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  #301  
Old 08-24-2006, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth
I don't know how true this is, but didn't her father get some sort of promotion after the engagement was announced? If her own family was putting pressure on her as well as Naruhito doing it, it might have been more than she could fight.
You are absolutely right about this Elspeth. Soon after the wedding, Hisashi Owada was promoted to the position of Japan's Ambassador to the United Nations. He held this position for four years until he was appointed to the International Court of Justice. Now I am sure some could argue that he would have gotten the position on just his own merit, but it certainly stands to reason that his chances were much improved by becoming the father-in-law of the future emperor. His daughter's marriage was considered a great honor to her family. Honor is everything in the Japanese culture.
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  #302  
Old 08-24-2006, 09:02 AM
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Do you also think Mr. Owada would have risked no further promotions or worse, a demotion, had Masako said no? Was it a given in Japanese culture that Masako was to have ultimately taken her father's advice in this marriage situation?
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  #303  
Old 08-24-2006, 01:44 PM
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I don't know if anyone could say that his career would have stagnated if she turned down the proposal, because he certainly had his own impressive resume. I personally think that he was given such an important position much more rapidly because of who his new in-laws were. As for Masako taking her father's advice on the marriage, we can't really say. Honoring one's parents in Japan is deeply ingrained in the culture and I wouldn't be suprised if her father very strongly suggested that she would not only be giving great honor to her family, but she would have an opportunity to be an internationally roving ambassador as Crown Princess. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way.
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  #304  
Old 08-26-2006, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCat
Sure, Kiko didn't do too badly out of it -- but she married the younger son, and even at the time she married that younger son there were some comments about how he had an easier time finding someone to marry because he was the younger son, presumably not in line for the throne, so his wife would have an easier time of it than the girl who married the Crown Prince. And that was what, 15 years or so ago? For Kiko's son, we're talking 20 years from now at least.

I seem to recall reading that even Prince Charles, in the 1970s, was turned down by a young woman who did not want to live the way she'd have to live if she married him, she wanted her regular life. IIRC it was Lady Jane Wellesley. And that's in the British royal family, which is nowhere near as hidebound as the Japanese one.

of course there's no way to really know what will happen 20 years from now.
What is the relationship between Kiko and Ashkino? Is he as supportive of her as Masako's husband is of her? Thanks
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  #305  
Old 08-27-2006, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth
I think it would be hard to be a regular reader in this forum and not have figured out that Japanese culture is fundamentally different from western culture in, among other things, the need for people to conform. That doesn't alter the fact that by our standards, which presumably bbb was referring to, the IHA's treatment of Masako was unnecessarily callous and doomed to failure pretty much from the start, given the known problems with people who have had extensive exposure to western culture while young, along with her reluctance to get sucked into the imperial system.
It’s too simplistic to say “of course people can figure out that Japanese culture is fundamentally from western culture” but to condemn that culture because it doesn’t conform to ‘our standards’ is judgemental and why are ‘we’ superior enough that we can condemn. Particularly when the condemnation is generally based on a very basic knowledge of Japan and its traditions and culture. Added to that is the assumption that all that is written in western media outlets and internet is true when in actual fact much of what is repeated as fact is based on misquotes, quotes taken out of context or abbreviated. ( Prince Tomohito’s concubine quote is a prime example( it’s even on his Wikipedia entry, confirming what a useless research source it is), the fact he also said that in this day and age it’s not socially acceptable and he would recommend the reinstallation of the nobles who were disenfranchised. But no the shock, horror, those terrible traditionalists adding to Masako’s humiliation make for better stories and lots of moral outrage.)
Another story that does the rounds of Masako being told by the IHA her job was to smile also is untrue, the person who actually said that was a journalist. Here’s the actual quote from “The Tale of Masako,” Japan, December/January 2002
Quote:
. ‘The royal family are not ambassadors,’ says a veteran member of the royal press corps. ‘that’s not their job. She doesn’t need to be able to speak English, she has interpreters for that. Her job is to smile.’
Yes there is an acknowledgement that Japanese children who have lived in the west have problems readjusting to life in Japan. But American children who have lived in Japan, have problems readjusting to life back in the US. Masako did not have problems readjusting to life in Japan after living in the west, she also was not the first Japanese woman who had been educated in the west and lived there for a number of years to marry into the Imperial Family.(She was also not the most outspoken, or unstereotypically Japanese, either going by this obituary of Princess Takamatsu)
Quote:
From her entry into the Japanese Imperial family as the bride of Emperor Hirohito's brother, Prince Takamatsu, Kikuko was different. From her fondness for the latest western "flapper" fashions as a newlywed to her reputation for angry outbursts, Kikuko was not a model of feminine subservience.
Masako was actually the 5th foreign educated women to marry into the Imperial Family, the courtiers of the IHA looking at the precedence of the other princesses could not have forecast that she would have a breakdown. Two foreign educated princesses married into the Imperial Family in the early 1930’s to brothers of the emperor, both were educated in the US. In that era the Imperial Family was far more rigid and tradition bound and yet those women adapted and with their husbands toured the world extensively in the 1930’s. So Masako’s hope of being a roving ambassador wasn’t unreal she had historical precedence with other foreign educated women. Closer to her era in the 1980’s, the Emperor’s cousins Prince Tomohito married a woman who attended and completed high school in the UK. Prince Takamado married a woman who graduated from Cambridge University, both women also married later in life so had jobs before they entered the Imperial Family as did Masako, Princess Tomohito was 25, Princess Takamado was 31.
Currently Princess Takamado is probably the most well travelled member of the Imperial Family and has the role that Masako had envisaged for herself.
The courtiers of the IHA also could not have forecast that Masako would have problems giving birth to a child. Anyone person who has gone through trying for a child and having problems knows the incredible emotional toll that takes on you. With Masako it was compounded hundred times by the fact that it wasn’t just her and her husband’s desire for a child but also a country’s that added extreme pressure on her. I was in Japan in 1999 when her first pregnancy was announced and saw the huge headlines in the Japanese newspapers, it was a major event, followed by the letdown a few weeks later when she miscarried.

Masako’s breakdown wasn’t because of that ‘evil’ IHA and their callous treatment of her. It was a combination of a number of factors and events, her view of what her job would be like ( not unreasonable given that other foreign educated princesses travelled extensively as ambassadors for Japan. And also looking at how the previous crown prince couple travelled) was totally dashed. The courtiers of the IHA didn’t dash these plans callously they just did what is considered the best way to ensure a pregnancy in Japan, keep the woman at home. Then there was pressure of the whole country waiting for her to give birth and the years of no child. She also lost 3 major supporters in the last few years, a friend from her diplomat years was killed in Iraq, Prince Takamado died suddenly of a heart attack aged 47 in 2002 and Princess Takamatsu who had publicly supported the notion of a female empress.

Had Masako had a male child early in her marriage, then the various pressures on her would not have eventuated to the extent they did. Her vision of being a roving ambassador for Japan would have been something that would have eventuated.

So back to my initial objection to labelling the IHA ‘evil’ or anything else negative, to make moral judgements when one has inaccurate information or very little understanding of the importance of tradition and the culture and society that is Japan, is unfair.


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  #306  
Old 08-27-2006, 01:00 PM
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Of course the "evil IHA" opinion is simplistic and there were all sorts of other factors; not denying that for a moment. However, it's still a common perception among western watchers of the Japanese imperial situation.

I'm still trying to figure out how anybody could think that having a woman stay behind at home while her husband was travelling abroad was going to make her more likely to get pregnant. Presumably they know how conception works, for heavens sake; it helps a lot if the two people involved are in the same country at the same time. Stress is a much more likely barrier to pregnancy than travel, and they were piling stress on her left and right.
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  #307  
Old 08-27-2006, 01:09 PM
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That does sound stupid. Having a woman stay at home won't make her get pregnant! Elspeth is right. That's not how it works.
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  #308  
Old 08-27-2006, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth
Stress is a much more likely barrier to pregnancy than travel, and they were piling stress on her left and right.
Just to play the Devil's advocate for a moment, the likely assumption was that trips abroad would be too stressful to conceive a child. Still, it would be ideal if both members of the family could simply spend some time away from everything to make an attempt.

In my eyes, though, Naruhito has already done all he needs to--it's time for the country to deal with its succession laws. Even if the Princess Toshi were allowed to ascend to the throne, it is impossible for her to marry. This means that there will STILL need to be an heir in another branch of the family, if more laws are not changed.
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  #309  
Old 09-03-2006, 06:23 AM
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i just hope they are happy its a strange world for me if boys are more in tittled than girls
im glad that is live here and nog in japan
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  #310  
Old 09-03-2006, 12:32 PM
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me too tosca van oranje me too!!!!
masako does look so happy, radiant, glowing i'm so glad they had a good vacation, bless her heart for having to return to those evil ones at the palace ready and waiting with their knives out. they couldn't break her when she was at her lowest, they haven't got a chance now that she's been able to take a breath and live in the real world and be around people that appreciate and love her. i know maxima will be a good friend to her and even better a STRONG friend to call when you're down. oooooohhhh i just love the queen for inviting them and to see them smiling and so happy just makes my day. i'm sorry there wasn't more photos, but glad they had privacy also.
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  #311  
Old 09-03-2006, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbb
bless her heart for having to return to those evil ones at the palace ready and waiting with their knives out. .
sigh Who do you think agreed to the trip and organised it? Do you really picture Masako sitting in front of her computer with her credit card organising their flight tickets?!
The courtiers of the IHA agreed to the trip ( despite the personal invitation of Queen Beatrix, they could have politely turned it down) the staff at the IHA then organised the trip. The staff that accompanied them also had their own vacations with their families postponed or cancelled. Mid-August is when Japanese take their one week summer vacation, most businesses shut down around the festival of O-Bon which is mid-August. No, the IHA staff that went to The Netherlands didn't have a holiday as Japanese style would have had countless meetings about every detail relating to the trip, it wasn't a vacation. Naruhito, Masako and Aiko had a holiday, their staff didn't, they also didn't stay at the palace but at a nearby hotel.
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  #312  
Old 09-04-2006, 02:21 AM
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The IHA could have stayed in Japan than they had their own vacation.

Masako and Naruhit can organise a vacation without the IHA

im not sorry for the IHA, they are so in control the whole year
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  #313  
Old 09-04-2006, 05:08 AM
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Even a new prince can't prevent the move to a female heir
WHEN Princess Kiko, second daughter-in-law of Emperor Akihito, became pregnant last January, it seemed like an answered prayer. Hopes were high that, at last, the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy would have a male heir.

On Wednesday, after months of speculation, the question will finally be settled when Princess Kiko will give birth by Caesarean section.
NI_MPU('middle');But courtiers are now worried that even the arrival of a male heir may not guarantee the long-term survival of the Imperial family. To ensure the continuation of the 2,000-year-old Chrysanthemum throne, senior members of the Imperial Household Agency (IHA) are discussing changes to the law to ensure that, if necessary at some time in the future, a woman could reign as empress.......................
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...341874,00.html

About a boy: Dynasty, Japan-style
Princess Kiko will have her third child this week - and the government is praying for Japan's first male imperial heir since 1965 to lift a succession crisis, which could render the royal family extinct within a couple of generations. David McNeill reports on a nation gripped by baby fever.
For the next week, the eyes of much of Japan will be on a room in a private hospital in Tokyo, where a 39-year-old woman is waiting to deliver her baby by caesarean section. When the baby utters its first scream, television programmes will be interrupted, politicians will make speeches and newspapers will distribute special supplements: four pages for a boy, two for a girl.
This is no ordinary baby, but one born into controversy and with the weight of the world's oldest hereditary institution on its shoulders. If it is a boy, he will one day head a dynasty that claims to trace its roots back to before the Romans stepped on British soil. If it is a girl, she will come into the world to the sound of a collective sigh of disappointment. Not an easy start in life.........................
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...cle1359799.ece
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  #314  
Old 09-04-2006, 10:58 AM
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charlotte quit hitting your head, you're going to get a nasty bruise. i will continue to use evil when evil is exactly what the IHA is, no matter how you defend them what they have done and continue to do to masako is EVIL.
i'm glad they were put out, i'm glad they missed a vacation, i'm glad it put them out I"M GLAD - but it doesn't make up for all the bad karma they got coming. i truelly hate these people and can't wait till they all die out.
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  #315  
Old 09-04-2006, 01:11 PM
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Oh, is the baby born yet?
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  #316  
Old 09-04-2006, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furienna
Oh, is the baby born yet?
In two days we will finally know. Kiko is set to give birth by C-section on Sept. 6!
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  #317  
Old 09-04-2006, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte1
sigh Who do you think agreed to the trip and organised it? Do you really picture Masako sitting in front of her computer with her credit card organising their flight tickets?!
The courtiers of the IHA agreed to the trip ( despite the personal invitation of Queen Beatrix, they could have politely turned it down) the staff at the IHA then organised the trip. The staff that accompanied them also had their own vacations with their families postponed or cancelled. Mid-August is when Japanese take their one week summer vacation, most businesses shut down around the festival of O-Bon which is mid-August. No, the IHA staff that went to The Netherlands didn't have a holiday as Japanese style would have had countless meetings about every detail relating to the trip, it wasn't a vacation. Naruhito, Masako and Aiko had a holiday, their staff didn't, they also didn't stay at the palace but at a nearby hotel.
Well, Masako has gone many years without a vacation (and without seeing her family), while the IHA have had their vacation each year and can see their family any time they like.
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  #318  
Old 09-04-2006, 05:03 PM
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Wow! This is exciting!
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  #319  
Old 09-04-2006, 05:06 PM
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No matter of that what will be born by few days the reform of the JI Succession should take place!!!
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  #320  
Old 09-04-2006, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte1
sigh Who do you think agreed to the trip and organised it? Do you really picture Masako sitting in front of her computer with her credit card organising their flight tickets?!
The courtiers of the IHA agreed to the trip ( despite the personal invitation of Queen Beatrix, they could have politely turned it down) the staff at the IHA then organised the trip. The staff that accompanied them also had their own vacations with their families postponed or cancelled. Mid-August is when Japanese take their one week summer vacation, most businesses shut down around the festival of O-Bon which is mid-August. No, the IHA staff that went to The Netherlands didn't have a holiday as Japanese style would have had countless meetings about every detail relating to the trip, it wasn't a vacation. Naruhito, Masako and Aiko had a holiday, their staff didn't, they also didn't stay at the palace but at a nearby hotel.
The IHA staff missed one holiday so that the Crown couple could have their first family holiday abroad ever. Forgive me if I am not overwhelmed by their sacrifice. I bet it has been far longer since Aiko saw her maternal grandparents than the IHA staff members have seen their families. The IHA planned this trip? How extremely generous of them to loosen their strangle hold on Masako for a couple of weeks. So generous that they even let Naruhito's household foot the bill.
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