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  #21  
Old 03-28-2008, 07:18 PM
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My own (simplistic?) view is that if CP Masako were the mother of a son then her position, person and prestige would be unassailable.

I can believe from some comments in this thread that many Japanese citizens don't appreciate how popular and much-admired their Crown Princess is throughout the world, nor how strongly many people sympathise with her situation.
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  #22  
Old 03-28-2008, 09:51 PM
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The thing I find--the two things, actually--most interesting about this whole issue:

1) Gender of a child is decided by chromosomes in the sperm. No male heir? That's not the CPss fault.

2) Is it not equally possible that he's shooting blanks?

I know, I know. He is the next tenno, descended from the Sun Goddess, and thus fairly immune (in Japan) from criticism. But please, welcome to reality..
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  #23  
Old 03-29-2008, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
I have seen it mentioned on other websites that the idea of Masako taking her own life would not go amiss. Preferably before she becomes Empress. That way Naruhito would be free to marry again and perhaps produce a male heir this time. This is not something I have seen bandied about since the birth of Hisahito, however.
I think the traditionalists who want to avoid a female ruler are also a lot more comfortable with the notion of the Akishino family being the one that carries the imperial house forward. The excellent translation ChiaraC is providing in her thread is a good explanation about why this is so. Having Naruhito produce a son wouldn't be so much to their taste - on the other hand, I'm pretty sure that Prince Hisahito was already born when I saw this outpouring of venom on the other board. We saw hints of it earlier in this thread with the comment about how the crown prince and princess are trying to destroy everything the Japanese hold dear. I've asked a few of our Japanese friends what they think about the state of the imperial family, and most of them seem to be either indifferent or in favour of Aiko following her father as ruler. Course, these people do tend to be scientists, and scientists aren't the most traditionally minded of people as a rule.
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  #24  
Old 03-29-2008, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
Japan is an extremely cruel country, which strives for perfection and rests upon strict adherence to traditions. Throughout Japanese history, the Imperial family has been a symbol of the Japanese identity as a nation. So the Japanese will be reluctant to introduce any major changes that may adversely affect this symbol or tarnish its images in any manner. The Japanese respect harmony and do not like anyone, who attempts to express his/her personal opinion. Any person, who dares to behave in differently, always gets pressure from others to conform to generally accepted rules and traditions, receive harsh criticism, and suffer ostracism. I believe that Crown Princess Masako dared to utter “me” a few times instead of “we”. In short, Crown Princess Masako attempted to rock the boat of the eternal harmony and peace. The same situation takes place in Vatican.
While I agree that the pressure to conform is considerably stronger in Japan than in western countries, there's pressure to conform in all societies and penalties for not doing so. I think the characterisation "extremely cruel" is an overstatement.
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  #25  
Old 03-30-2008, 12:35 PM
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I don't know Japanese culture, so I can't judge. But it doesn't seem a big deal to me, Masako saying I'm so thankful for a healthy child. It's something I would say.

However perhaps a comment like that isn't Kosher in Japanese society, that's for the Japanese to judge.

I'm upset that some Japanese would suggest Masako commiting suicide that's ridiculous. Especially since we don't know that Masako is the primary problem. What if most of the problem is Narauhito. (That's possible)

Still, I think the vehemance goes both ways. There have been a lot of people quick to criticize the Ashinkos.

I think there is a Princess Diana syndrome going on. Where everyone wanted to make Diana into this victim. Beautiful non royalty girl goes into royal family and gets treated poorly by the mean royals. Now, I think history is suggesting that Diana had her own problems and she wasn't necessarily all innocent in everything.

I suspect the same with Masako. I think perhaps Masako's expectations of what her role would be and the Japanese expectations were different. And yes, I think the Japanese should also ease up. However, I also feel she took the job, and she should make an effort to fulfill some of the expectations. It's not merely for her to define HER role. She is a public servant and so the public deserves quite a lot of say in what her role is. If she made a comment comparing having children to overseas trips, it was very much inappropriate. Because her primarly role as the Crown Prince's Consort IS to bare him an heir.
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  #26  
Old 03-30-2008, 07:59 PM
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Yes, there were expectations for Masako, but perhaps, she and Narauhito, hoped to bring about some changes, that might enhance the Imperial throne. Times have changed and while I, certainly, agree with Elspeth, that Japan is not, "an extremely cruel country". It is an extremely limited country, when it comes to its ruling class and thoughts. This is not the 12th Century, nor even the 20th Century. Masako is well educated. She and her husband have tried, I am sure, to give the IHA a male heir, but alas, they haven't. Aiko, is a charming little girl, who will, probably, grow up to be a very educated and erudite young woman. She can run Japan, just as well as her baby male cousin can. The Japanese, themselves, are the real victims here. They have not be given the chance to step into the 21st Century and accept people, male and female as equals.
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  #27  
Old 03-30-2008, 08:17 PM
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Time was if a Royal Consort could not bear a male heir, they would just bring in a concubine to do it. How romantic, I know. I have a sneaking suspicion that the problem might just be with Naruhito and not in the genetic sense. ChiaraC's translation in the other thread is also showing us a prince who was intent on doing things a bit differently than his father and having a less than traditional viewpoint on things. Perhaps it is with his encouragement that Masako seems to be failing at doing her duty by putting her daughter ahead of her duty. I agree that Masako knew the score when she joined the RF about providing an heir, but perhaps was not overly concerned about the expediency in which she did it at the beginning when the overseas comment was made since women have been giving birth later and later. Then, years later, a son is not forthcoming and now time is growing short. Masako very well may be acting difficult against her royal role, but I can't let go of the shingles thing. This is an actual physical manifestation of stress on the body and mind. Its not something that can't be seen like the oft commented on "adjustment disorder". So whatever is going on, she is under some kind of duress.

The whole mess could just be a nasty combination of things. A "forward" thinking Crown Prince, in-laws who just don't seem to be able to get along, the "spare" prince being overly ambitious, the heavy handed IHA, an ageing Crown Princess with no son to offer up and a monarchy that is trying to maintain a precarious balance between tradition and modernization. I think perhaps that Masako might find her stride when she becomes Empress and is no longer overshadowed by a hard working and poplular mother in law. NOT that I am suggesting anything bad happen to the Empress. She is well deserving of the love of her people, but she is going to be a tough act to follow.
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  #28  
Old 03-30-2008, 09:00 PM
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A very good assessment. I think you are quite right. It just is a terrible situation for those who are suffering through it. I am sure a woman who has had such difficulty having a child, is very greatful that she has a beautiful, healthy and bright child. Sex does not matter.
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  #29  
Old 03-31-2008, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
A very good assessment. I think you are quite right. It just is a terrible situation for those who are suffering through it. I am sure a woman who has had such difficulty having a child, is very greatful that she has a beautiful, healthy and bright child. Sex does not matter.
Of course. But someone on another thread quoted a book, and the book talked about certain things. they mentioned that for example, after Aiko, Masako and Naruhito told the emperor that they weren't going to try children for awhile because they wanted Aiko to feel secure and loved. (Seeing as Aiko is invitro, the idea of them going that route successfully again isn't ridiculous. Although I'm Catholic, and I don't agree with invitro in the first place, to be honest.)

This apparently is a large source of the tension between the Emperor and Naruhito's clan. Because the emperor feels that a male would be better suited to be the heir. Mainly because, for example there are no female priests in the Shinto religion, and women are even considered unclean during their menustral cycle...
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  #30  
Old 03-31-2008, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
Of course. But someone on another thread quoted a book, and the book talked about certain things. they mentioned that for example, after Aiko, Masako and Naruhito told the emperor that they weren't going to try children for awhile because they wanted Aiko to feel secure and loved. (Seeing as Aiko is invitro, the idea of them going that route successfully again isn't ridiculous. Although I'm Catholic, and I don't agree with invitro in the first place, to be honest.)

This apparently is a large source of the tension between the Emperor and Naruhito's clan. Because the emperor feels that a male would be better suited to be the heir. Mainly because, for example there are no female priests in the Shinto religion, and women are even considered unclean during their menustral cycle...

The IVF route isn't a ridiculous route for them to consider, but who says they haven't tried it again? The success rates are still very low, especially when you are older. For all we know, they have tried it again several times. We don't know what measures they have taken to try for another child. Its not just the emperor who may feel that a male heir is needed. The entire line of succession is based on that tradition. The resolution that I would like to see is to allow a son of Aiko to become the heir after Naruhito. If the problem is a female tenno, at least let the grandson of an Emperor Naruhito succeed him. Naruhito is young. He could be Emperor for a very long time until Aiko has a son to succeed him. This could appease some people if Aiko was allowed to marry and retain her royal status, without offending the conservatives who don't want to see a woman on the throne.
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  #31  
Old 03-31-2008, 06:59 PM
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With all due respect ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
While I agree that the pressure to conform is considerably stronger in Japan than in western countries, there's pressure to conform in all societies and penalties for not doing so. I think the characterisation "extremely cruel" is an overstatement.
I love everything Japanese: culture, cuisine, literature, fashion, perfumes, cosmetics, etc. Having said that, I still regard the Japan as one of the cruelest nations in the world. Furthermore, I believe that the Japanese is the only nation that has turned cruelty into the form of art (e.g., seppuku). As acknowledged many times, Japan is very keen on maintaining the uniqueness of its native culture. I admire the Japanese for their capacity to borrow and adapt and yet to retain their own individuality and their own style. As noted by W. Scott Morton, “The Japanese... are a product of a history driven by two opposing forces-the relentless march of cultural change and the steadfast desire to maintain tradition. The nearly ceaseless and often violent conflict between these forces has made the story of Japan’s traditional past a pageant unrivaled in the sweep of its human drama”. Surviving in harsh geographical conditions and adopting only the best innovations prompted the process of the natural selection, where only perfect human specimens are fit to become the Japanese. Thus, the Japanese show intolerance toward imperfect things and human beings, which often equals cruelty.
Japan is known for its discriminatory attitudes toward women viewing them as servants to men and baby-making machines. Such situation bespeaks a deeply rooted view that women are imperfect and thus can not be accorded truly equal treatment. Although one of the well-developed countries, Japan is not willing to embrace forward thinking that tends to break outdated traditions, which define the Japanese uniqueness .
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  #32  
Old 03-31-2008, 07:16 PM
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Wrong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
there are no female priests in the Shinto religion
Sorry, but there are female priestesses in Shinto religion. They are called "miko". There are even high priestesses and they are called "saio" and they were usually the unmarried relative of the Emperor. Emperor Akihito's elder sister, Atsuko is actually the "saio" now since 1988.

Anyways, I have to agree with kimebear. If Aiko cannot be empress, I would like to see her son as emperor...but I think this is impossible to happen.
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  #33  
Old 03-31-2008, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
Japan is known for its discriminatory attitudes toward women viewing them as servants to men and baby-making machines. Such situation bespeaks a deeply rooted view that women are imperfect and thus can not be accorded truly equal treatment.
That doesn't sound all that different from western society of 50 years ago and earlier. Inferiority of women seems to be a characteristic of a lot of religions, and western society is only recently breaking free. From things I've heard from friends who've spent extended periods living in Japan, the Japanese very much admire 1950s America, a time and place when women were also basically decorative nonentities. It may just be that Japan is taking a little longer than western Europe to embrace modern attitudes - the idea of Aiko following her father as ruler doesn't seem to bother many younger and middle-aged Japanese.
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  #34  
Old 04-01-2008, 12:27 PM
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Japan has been exposed to foreign material goods, other psychocultural artifacts (music, the popular culture and the like), and developments in the society at large (Internet, cell-phones, etc.). Decline of population density coupled with increased resource availability will adversely affect collectivistic behaviours, values, and group consciousness, thereby encouraging individuality, uniqueness, and separateness. Nevertheless, the speed of transformational changes is likely to remain slow. In light of the foregoing, I dare to assume that Prince Hisahito’s daughter have got a chance of becoming an Empress.
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  #35  
Old 04-01-2008, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
The IVF route isn't a ridiculous route for them to consider, but who says they haven't tried it again? The success rates are still very low, especially when you are older. For all we know, they have tried it again several times. We don't know what measures they have taken to try for another child. Its not just the emperor who may feel that a male heir is needed. The entire line of succession is based on that tradition. The resolution that I would like to see is to allow a son of Aiko to become the heir after Naruhito. If the problem is a female tenno, at least let the grandson of an Emperor Naruhito succeed him. Naruhito is young. He could be Emperor for a very long time until Aiko has a son to succeed him. This could appease some people if Aiko was allowed to marry and retain her royal status, without offending the conservatives who don't want to see a woman on the throne.
I think the reports are that Masako has refused to try again, although for awhile it was just she wanted time....As for the succession, the issue ISN'T so much Aiko being empress, the traditonalists are okay with that idea because it's part of their tradition. The ISSUE is Aiko's children being Emperor/Emperess after that. Basically the tradition is that for 2600 years, the Emperor/Empress has always been directly through the male line. That's a 2600 year tradition, and quite frankly, monarchies are built on tradition. So basically the Traditionalists would prefer Aiko to Aiko's son. Quite literally.

So many would be willing to accept Aiko as Empress, however they aren't willing to accept Aiko's children as Emperor/Empress, unless she marries someone from let's say a now defunct former royal family, or Hisahito. And one can see the argument that yes Aiko has the right to inherit, but that certainly giving the 2600 year tradition, Hisahito certainly has more right than any of Aiko's children.
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  #36  
Old 04-04-2008, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
Japan is an extremely cruel country, which strives for perfection and rests upon strict adherence to traditions. Throughout Japanese history, the Imperial family has been a symbol of the Japanese identity as a nation. So the Japanese will be reluctant to introduce any major changes that may adversely affect this symbol or tarnish its images in any manner. The Japanese respect harmony and do not like anyone, who attempts to express his/her personal opinion. Any person, who dares to behave in differently, always gets pressure from others to conform to generally accepted rules and traditions, receive harsh criticism, and suffer ostracism. I believe that Crown Princess Masako dared to utter “me” a few times instead of “we”. In short, Crown Princess Masako attempted to rock the boat of the eternal harmony and peace. The same situation takes place in Vatican.
I understand what you mean and I appreciate your explanation very much. And I think that the words by W. Scott Morton that you quote in your other post (“The Japanese... are a product of a history driven by two opposing forces-the relentless march of cultural change and the steadfast desire to maintain tradition. The nearly ceaseless and often violent conflict between these forces has made the story of Japan’s traditional past a pageant unrivaled in the sweep of its human drama”.) are, indeed, very much to the purpose.

But, I must say, if it is their idea of harmony to radically destroy everything that does not fit into their preconceived pattern I certainly don´t share it. And although I am, of course, not qualified to say anything about the deeper meaning of “ai” (which, I suppose, would be “harmony” in Japanese) at least the European word “harmony” would agree with me. “Harmonia” is the daughter of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and the Greek god of war, Ares. So, harmony is created by the loving union of two adversary powers, not by the elimination of one of them. And you cannot “make” or “produce” it, you can only let it grow (or not).
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  #37  
Old 10-26-2008, 10:02 PM
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Sympathy turns to scepticism as courtiers whisper princess does not do her duty - Times Online
Quote:
... In May a magazine ran an article by Kanji Nishio, a right-wing academic and champion of the Imperial Family. He urged that Princess Masako's family “take her back” - a euphemism for divorce - because of the damage that she is doing to the Imperial Family. “The members of the Imperial Family are the passengers of the ship named the Imperial System, but not its owners,” he wrote. “If one individual gets seasick and cannot stay on board, then there is no alternative but to disembark.” The article boosted the circulation of the magazine, Will, from 100,000 to 150,000 a month and drew many e-mails, letters and telephone calls, most of them in agreement with Professor Nishio. “Nishio has started a debate that people with common sense want to participate in,” Tomoko Seo, an editor at the magazine, said. “People are frustrated and angry with Masako for making many private outings, although she cannot carry out official duties.”
[my bolding]
It looks like another wave of criticism aimed at Crown Princess Masako has been set off. Unfortunately I can not express my views on this issue unambiguously because it is impossible for me to determine whether Crown Princess Masako is strongly advised to lead a cloistered life or it is Crown Princess Masako's wish to do so. Additionally, this Japanese magazine seems to use Crown Princess Masako for improving sales in the same way as Western tabloids do.
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  #38  
Old 10-27-2008, 01:10 PM
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I believe that you're correct in thinking this, Al-bina. One sign of hope is that she's due to meet with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall when they visit Japan; she's not attending the event with the Emperor and Empress, though. It's the same with going with Aiko to see the Empress's pictures; she went with Naruhito and not with the rest of the Imperial Family. So she seems to be taking on some appearances in public, but is still not appearing with her in-laws. Perhaps those occasions are still too formal for her, but she can handle the less formal occasions with herself and the Crown Prince more ably. The worst possible assumption, although it did occur to me, is that these occasions are showing a great divide between the Crown Princess and the Imperial Couple. I hope that's not the case.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
Sympathy turns to scepticism as courtiers whisper princess does not do her duty - Times Online
[my bolding]
It looks like another wave of criticism aimed at Crown Princess Masako has been set off.
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  #39  
Old 10-27-2008, 01:50 PM
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Unfortunately, I believe that this is exactly the case. There is a definite divide between the Imperial couple and the Crown Princely couple. The question just remains as to whether it is by the design of the IHA to further pit the Japanese people against Masako, or if Masako herself just doesn't want to be around her in-laws.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:52 PM
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I hope, I hope, I hope that there's a picture of her dressed up for dinner with the Crown Prince and Charles and Camilla. She needs to do something official, and soon.


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Unfortunately, I believe that this is exactly the case. There is a definite divide between the Imperial couple and the Crown Princely couple. The question just remains as to whether it is by the design of the IHA to further pit the Japanese people against Masako, or if Masako herself just doesn't want to be around her in-laws.
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