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  #41  
Old 03-19-2008, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
Huh? The Empress never said that her grandchildren were malicious, this is what she said:


No, the Mako and Kako don't smile so much, but if you look at pictures of them well before Hishihito was born, and even when they were Aiko's age, they were never that smiley in general. Perhaps they are shy. But there have been pictures of Mako doing things with her father, and Kako has her skating and gets attention for that, so I wouldn't assume they are jealous or anything. In fact both have a reputation for being well behaved young girls.

Aiko seems adorable and I love her smiles, but in contrast to Mako/Kako, there has been some statements of why Aiko wasn't seen bowing in certain occasions.. Something her father did when she was age/ aunts, uncle, and cousins as well. And which from what I can understand is an expected thing from a Japanese child.

Now, Aiko may be just shy herself, who knows.. And it really wouldn't do to assume any child, unless you get to know them or hear reports of them acting lke brats, to assume they are spoiled.

Honestly, I hope that both sides of the family encourage Aiko to spend time and get to know her cousins, because they could easily serve as "honorary" siblings for her. I know I had a cousin who was an only child and around my brother's age. We lived really close by, and even though my mom had divorced his parents' brother. My mom, Aunt, and Uncle all encouraged us to build a relationship. This cousin is like a third brother to me, and I know he is extremely close with my brothers.

The point I was making in general is the idea that really having a sibling close in age, is not harmful in anyway to a child. (I think it's quite good for them.)
I somewhere read in this forum that Michiko said they behave like "little mothers" but also tend to be a bit malicious sometimes and that it is a pleasure to see Aiko so tenderly treating her little cousin – at least, it is this what I remember. It must have been somewhen around New year but I cannot find it so quickly. I will look for it when I have more time, o.k.? Maybe then we will understand the difference, or maybe I have misunderstood a word – that does happen, of course. And what I see in the faces of Mako and Kako I still see but, of course, it is only my impression, and I cannot prove it. But anyway, thank you for the words by Michiko that you quoted, I did not know them before.


I understand what you mean concerning siblings but I would say it depends on the circumstances. I have been growing up as an only child and I only have a little sister and brother from the second marriage of my father. I absolutely doate on them. (But I could be their mother, so that is not the same thing.) But my parents both had siblings, and when I saw that I really was not sure if I wanted that, too. In my mother´s family they quarrel but when it is important they support each other, so I would say in this case: it is, after all, good to have siblings. But in my father´s family it seemed to me that the children felt a sort of: „Don´t be so sure that you are important, and if you are not the child we want there are others who want your place“ – competition from the first day... Of course, it is the growns ups who do this, it is not the children´s fault. But in my father´s family I´d definitely prefer to be an only child, and I am not sure if I would not think the same in the Japanese imperial family. At least, I´d prefer to have sisters, I think... (I adore my little brother, brothers are certainly nice, generally speaking, but in this special case I am not so sure.)


Thank you, Albina, Vanesa and Charlotte, for your kind words and thanks to all who read my translation. I am working on the next part concerning the crown prince´s view of the tasks of the tenno – a bit tricky. It is good to see your support!
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  #42  
Old 03-19-2008, 09:25 PM
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I check in here often to see whether you've added anything to your translation/summary. It's excellent.
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  #43  
Old 03-19-2008, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
This fear turned out to be not wholly without reason: Fritz and Kobayashi report that Masako only one day before her departure to Belgium in December 1999 had made a pregnancy test which was positive. Naruhito and Masako and their surrounding considered to cancel the journey. But everything was already prepared. They did not have time to reflect. "And, moreover, Naruhito´s friend, the Belgian crown prince Philippe, would have been very disappointed: Naruhito and Philippe have the same age and had promised each other while still being bachelors to attend the wedding of the other." And the executives of the crownprince´s household warned that if this trip was cancelled the pregnancy might be become prematurely public. So they took a bitter decision and went on this trip. The emperor and empress were not informed of this because it was clear that under these circumstances they would never have allowed Masako to leave.
I'd like to add some information to this incident. While Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako were in Belgium, they travelled all the way to a restaurant
for wine and dine. The restaurant "Le SANGEIER DES ARDENNES" is 80 kilometers away from Brussels. You can find a picture of them titled "SAILE Prince Naruhito et son epouse Masako Owada" in the restaurant.

Does anybody tell me why Princess Masako did such a silly thing despite she knew she was pregnant?
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  #44  
Old 03-20-2008, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
I want to share with you excerpts from a German book about CP Masako. I have got nearly all of my information about the imperial family from that book but I only recently realized that you here in this forum cannot have that same information because the book is as far as I can see only available in German. (A lot of books here in Germany, especially about international issues, are simply translations of English books, I had not especially paid attention to the authors and so I presumed that it had been the same in this case.)
I really think its contents are worth sharing because the authors are trying to give an explanation for the conflicts in the imperial family that to me seems very interesting and convincing. As you can already suppose from the title (Prinzessin Masako – Der gefangene Schmetterling: Princess Masako – The encaged butterfly, from 2005) they are very compassionate upon Masako. They say that they got a lot of information from friends of Masako and Naruhito who did not get the couple´s official permission to talk to journalists but who are so concerned and worried about the situation that they decided to give them anonymously the information they have. That the authors really got their information from these friends, of course, is something that they cannot prove under the circumstances, we have to believe it (or not). From my point of view, I can say that neither the style of the book nor the contents give the impression of yellow press. One of the authors, Martin Fritz, is a German journalist who lives in Tokio and works for a German public TV station, ARD, and they are usually supposed to be "serious" and to not invent things to make a story. (Of course there are many differences but to give you an idea: they have a reputation a bit like BBC.) They definitely have a reputation to lose if one of them tells nonsense. So I really suppose he should be creditable. The other author, Yoko Kobayashi, works as a free journalist in Tokio.
But although the authors end their book with the hope that Masako will be able to leave her cage (which does NOT mean: her position as crown princess) and will be set free to use her abilities and enchant Japan and the rest of the world they are taking a lot of trouble to make the position and opinion of the emperor and empress understandable, also for Western people. (They basically see it as a conflict between generations in the imperial family, they do not think that the IHA as an institution has much power left – I will give more details about this in the future as this point has been discussed in this forum already with much dedication.) And they suceeded in making at least me aware of the fact that there really IS a conflict that cannot be solved that easily, that it is a conflict that is not only their personal familiar issue but that represents conflicts that strongly exist within the Japanese society and that the solution to them can never be that simple as to just make one side wrong and declare them to be the "bad guy".
I will start by giving you excerpts and resumés from the sixth chapter because it is there that they explain their view of the conflict. (It will take me some time because it has 60 pages so although I hope that you are interested in my translations I also hope that you will be patient with me.)
Wow!

Nice start.

Thank you!

-- Abbie
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  #45  
Old 03-20-2008, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekat8 View Post
I'd like to add some information to this incident. While Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako were in Belgium, they travelled all the way to a restaurant
for wine and dine. The restaurant "Le SANGEIER DES ARDENNES" is 80 kilometers away from Brussels. You can find a picture of them titled "SAILE Prince Naruhito et son epouse Masako Owada" in the restaurant.

Does anybody tell me why Princess Masako did such a silly thing despite she knew she was pregnant?
Travelling to a restaurant was silly? It's not as though she went skydiving or bungee jumping.
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  #46  
Old 03-20-2008, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Travelling to a restaurant was silly? It's not as though she went skydiving or bungee jumping.
If you are a few weeks pregnant, I presume doctors would advice you to avoid several hours ride to a restaurant and also alcoholic beverages. To an unborn baby, it might have been like bungee jumping.

Please don't take me wrong. The miscarriage after their visit to Belgium is not Princess Masako's fault. Never! However, I've been wondering why they couldn't be more careful when they chose to visit Belgium as scheduled.
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  #47  
Old 03-20-2008, 11:16 AM
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Women do all kinds of things while they are pregnant. My own mother worked right up until the day I was born and she commuted an hour a day on rural roads. A good friend worked until her son was born and she was a waitress carrying trays. A simple trip to a dinner is nothing and I highly doubt she was drinking alcohol while she was there.
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  #48  
Old 03-20-2008, 02:44 PM
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With all due respect...

ekat8,
Although you have pointed the contrary, the tone of your posts implies that you are inclined to put blame on Crown Princess Masako for miscarriage because she went to the restaurant. Given the specifics of the Imperial family lifestyle, it would be fair to assume that the restaurant visit was approved by her doctors and other parties concerned. Sometimes, staying in bed would not stop an woman miscarrying.
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  #49  
Old 03-20-2008, 08:50 PM
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You are most correct. Traveling to a restaurant or anywhere with a "good" pregnancy is irrelevant. Obviously, there was a problem. Mostly miscarriages occur, because there is some defect in the fetus. Sometimes not. But a doctor would have had to caution her not to travel and have complete bed rest and even that would not guarantee that there would be no problems. Masako did nothing "silly" or wrong.
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  #50  
Old 03-21-2008, 02:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
Women do all kinds of things while they are pregnant. My own mother worked right up until the day I was born and she commuted an hour a day on rural roads. A good friend worked until her son was born and she was a waitress carrying trays. A simple trip to a dinner is nothing and I highly doubt she was drinking alcohol while she was there.
I myself did all kinds of things while I was pregnant. But do you know
one out of 10 pregnancies suffers a miscarriage and that number increases
in a few weeks pregnancy? Being extra carefull doesn't harm anybody.

What Priness Masako did wasn't commuting an hour a day on the same
rural roads. She was in a foreign country and in a few weeks pregnancy
which she kept a secret when leaving Japan. Flying itself might have been some stress on her body. All I want to say is that she could have visited
other restaurants in Brussels(Don't they have?) and she could have avoided
several hous car rides.

The former Belgium Ambassedor interviewed said that he had never thought she was pregant because she was drinking wine as usual.
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  #51  
Old 03-21-2008, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
ekat8,
Although you have pointed the contrary, the tone of your posts implies that you are inclined to put blame on Crown Princess Masako for miscarriage because she went to the restaurant. Given the specifics of the Imperial family lifestyle, it would be fair to assume that the restaurant visit was approved by her doctors and other parties concerned. Sometimes, staying in bed would not stop an woman miscarrying.
I just don't understand her for her unnecessary hours drive and wine in her
early pregnancy. The miscarriage has nothing to do with her act, but I think
her act as a pregnant woman was inconsiderate.

The restaurant visit was a private one, so it's unlikely to be approved by
doctors. Rather, they would stop it with all their might.
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  #52  
Old 03-21-2008, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekat8 View Post
... The miscarriage has nothing to do with her act, but I think her act as a pregnant woman was inconsiderate.
I do apologise, but the tone of your post implies once again that Crown Princess Masako should be blamed for miscarriage because she inconsiderately took the trip in question.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekat8 View Post
The restaurant visit was a private one, so it's unlikely to be approved by doctors. Rather, they would stop it with all their might.
Can you present any proof that the restaurant visit was not approved by the doctors and others parties concerned?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekat8 View Post
...
The former Belgium Ambassedor interviewed said that he had never thought she was pregant because she was drinking wine as usual.
[snipped]
It would be most kind of you to present the source of your information.
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  #53  
Old 03-21-2008, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekat8 View Post
I myself did all kinds of things while I was pregnant. But do you know
one out of 10 pregnancies suffers a miscarriage and that number increases
in a few weeks pregnancy? Being extra carefull doesn't harm anybody.

What Priness Masako did wasn't commuting an hour a day on the same
rural roads. She was in a foreign country and in a few weeks pregnancy
which she kept a secret when leaving Japan. Flying itself might have been some stress on her body. All I want to say is that she could have visited
other restaurants in Brussels(Don't they have?) and she could have avoided
several hous car rides.

The former Belgium Ambassedor interviewed said that he had never thought she was pregant because she was drinking wine as usual.
Yes, thank you. I am familiar with the facts behind miscarriages, having had several myself (all but the first one on bed rest, btw). Being her first pregnancy (that we know about), you don't know how your body is going to react to a pregnancy and there is no reason to worry about day to day activites unless you have had experience.

I also would be interested in reading the interview with the Belgian Ambassador as this is the first time that I have heard this statement made. If you could provide a link, I would appreciate the opportunity to hear his thoughts on the matter. Thanks!
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  #54  
Old 03-21-2008, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekat8 View Post
I just don't understand her for her unnecessary hours drive and wine in her
early pregnancy. The miscarriage has nothing to do with her act, but I think
her act as a pregnant woman was inconsiderate.

The restaurant visit was a private one, so it's unlikely to be approved by
doctors. Rather, they would stop it with all their might.
I doubt whether her trip to Belgium and her attendance at a restaurant far from Brussels had anything to do with her miscarriage. Masako and Naruhito were at the Belgian wedding which took place on December 4th, she miscarried the first week of January, that's over a month later, by that time she was back in Japan and probably wrapped in cottonwool. The pregnancy news was made public on December 11th ( I was in Japan at the time and can remember the screaming headlines in the paper that day) being her first pregnancy I doubt whether she would have been doing much beyond getting out of bed and yet she still miscarried.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
Can you present any proof that the restaurant visit was not approved by the doctors and others parties concerned?
You are assuming here that the doctors knew she was pregnant. Also although it's a view that people seem to cling to that the Japanese royals are tightly controlled they do actually have a private life with private freedoms. If it's a private visit to a restaurant in Japan or elsewhere they just go, there's no 'getting approval'. ( The only issue would be security so their security people would need to be informed to check the places out)

I'm assuming that since ekat8 has Kobe Japan as the place where they're from they would have access to Japanese language materials and therefore information which on one hand is more critical of Masako ( which the Japanese media is) but also less "poor prisoner Masako stories" which the western media like to perpetuate. Aside from the criticism it's good to get the extra information that Japanese have rather than the one sided western 'poor victim' view.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlotte1 View Post
I doubt whether her trip to Belgium and her attendance at a restaurant far from Brussels had anything to do with her miscarriage. Masako and Naruhito were at the Belgian wedding which took place on December 4th, she miscarried the first week of January, that's over a month later, by that time she was back in Japan and probably wrapped in cottonwool. The pregnancy news was made public on December 11th ( I was in Japan at the time and can remember the screaming headlines in the paper that day) being her first pregnancy I doubt whether she would have been doing much beyond getting out of bed and yet she still miscarried.
You are absolutely right. The miscarriage has nothing to do with her act.
My point is that that doesn't necesarily mean her act as a few weeks
pregnant woman who kept it secrect from His or Her Majesty is considerate.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
Yes, thank you. I am familiar with the facts behind miscarriages, having had several myself (all but the first one on bed rest, btw). Being her first pregnancy (that we know about), you don't know how your body is going to react to a pregnancy and there is no reason to worry about day to day activites unless you have had experience.

I also would be interested in reading the interview with the Belgian Ambassador as this is the first time that I have heard this statement made. If you could provide a link, I would appreciate the opportunity to hear his thoughts on the matter. Thanks!
The interview was televised in Japan and so many people heard that
but I'm sorry I don't have a videotape. I think you can call the restaurant
and ask the master if it's true or not.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:49 PM
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She might not have been certain. And, its her body, and she should have the right to announce her pregnancy, when she wished.
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  #59  
Old 03-22-2008, 04:03 AM
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I apologize that I have caused some controversy in this thread. I think I can
give you some more concrete information you can see on the website, so
I should go to another thread or make one. Thank you for all the comments.
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Old 03-22-2008, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekat8 View Post
I apologize that I have caused some controversy in this thread. I think I can
give you some more concrete information you can see on the website, so
I should go to another thread or make one. Thank you for all the comments.
There's no need to apologise, this is a forum where people discuss royalty, all you've done is to give us something to discuss. It's good to get some different information about Japanese royals from someone in Japan, you have access to a different view point and different information.
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