still single." Some are praising Princess Hisako's matchmaking skills or lamenting Ayako's absence from next year's abdication/enthronement events. One commentator is a downer, saying it's pretty bad timing for a wedding with many Imperial events coming up.

On June 27th, Princesses Hisako and Ayako visited Prince Takamado and Prince Mikasa's graves at Toshima Oka cemetery in the morning. She bowed from the car to well-wishers. Meanwhile, the media followed Kei Moriya to work around 7am. Poor guy was nervous.

Video/article: news24.jp, NHK

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
[...] How is the wedding venue decided? I'm curious about why Ayako will marry at the Meiji Shrine whereas Mako was supposed to marry at the Imperial Hotel.
I'm curious as well. Meiji Shrine is rather public, it's open daily. Some structures have different hours or limit photography. When I visited Meiji Shrine in 2016, I saw at least two weddings taking place. One wedding was in progress, the procession weaving through a courtyard. Another couple was done and taking wedding photographs in a corner. Staff and police kept tourists and on-lookers at a respectful distance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlota View Post
very excited for ayako and her dashing husband to be! were there official pictures when noriko got engaged? now there is only tsuguko left, i am sure we will hear of the good news soon!
Yes, the IHA released photos when announcing Princess Noriko's engagement in 2014:
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/graph/mainic.../image/001.jpg
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/graph/mainic.../image/002.jpg
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/graph/mainic.../image/003.jpg
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  #23  
Old 06-27-2018, 04:15 AM
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Is it possible this is an arranged marriage? It's so fast for such a conservative institution and on the heels of the Mako strangeness.

If it's true love I am happy for them, of course.
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  #24  
Old 06-27-2018, 05:45 AM
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I always felt that the postponement of Mako's wedding because of the abdication seemed like a to good of an excuse but if it wasn't we have to remember that she, God willing, will be the daughter and sister of emperors not a distant cousin like Ayako.
To me there's some possibilities:
1. IHA didn't like her future hubby and were grabbing at straws to find an excuse to postpone the marriage.
2. IHA knew there was something fishy with said hubby's family and wanted some time to let it either blow over or become public.
3. Mako herself felt that it was her duty to attend the abdication and enthronement ceremonies as an Imperial princess. She's always seemed very aware (in a good way) of her station and responsibilities.
4. The Imperial family wanted more time to persuade the government to allow for the granddaughter's of the Emperor to remain in the Imperial family after marriage.

To tie it all together before the mods hang me for going to much off topic - there's definitely a difference in the two marriages because of status and family bonds to the current and the three future emperors.
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  #25  
Old 06-27-2018, 06:14 PM
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I have a feeling it’s not a coincidence that the only two princesses of the younger generation to marry without issues are Hisako’s daughters. I would guess she is close to her daughters and talks to them about their wishes and plans for marriage and introduces them to suitable men. That way there are no unexpected family secrets or other problems arising.
I imagine if the princesses had met someone on their own there would be a background check and the marriages would still be approved, but if they were single and looking then introductions from their mother might be a good way to meet eligible men.

BTW, does Noriko have children?
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  #26  
Old 06-27-2018, 06:21 PM
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Noriko has no children.
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  #27  
Old 06-27-2018, 06:58 PM
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From what do you know that?
She is an ordinary Japanese citizen know and the Imperial Court doesn't have an obligation to announce the births of her children.
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  #28  
Old 06-27-2018, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
I didn't sense disapproval until Mrs. Komuro's financial dispute surfaced. The IHA released a schedule of events and secured a location. Part of me feels Mako/Akishino family caved quickly but who knows the truth? It is awkward Mako's marriage is postponed for 2 years due to "important upcoming events/lack of preparation" while Ayako's is scheduled in a few months. So far, it seems major Japanese media have been kind enough to gloss over Mako's delay. I did see some chuckles on Japanese tweets that "Ayako's getting married before Mako" or "Poor Tsuguko...still single." Some are praising Princess Hisako's matchmaking skills or lamenting Ayako's absence from next year's abdication/enthronement events. One commentator is a downer, saying it's pretty bad timing for a wedding with many Imperial events coming up.

On June 27th, Princesses Hisako and Ayako visited Prince Takamado and Prince Mikasa's graves at Toshima Oka cemetery in the morning. She bowed from the car to well-wishers. Meanwhile, the media followed Kei Moriya to work around 7am. Poor guy was nervous.

Video/article: news24.jp, NHK

Getty Images

[...]
Thank you for the rundown of the comments. The media's uncritical coverage of Mako's delay is a positive indication for Kei Komuro, I feel. It's happily surprising to see that some members of the public value the service of the minor royals, and that even Ayako's fiancé is being followed in the news coverage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Larisa View Post
I have a feeling it’s not a coincidence that the only two princesses of the younger generation to marry without issues are Hisako’s daughters. I would guess she is close to her daughters and talks to them about their wishes and plans for marriage and introduces them to suitable men. That way there are no unexpected family secrets or other problems arising.
I imagine if the princesses had met someone on their own there would be a background check and the marriages would still be approved, but if they were single and looking then introductions from their mother might be a good way to meet eligible men.
Under the circumstances, that would be a clever strategy on Princess Hisako's side. But it's quite ironic that the daughters of the most casual branch of the imperial family found grooms from "suitable" leading families and decided to be married at Shinto shrines, whereas the daughter of the couple who thrilled traditionalists by maintaining the male-only succession is engaged to a man from a middle-class family background.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JR76 View Post
I always felt that the postponement of Mako's wedding because of the abdication seemed like a to good of an excuse but if it wasn't we have to remember that she, God willing, will be the daughter and sister of emperors not a distant cousin like Ayako.
To me there's some possibilities:
1. IHA didn't like her future hubby and were grabbing at straws to find an excuse to postpone the marriage.
2. IHA knew there was something fishy with said hubby's family and wanted some time to let it either blow over or become public.
3. Mako herself felt that it was her duty to attend the abdication and enthronement ceremonies as an Imperial princess. She's always seemed very aware (in a good way) of her station and responsibilities.
4. The Imperial family wanted more time to persuade the government to allow for the granddaughter's of the Emperor to remain in the Imperial family after marriage.

To tie it all together before the mods hang me for going to much off topic - there's definitely a difference in the two marriages because of status and family bonds to the current and the three future emperors.
The official excuse and possibility 3 can be excluded based on the embarrassment to the IHA and the imperial family resulting from the postponement and the pain on Mako's visage when she was pictured leaving the palace on the day of (the day after?) the postponement announcement. I would also exclude possibility 4 considering the present PM's uncompromising defense of the male line limitations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Kei Moriya’s father Osamu (62) was the former Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. His mother Kimie was a senior director at KnK International "Children without Borders." She became ill while visiting Cambodia for the organization in July 2015 and died after transferring to Thailand. Kei succeeded his mother's position at KnK this March.

Princess Hisako is also acquainted with Osamu Moriya as he was in London in 1975 when she studied aboard at Cambridge University.

Kei spent his kindergarten period in Paris and also studied abroad at Oxford University while enrolled at Keio University. He lives with his father and grandmother. He's been working for NYK since 2009, where he's in charge of wood chip transportation, and was featured that year in the company newsletter. A colleague says Kei is proficient in English and believes he’ll be a serious and good husband like his work.

Media began gathering at Moriya's apartment building in the afternoon; they waited several hours as Kei returned home after 9:30pm. He didn’t say much, thanked the crowds and media’s “congratulations” and bowed.

Cello instructor Yoshihiko Terada was among those congratulating the couple. In August 1993, Mr. Terada began giving cello lessons to Prince Takamado who wanted to start learning before turning 40. While her sisters Tsuguko and Noriko selected violin and piano, Ayako wanted to learn after listening to her father's cello sessions. Mr. Terada remembers Ayako practicing hard in front of a large mirror in a reception room at the Takamado residence. She was serious from a young age.

When Prince Takamado suddenly passed away in November 2002, Mr. Terada and Princess Ayako played cello in front of his coffin before the general viewing. She continued cello lessons until university.

Sources: Sankei, Sankei 2, Mainichi, Jiji, Jiji 2

The photos released by the IHA were taken on May 17 (Ayako) and June 9 (Kei):
http://www.sankei.com/images/news/18...6260035-p2.jpg
http://www.sankei.com/images/news/18...6260035-p3.jpg

Kei Moriya greeting media on June 26:
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027476176.jpg
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027476497.jpg

ETA: Photos of Kei visiting Cambodia and silk garment workers in January 2016: Jiji, Asahi
Given his background, I would speculate that Kei Moriya shares Ayako's interest in travel. It was kind of her cello instructor to come and congratulate her.
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  #29  
Old 06-28-2018, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Thank you for the rundown of the comments. The media's uncritical coverage of Mako's delay is a positive indication for Kei Komuro, I feel. It's happily surprising to see that some members of the public value the service of the minor royals, and that even Ayako's fiancé is being followed in the news coverage.
Such a drama, though. Mystery. Poor kid. Especially to have October be the marriage of a relative and not her. Almost could look like a deliberate slap. Is that in the realm of possibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Under the circumstances, that would be a clever strategy on Princess Hisako's side. But it's quite ironic that the daughters of the most casual branch of the imperial family found grooms from "suitable" leading families and decided to be married at Shinto shrines, whereas the daughter of the couple who thrilled traditionalists by maintaining the male-only succession is engaged to a man from a middle-class family background.
With the excessively long delay might they be hoping to estrange the couple, I wonder. I'm sure this has been discussed thoroughly, but with this new wrinkle the delay looks odder and odder (imo).
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  #30  
Old 06-28-2018, 04:26 AM
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Correction: Kei's father Osamu Moriya worked at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (1979 - 2006). He was NOT the minister. He graduated from the Department of Economics, University of Tokyo and obtained at MBA at Cornell University. After retiring, the elder Moriya holds director, auditor, and senior vice president positions at various companies.

Source: Japanese wiki - 守谷治


On July 2nd, Princess Ayako and Kei Moriya will meet the press at 3pm at the IHA building. Princess Ayako and Princess Hisako will report to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko before the press conference.

Source: news24.jp
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Nimue View Post
Is it possible this is an arranged marriage? It's so fast for such a conservative institution and on the heels of the Mako strangeness.

If it's true love I am happy for them, of course.
Well, Princess Hisako should not be shocked at the speed. She accepted Prince Takamado's proposal after a month of meeting him. In 1984, they met in April, got engaged in May, and married in December. Matchmaking better describes Japan's "Miai" or "Omiai" custom. The process involves choice and courtship. Refusal is allowed.

Ayako's cousin Makiko Sen's marriage last year was a miai match, see this post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR76 View Post
I always felt that the postponement of Mako's wedding because of the abdication seemed like a to good of an excuse but if it wasn't we have to remember that she, God willing, will be the daughter and sister of emperors not a distant cousin like Ayako.
To me there's some possibilities:
1. IHA didn't like her future hubby and were grabbing at straws to find an excuse to postpone the marriage.
2. IHA knew there was something fishy with said hubby's family and wanted some time to let it either blow over or become public.
3. Mako herself felt that it was her duty to attend the abdication and enthronement ceremonies as an Imperial princess. She's always seemed very aware (in a good way) of her station and responsibilities.
4. The Imperial family wanted more time to persuade the government to allow for the granddaughter's of the Emperor to remain in the Imperial family after marriage.

To tie it all together before the mods hang me for going to much off topic - there's definitely a difference in the two marriages because of status and family bonds to the current and the three future emperors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
[...]

The official excuse and possibility 3 can be excluded based on the embarrassment to the IHA and the imperial family resulting from the postponement and the pain on Mako's visage when she was pictured leaving the palace on the day of (the day after?) the postponement announcement. I would also exclude possibility 4 considering the present PM's uncompromising defense of the male line limitations.

[...]
Thanks Tatiana Maria. Possibilities 1 and 2 are also unlikely to me because Mako and Kei Komuro were dating for 4-5 years. The IHA could have interfered much earlier if they disliked Kei. Why allow the relationship continue and embarrass/hurt everyone now? Mako reportedly planned to announce her engagement last fall. That indicates she was willing to marry out before the important events in 2019. Sadly, the financial dispute was a nasty surprise. I'm still rooting for Mako and Kei Komuro.
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  #31  
Old 06-28-2018, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Correction: Kei's father Osamu Moriya worked at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (1979 - 2006). He was NOT the minister. He graduated from the Department of Economics, University of Tokyo and obtained at MBA at Cornell University. After retiring, the elder Moriya holds director, auditor, and senior vice president positions at various companies.

Source: Japanese wiki - 守谷治 ... [snipped]
Belonging to a high aristocratic family (kuge), Late Mrs Moriya had an illustrious career too. She graduated from Waseda University with distinction and was fluent in French and Italian. She worked for various charity organisations such as "Médecins Sans Frontières" and "Children Without Borders" (http://knk.or.jp/). Princess Takamado met Late Mrs Moriya at "Children Without Borders" event in 2011.
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  #32  
Old 07-02-2018, 01:10 AM
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On July 2nd, Princess Ayako and Princess Hisako visited the Imperial Palace in the morning to report Ayako's engagement to Their Majesties. Unfortunately, Emperor Akihito fell ill hours earlier so Empress Michiko received the customary greetings alone. [Sankei, Jiji]

Photos: Sankei 2 (updated)
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027540412.jpg
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027540438.jpg
https://www.jiji.com/news/photos/pho...0027540766.jpg

Princess Hisako's statement: Sankei (Google translation)

Kei Moriya and Princess Hisako at the 20th anniversary celebration of Children without Borders in November 2017:
http://www.sankei.com/images/news/18...7020023-p1.jpg

Imperial Household Agency announces engagement of Princess Ayako to businessman - The Mainichi

Kei Moriya’s family photos: Mainichi

Some photos of Ayako and Kei at work: Asahi, Asahi 2

ANN news clip on Emperor's illness, Ayako and Hisako leaving the Imperial Palace, and the IHA official's press conference:

Correction: A senior agency official, Takaharu Kachi, made the announcement of the couple's engagement. [English Jiji]

ETA: news24.jp video of press conference

During the press conference, Princess Ayako expressed concern for Emperor Akihito's condition and condolences for victims of the recent Osaka earthquake. [Mainichi]

Kei Moriya proposed after a restaurant date (in April?). [Sankei]

Princess Ayako, Moriya express delight at their engagement - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...]

"I am very happy," Princess Ayako, 27, said at a televised news conference in Tokyo following an official announcement of their engagement earlier in the day. She said she was attracted to Moriya for being a "kind, intelligent and decisive" man.

Moriya, a 32-year-old employee at major shipping firm Nippon Yusen K.K., said that Princess Ayako is a "bright and positive person" who is friendly to anyone she interacts with.

[...]

The two first met last December as Princess Hisako, the wife of Prince Takamado, introduced Moriya to her daughter, hoping to interest Princess Ayako in international welfare activities by meeting Moriya, who is a board member of a nonprofit organization supporting children in developing countries.

Princess Hisako has known Moriya's father for 40 years since both were university students in Britain. Moriya's deceased mother was a senior director of the organization, Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (Children without Borders), and Princess Hisako attended many of its events.

[...]
Japan celebrates engagement of Princess Ayako to businessman - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...] Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed the "very good news" and said that "together with the public, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations."

In a statement issued following the announcement, Princess Hisako, the mother of Princess Ayako, said, "I feel they are a perfect match."

Princess Hisako, who has known Moriya's parents and introduced Moriya, 32, to Princess Ayako, 27, said she agreed to their marriage because she believed Moriya is a kind man with strong values.

[...]

The Imperial Household Agency's Grand Steward Shinichiro Yamamoto said Princess Ayako has "sincerely engaged" in a number of official duties and fully supported Princess Hisako.

"Mr. Moriya is a brilliant person suitable for Princess Ayako and we are delighted with their impending engagement," he said.

[...]

Katsumi Kusuhara, 84, who was taking a stroll near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, said, "I think Princess Ayako is a mature woman. I want her to build a happy family."

A 69-year-old man who lives near Moriya's apartment in Tokyo called the engagement "wonderful" and said, "Mr. Moriya is a pleasant man and a good fit for elegant Princess Ayako."
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  #33  
Old 07-02-2018, 04:43 AM
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More at Getty Images, Asahi, Mainichi


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  #34  
Old 07-02-2018, 09:09 AM
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Prisma, thank you for all these details! I'm finding the involvement of Princess Hisako in the introduction between Ayako and Kei Moriya very interesting. Last year when my DH and I were in Japan, we had several conversations with young women, some of whom were married, and some who were not, and they all talked about the resurgence of matchmaking. The expectation is that to be successful (or just to make ends meet) you have to work very hard, and very long hours, and for many young people, there simply is not time to find a suitable partner. In an increasing number of cases, those who want to get married are turning to matchmakers to meet potential partners, in these women's experience. Considering the additional barriers an Imperial princess would be facing in meeting the right person, Princess Hisako's involvement makes sense.
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:54 AM
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I just watched the whole interview, and would love to know what Princess Ayako and Kei Moriya said at different points in the interview that produced the big laughs from the press!

It looked to me as though both Ayako and Kei Moriya were consulting notes as they answered, so I am assuming that most if not all of the questions had been submitted beforehand.

I thought this couple was an interesting contrast to Princess Mako and Kei Komura; the advantage of being a bit older and having some additional life experience.

Also, I thought Ayako looked lovely, and, for an Imperial lady, her hat was downright exuberant! And how cute was it that Kei Moriya's tie matched Ayako's dress.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:11 PM
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The groom seemed very nervous. Looks like he is a friendly person.

It's indeed quite a contrast with Mako and Kei last year. They were clearly over the moon about each other. These two seem to enjoy a friendship that apparently is a good enough basis to get married as it's considered a good match for both parties.
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  #37  
Old 07-02-2018, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for the update!
The couple looked lovely. Mr Moriya comes across as a confident gentleman. His demeanour is poised.
Quote:
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... [snipped]Also, I thought Ayako looked lovely, and, for an Imperial lady, her hat was downright exuberant! And how cute was it that Kei Moriya's tie matched Ayako's dress.
Right you are about Princess Ayako's hat. Her hat reminded me of the British ones.
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  #38  
Old 07-03-2018, 01:20 AM
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I don't know if Ayako and Kei's press conference will be translated to English so here's the full Japanese text from Sankei and google translation link.

Bits from English articles:

Princess knew right away she had found the right man for her: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
[...]

"Our conversation was very lively and did not feel like it was the first time we had met," Ayako said. "We forgot the passage of time as we really enjoyed ourselves."

She said Moriya proposed at a Tokyo restaurant earlier this year. Although she did not accept immediately, Ayako began to feel that he was the right man and finally said yes in April.

Moriya [...] said their psychological distance had also narrowed due to the fact that both had lost a parent. Ayako's father died in 2002.

Because of that background, Ayako said, "We hold the common understanding that what we have today may not necessarily be with us tomorrow."

[...]
Japan Princess Ayako introduces her future husband, a shipping employee - CNN
Quote:
[...]

"I have no idea what my mother's expectation about introducing me to Mr. Moriya," she said amid laughter. "I feel it was a great opportunity readied by our mothers as we grew to feel attracted to each other through many outings and sharing memories."

Moriya, whose mother passed away in 2015, said that he was struck by Ayako's kindness and wanted to spend his life with her.

"I felt even closer to her when she showed understanding of the mental impact of the sudden loss of my mother," he said.

[...]

"I would like to form a warm family full of laughter. We both have the experience of sudden loss of an irreplaceable parent, his mother for Mr. Moriya and my father for me," she said. "We would not take everyday life for granted and want to find the happiness and fun in the daily life."

[...]
Princess Ayako says she and fiance Kei Moriya hit it off from the start | The Japan Times
Quote:
“I am worried that the Emperor is not feeling well, but I was able to meet with the Empress and receive warm, cordial words from both their majesties,” Princess Ayako said, adding that she wants to keep the content of their message to herself.
ETA: Kei wore a pink tie to match Ayako's dress. Cute. Kunimaro Senge also wore a pink tie to match Noriko's pink outfit in 2014. (^__^)

Princess Ayako of Takamado to Marry at Meiji Shrine in October | JAPAN Forward

Quote:
Princess Ayako is now the honorary president of two organizations, positions handed over from her mother, Princess Hisako. She also attends functions of groups relating to social welfare for the disabled, one of her areas of interest.

Princess Ayako must now decide whether to continue the honorary positions after her marriage, a process that will happen “through consultations with the organizations,” according to the Imperial Household Agency.
Sankei and Jiji versions of the press conference:

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Old 07-03-2018, 01:48 AM
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Very sweet! They both seem nice, and it seems solid.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:11 PM
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"I have no idea what my mother's expectation about introducing me to Mr. Moriya," she said amid laughter. "I feel it was a great opportunity readied by our mothers as we grew to feel attracted to each other through many outings and sharing memories."

Ah, so that's what the laughter was about! Mothers are always good for a laugh, since we either all have them, or are mothers ourselves!
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