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  #361  
Old 09-17-2006, 10:10 AM
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Why? What's wrong with keeping male primogeniture?
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  #362  
Old 09-17-2006, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Sister Morphine
I completely agree with this. However, I have a really dumb question. Do they know this and just don't care.....or haven't they figured it out? The IHA have to realize that there just isn't any men, aside from the little prince, left to hang around after the females marry and leave the family. And if they do know, it seems like they aren't in any rush to find some way to resolve it.
I have a feeling that since the current Crown Princess is seen as a problem and the Crown Prince is seen as siding with her against the Emperor and the IHA, they'll be waiting with the reforms until such time as there's no way they could possibly apply to the Crown Prince's family. Maybe if Prince Hisahito doesn't have a bunch of children, they might do something then, at which point, since he'd be the Emperor, it'd be only natural to let his sisters and their offspring back into the Imperial family and forget about Cousin Aiko. If the reform is addressed in Prince Naruhito's lifetime, that wouldn't be possible.
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  #363  
Old 09-17-2006, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Furienna
Why? What's wrong with keeping male primogeniture?
That is sexiest and favoritism to me by choosing one sex over the other I feel a woman can be as good or if not better than a man by being head of state.
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  #364  
Old 09-18-2006, 02:15 PM
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Well, as I see it, succession is about tradition, not equality. And really, men carry the family line further, not women. It's not that women make worse monarchs. But the thrown should go to the person, who should have it according to tradition.
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  #365  
Old 09-18-2006, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth
I have a feeling that since the current Crown Princess is seen as a problem and the Crown Prince is seen as siding with her against the Emperor and the IHA, they'll be waiting with the reforms until such time as there's no way they could possibly apply to the Crown Prince's family. Maybe if Prince Hisahito doesn't have a bunch of children, they might do something then, at which point, since he'd be the Emperor, it'd be only natural to let his sisters and their offspring back into the Imperial family and forget about Cousin Aiko. If the reform is addressed in Prince Naruhito's lifetime, that wouldn't be possible.
IMHO it's a question of public perception of the whole thing. Even though the IHA is a bureaucratic body, it is a government agency. Never forget that it is very convenient for the government to keep the Imperial family uin their golden cage. The Americans introduced this idea to Japan in 1946 but I bet each and any head of Japan's government after that has been only too happy that he has not to report to a powerful monarch like the Dutch, British or Danish queen. So it's the government who profits both from the helplessness of the Imperial family and from the fact that the Imperial family is so small nowadays.

Of course they will have to do something before the family dies out. But as long as the Japanese public is content to have a monarch who is just a symbol nothing will change as it is against the interests of those who actually reign. But if the public one day decides that they want to get rid of the Imperial family and use the area today inhabited by them to sell as building sites in order to enrich the public household then this is what's going to happen. I don't see the government (no matter which one) doing anything to change the situation in order to make the idea of the Imperial family more popular with the people and I don't see what they could do in case public opinion powerfully turns against the Imperial family.

I have the feeling that prince Naruhito is well aware of the problems his family faces. Maybe that's what has given him the energy and courage to stand up for his wife. Because in denying them the possibility to actively act as ambassadors for Japan, they are forced into a corner. I don't see emperor Akihito endangered by public opinion. But it's my belief that each change of the person on the throne invites public discussion about the sense of the system. If the Japanese government (and these people control the IHA!) were on the look out for a modern role for its Imperial family, they would have let the discussions about the succession come to more public attention - by bringing the new law into parliament for discussions, by discussing it with the people, by encouraging the media to make it a topic.

The way it was handled with princess Kiko's pregnancy shows me that the government is only interested in keeping the status quo or abolishing the monarchy in case the people want it. They are populists, after all. All politicians are. Just my opinion, of course.
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  #366  
Old 09-18-2006, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth
I have a feeling that since the current Crown Princess is seen as a problem and the Crown Prince is seen as siding with her against the Emperor and the IHA, they'll be waiting with the reforms until such time as there's no way they could possibly apply to the Crown Prince's family. Maybe if Prince Hisahito doesn't have a bunch of children, they might do something then, at which point, since he'd be the Emperor, it'd be only natural to let his sisters and their offspring back into the Imperial family and forget about Cousin Aiko. If the reform is addressed in Prince Naruhito's lifetime, that wouldn't be possible.

I would expect the Crown Prince to side with her....she's his wife. I don't know why that has been an issue for them. To me, it would be more of an issue if he didn't. I feel bad for her in that it seems she's been pushed out onto the ledge, as it were....because of her health/mental issues and the fact she didn't have a boy. I feel even worse for Naruhito because he loves her enough to stand by her, and that's getting him pushed out too. A lot of men just would have divorced and remarried, especially if having a boy was that important.

I do hope that when he's Emperor, he initiates some kind of reform to the people....maybe allowing for equal primogeniture.
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  #367  
Old 09-18-2006, 06:25 PM
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IMO, there are lots of interesting ideas in the above posts. I have been quiet for a while because I don't know what to think on the succession issue anymore. I've been re-reading many of the interviews of Akihito, Michiko, Naruhito and Masako trying to get a glimmer of understanding about where they might be on this issue. When I first came across the succession problem I was irritated that girls couldn't succeed. When I read about the IHA's intervention to try to get the couples to have more babies, I was incensed that they thought they could manipulate the couples on such a personal decision as to whether to have children -- especially at Kiko's late age and given Masako's health and probable medication-pregnancy complications and even more especially when they seem to already have an excellent candidate in Aiko. When Kiko did become pregnant I hoped the motive was not spite for the CP couple, given some of the barbed comments Akishino has made toward his brother and, depending on your interpretation, some possibly veiled criticisms of his sister-in-law.

Now, more than anything, I hope that the decision about the succession, whatever it ends up being, is one that Naruhito and Masako are happy with. If it ends up that a female succeeding doesn't come to pass in their generation and that is OK with the CP couple, then so be it. I think Masako has been put under ridiculous stress over this issue. She did perform the succession part of her job -- it's just that there seem to be limited male sperm in the If, and that's not her fault. Masako is so talented and with so many constructive things she could put her energy toward, that if she would like to see her daughter liberated from being a puppet dangled about by very conservative puppeteers then I hope that happens. I don't want this woman to suffer as she watches Aiko become an Empress in a culture that still can't value women in that role. And also, as a woman, I resent that she has been made to suffer so much because she can't have children. The stress of wanting and being unable to have children for a normal couple is very intense and incredibly painful; the stress which has been put upon her has been indecent. I hope she can get on with her life.

In re-reading the posts, the Emperor and Naruhito both have chosen to "refrain" from comments on the succession issue. Yet in the same paragraph in which he "refrained" from commenting, the emperor did add that there were past empresses and did also mention the important role women in the Imperial Family have played. Mind you, he did not speak out in as frank a way as, say, my father would have spoken out to support the strengths of the women in my family -- but given the nuanced way in which the IF members speak, I thought his choice to bring up both issues was probably being supportive of women. In addition, despite Michiko's fragile look, I think this woman has spine. Read the comments she writes about Kiko and Masako -- she's all for letting them have freedoms to evolve to be who they are -- and her own daughter doesn't seem to be a shrinking violet -- in fact she had a career. In addition, Aki and Michi did break with tradition and attend her wedding reception. I think all these things may be indications that the Imperial Family sees women as being qualified to do an awful lot, perhaps even the "top" job. (Well, maybe not Akishino -- but he seems to have ego problems and just needs to grow up a little.) Finally, I do think public opinion is important and I think it can be very powerful but I get the feeling from fellow Japanese posters and from reading news articles that the public voice either isn't strong enough or is made up of only women who aren't adequately represented in the Diet and so the issue isn't getting the attention it deserves. Culturally, I just don't think Japan is there. And if Masako isn't there either -- then I hope the Japanese leave it alone until another generation.
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  #368  
Old 09-18-2006, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily
IMO, there are lots of interesting ideas in the above posts. I have been quiet for a while because I don't know what to think on the succession issue anymore. I've been re-reading many of the interviews of Akihito, Michiko, Naruhito and Masako trying to get a glimmer of understanding about where they might be on this issue. When I first came across the succession problem I was irritated that girls couldn't succeed. When I read about the IHA's intervention to try to get the couples to have more babies, I was incensed that they thought they could manipulate the couples on such a personal decision as to whether to have children -- especially at Kiko's late age and given Masako's health and probable medication-pregnancy complications and even more especially when they seem to already have an excellent candidate in Aiko. When Kiko did become pregnant I hoped the motive was not spite for the CP couple, given some of the barbed comments Akishino has made toward his brother and, depending on your interpretation, some possibly veiled criticisms of his sister-in-law.

Now, more than anything, I hope that the decision about the succession, whatever it ends up being, is one that Naruhito and Masako are happy with. If it ends up that a female succeeding doesn't come to pass in their generation and that is OK with the CP couple, then so be it. I think Masako has been put under ridiculous stress over this issue. She did perform the succession part of her job -- it's just that there seem to be limited male sperm in the If, and that's not her fault. Masako is so talented and with so many constructive things she could put her energy toward, that if she would like to see her daughter liberated from being a puppet dangled about by very conservative puppeteers then I hope that happens. As a woman, I resent that she has been made to suffer so much because she can't have children. The stress of wanting and being unable to have children for a normal couple is very intense and incredibly painful; the stress which has been put upon her has been indecent. I hope she can get on with her life.

In re-reading the posts, the Emperor and Naruhito both have chosen to "refrain" from comments on the succession issue. Yet in the same paragraph in which he "refrained" from commenting, the emperor did add that there were past empresses and did also mention the important role women in the Imperial Family have played. Mind you, he did not speak out in as frank a way as, say, my father would have spoken out to support the strengths of the women in my family -- but given the nuanced way in which the IF members speak, I thought his choice to bring up both issues was probably being supportive of women. In addition, despite Michiko's fragile look, I think this woman has spine. Read the comments she writes about Kiko and Masako -- she's all for letting them have freedoms to evolve to be who they are -- and her own daughter doesn't seem to be a shrinking violet -- in fact she had a career. In addition, Aki and Michi did break with tradition and attend her wedding reception. I think all these things may be indications that the Imperial Family sees women as being qualified to do an awful lot, perhaps even the "top" job. (Well, maybe not Akishino -- but he seems to have ego problems and just needs to grow up a little.) Finally, I do think public opinion is important and I think it can be very powerful but I get the feeling from fellow Japanese posters and from reading news articles that the public voice either isn't strong enough or is made up of only women who aren't adequately represented in the Diet and so the issue isn't getting the attention it deserves. Culturally, I just don't think Japan is there. And if Masako isn't there either -- then I hope the Japanese leave it alone until another generation.


Very well said, Emily.
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  #369  
Old 09-18-2006, 11:09 PM
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Emily, I really enjoy reading your posts! You are so well spoken and get your point across in such an intelligent way.
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  #370  
Old 09-18-2006, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furienna
Well, as I see it, succession is about tradition, not equality. And really, men carry the family line further, not women. It's not that women make worse monarchs. But the thrown should go to the person, who should have it according to tradition.
Traditions can be change and woman can carry a family line too.
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  #371  
Old 09-19-2006, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Next Star
Traditions can be change and woman can carry a family line too.
My family name will die out with my sister and I because my father's brother changed his name [out of spite to my grandfather] so he, my aunt and my cousins have a different name than we do. So, there will be no one with our last name left after my sister and I are gone. Women can't carry on a family line unless they don't change their name at all...not even hyphenating it, when they marry. Otherwise the child will carry someone else's name.
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  #372  
Old 09-19-2006, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Sister Morphine
My family name will die out with my sister and I because my father's brother changed his name [out of spite to my grandfather] so he, my aunt and my cousins have a different name than we do. So, there will be no one with our last name left after my sister and I are gone. Women can't carry on a family line unless they don't change their name at all...not even hyphenating it, when they marry. Otherwise the child will carry someone else's name.
No one really knowns who will out live who and some women do not take their husbands last name in marriage.
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  #373  
Old 09-19-2006, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Next Star
No one really knowns who will out live who and some women do not take their husbands last name in marriage.

That's just what I said. That if the woman doesn't change her name, the child will carry her name and the family name will go on.
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  #374  
Old 09-19-2006, 12:38 AM
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Okay I understand your case . But the imperial family has been around for millions of years and still no change maybe somethings are not meant to change but maybe one day that would happen proably if their were not male legimate desecents of the monarch.
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  #375  
Old 09-19-2006, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sister Morphine
My family name will die out with my sister and I because my father's brother changed his name [out of spite to my grandfather] so he, my aunt and my cousins have a different name than we do. So, there will be no one with our last name left after my sister and I are gone. Women can't carry on a family line unless they don't change their name at all...not even hyphenating it, when they marry. Otherwise the child will carry someone else's name.
That's the law in Germany: on marrying the couple decides about the family name. His or hers. Then the other partner decides to keep his name (then the kid have the family name but both parents have kept their names) or takes on the family name, if he/she wishes with the former name added to it.)

If one partner has a part of the name that was formerly a title and they decide on this name as family name, then all members of the family can use this name part. Eg. Anette Princess of ThisandThat is the last of her very old family. In times of the monarchy the family could have applied to the king to allow her husband to take on her name. Today it's a republic. But on marrying Charlie Noname, the princess decides to ask for Prince/princess of Thisandthat as family name. Charlie accepts but wants to keep his own name. So the couple is Anette princess of ThisandThat and Charles Noname. But their first child will be prince/princess of Thisandthat and, together with his/her siblings, carry on the familyname of prince/princess of Thisandthat into new millenia.

So the idea that a family name gets lost because of only female descendents is a problem with cultural traditions and family laws of different countries. It's not a general problem of mankind. Traditions can change if the people living decide to change their views and laws.
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  #376  
Old 09-19-2006, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine
That's the law in Germany: on marrying the couple decides about the family name. His or hers. Then the other partner decides to keep his name (then the kid have the family name but both parents have kept their names) or takes on the family name, if he/she wishes with the former name added to it.)

If one partner has a part of the name that was formerly a title and they decide on this name as family name, then all members of the family can use this name part. Eg. Anette Princess of ThisandThat is the last of her very old family. In times of the monarchy the family could have applied to the king to allow her husband to take on her name. Today it's a republic. But on marrying Charlie Noname, the princess decides to ask for Prince/princess of Thisandthat as family name. Charlie accepts but wants to keep his own name. So the couple is Anette princess of ThisandThat and Charles Noname. But their first child will be prince/princess of Thisandthat and, together with his/her siblings, carry on the familyname of prince/princess of Thisandthat into new millenia.

So the idea that a family name gets lost because of only female descendents is a problem with cultural traditions and family laws of different countries. It's not a general problem of mankind. Traditions can change if the people living decide to change their views and laws.
Jo of Palatine, that was a great explanation!

My thoughts on who gets to keep the family name or just on the idea that a family name dies out if there are no male heirs:
Remember, most of these traditions were created by our ancient patriarchal institutions during times that women were not allowed many of the rights we see today. Times change and things have certantly improved for the best. If we watch old TV shows of barely 30 years ago we still see the last residues of a time that was literally a Man's World.

No more of that. For me it's not about family names or historical chauvinism but more on direct blood line, and a child is as 100% the heir of both father and mother. Family names can change, blood lines don't. And in the case of Japan the little Princess should be senior in line to any of her cousins because she is the daugther of the Emperor's oldest child. Besides, a family name is just a form of identifying where or from whom the family group came from or what they did in a previous generation. The Hapsburgs took theirs from a town or castle, the Windsors from a castle, etc.

Speaking of family names, just a note from something I read yesterday, the Imperial Family of Japan does not have a surname that I know of (much like the Greek Royal Family).
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:22 PM
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I still feel Hisahito is the clear heir to the thrown now, when he's a boy. If this child hadn't been born or if it had been a girl, Aiko would sure have become an empress one day. But now, there is a new prince in the imperial family, and the succession law doesn't have to be changed yet, so that a princess will become heir to the thrown. However, I think the law could be changed, so that a princess could become empress of Japan, if there is no prince avaible, like it is in many other countries. That has been the rule in Europe since forever: Males came before females to the throwns, but when there was no prince, a princess could take the thrown instead. To sum it up, I think Japan should make it possible for princesses to become ruling empresses, but they should also have male primogeniture. Not because women make worse monarchs, but since the monarch's children usually are heirs, and even if you carry your mother's blood and genes, you don't belong to her family line. When a queen's or empress's children ascend the thrown, a new dynasty comes to the thrown. So to take my Swedish royal family as an example, when crown princess Victoria's children ascend the thrown after she dies after being the queen, the Bernadotte dynasty will no longer rule Sweden. And if her brother Carl Philip has children, who are Bernadottes, it would just feel wrong, that another dynasty became monarchs, when the old dynasty still existed. Even if Japan's imperial family doesn't have an official last name, it doesn't change anything. If Aiko became empress, her children would still be the first of a new dynasty. If there was no prince to carry the dynasty further, they would have no choice, but now, they have Hisahito, who's able to do that. However, they should allow princesses to be heirs, so Japan doesn't have another crown princess, who gets totally destroyed by pressure of giving birth to a son, like it was with Masako. If there's no prince, well, too bad, but as long as there's a princess, the sucession is still safe. But if there is a prince, let him ascend the thrown before a princess.
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  #378  
Old 09-19-2006, 06:39 PM
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Well, I would disagree. the family can easily tell any guy that would marry a Crown Princess that he has to take on the monarch's family name and that would be the end of it.

It happened in England with the Windsor family, and I'm sure that in the millions of years of human existence it is not that big of a problem as people want to make of it -- well, except only in the minds of those who want to make a massive huge issue of 'boy vs. girl' for who will sit in the big plush chair, imho.

Also, wasn't it once the case in Japan that they had female rulers? What did they do then when she 'married' or had all girl children?

The world did not come crashing down because of it and any of the children still had the genetic contribution of the mother, thus the 'royal line' continued.

A contribution of 'royal genes' can obviously come from either of the natural parents and the 'blood line' connection will still be there. The British, Dutch, and Swedes seemed to have a clear understanding of that biological fact and they do not seem at all worried about their royal dynasty coming to a sudden end.
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  #379  
Old 09-19-2006, 06:49 PM
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Changing dynasties isn't the end of the world or even much of a problem. It's just that if a male can carry the dynasty further, he should be able to do it. And QEII's children and grandchildren aren't Windsors, they're Windsor-Mountbattens. (The queen's husband's real name is, of course, Philip Mountbatten.) I have a feeling Charles and his sons see themselves as Windsors though. However, while Queen Victoria was of the Hannover dynasty, her children were of the Sachsen-Gotha dynasty, because her husband was Prince Albert of Sachsen-Gotha. The Sachsen-Gothas of UK changed their name to Windsor during the first world war, so that they would seem more Brittish than German.
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Furienna
Changing dynasties isn't the end of the world or even much of a problem. It's just that if a male can carry the dynasty further, he should be able to do it. And QEII's children and grandchildren aren't Windsors, they're Windsor-Mountbattens. (The queen's husband's real name is, of course, Philip Mountbatten.) I have a feeling Charles and his sons see themselves as Windsors though. However, while Queen Victoria was of the Hannover dynasty, her children were of the Sachsen-Gotha dynasty, because her husband was Prince Albert of Sachsen-Gotha. The Sachsen-Gothas of UK changed their name to Windsor during the first world war, so that they would seem more Brittish than German.
ok. I have to say though humbly, that I did not read anywhere that anyone was advocating that a male offspring would not be able to 'carry the dynasty further'.

The issue seemed to get around somehow to gender of the firstborn offspring. If the child would be a girl, fine. A boy, fine. That imo would be a point about birth order of any children to the emporer or Crown Prince.

If the Emporer or Crown Princely couple has all girl children, no problem. If he has girls first, then boys, birth order determines next-in-line, not gender. If the emporer or Crown Prince had all girls and his other relatives had boys, good for them.

The emporer's own natural children or the the children from the Crown Princely couple would the next-in-line in accordance to birth order, gender has nothing to do with it.

IMO, as long as the children are healthy, it should never be a problem to have girls next to inherit (and not after a younger brother), especially if they are the natural children of the reigning emporer or crown princely couple, the girl would be just as entitled as the boy, imo. But it is a subject for the Japanese to settle for themselves.


King Henry the XIII went absolutely mad over this same kind of issue and look at all the problems he created over his 'must have a male' stance. In the end, a very capable daughter ended up succeeding him anyway (actually both daughters held the role of monarch). Just my opinion.
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