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  #41  
Old 12-10-2008, 01:11 PM
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Stress of family squabbles blamed for Emperor Akihito's illness - Times Online
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Emperor Akihito of Japan is suffering from stomach problems caused by acute stress — the result of a painful falling out with his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, according to speculation in the Japanese media. ...
It appears that yet again the Japanese media attempts to pin guilt for Emperor Akihito's health condition on the Crown Princely couple. Naturally it is impossible to determine whether the omnipotent IHA has choreographed a current wave of criticism in the mass media outlets by leaking bits of information. At the same time, there is a usual pattern of blaming the Crown Princely couple to fulfill their main duty, that is to produce an heir.
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... According to sources close to the Imperial Palace, Akihito in his turn reproached his son for taking lightly the responsibility of perpetuating the world’s longest unbroken royal line — dating back some 2000 years and 125 generations, in the traditional reckoning, to the direct descendants of Japan’s Sun Goddess, Amaterasu no Omikami. ... [my bolding]
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  #42  
Old 12-10-2008, 07:53 PM
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So we have had the Empress made sick from stress, the Crown Princess made sick from stress and now the Emperor. Wouldn't you think that the Japanese public might start to suspect that all is not what it seems for traditional Imperial life?
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  #43  
Old 12-10-2008, 08:07 PM
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It's so ironic that members of the Imperial Family always look so serene when they're in public.

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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
So we have had the Empress made sick from stress, the Crown Princess made sick from stress and now the Emperor. Wouldn't you think that the Japanese public might start to suspect that all is not what it seems for traditional Imperial life?
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  #44  
Old 12-12-2008, 07:58 AM
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Exclamation

It is true that it was the crown prince in the first place who started washing the dirty family laundry in public. But he only did it once, and has since absolutely refrained from doing it again, even when questioned hard by curious journalists.

The emperor and prince Akishino (and those surrounding them), in their turn, seem to be unable to stop themselves doing it, now that they have begun...
"Dr Kanazawa made it clear that this was not simply a case of an elderly man working too hard. “Please do not simply think that he feels distress because he is busy performing official duties or his schedule is tight,” he said."

The emperor is an old man and working much too much, like many Japanese. (You know that there is a special illness, known only in Japan, that basically describes people dying - literally - from too much work?) If the doctor would not give a reason for the emperor´s breakdown, nobody would suspect anything special. But he instead chooses to cause new rumours. Does he think that this will help the suffering? (Well - maybe: if the disobedient son is publicly put to shame, maybe that helps... But it is a high price they are paying for this satisfaction. This will hardly ameliorate the reputation of the imperial family as a whole.)

Even if it is true that misunderstandings with the crown prince are troubling the emperor´s mind, why does the public have to be kept informed of it? Have not we been told that harmony and "keeping face" go first in Japanese society?
This constant public discussion of the internal matters of the imperial family will not solve their problems but will rather serve to fuel them even more.
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  #45  
Old 12-12-2008, 01:25 PM
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ChiaraC,
As usually you have made valid observations about the current state of affairs within the Imperial family. It is rather odd that public at large is invited to witness the family discord. Yet again ... I wonder if it was Dr Kanazawa's own initiative to make a very ambiguous statement.
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  #46  
Old 12-12-2008, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
I wonder if it was Dr Kanazawa's own initiative to make a very ambiguous statement.
I am wondering, too. And it seems to me that in this case we are having exactly the same idea concerning on whose initiative he may have spoken...
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  #47  
Old 12-12-2008, 08:37 PM
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This makes me think that, in some dark corner of the IHA building, somebody is thinking on firing Kanazawa because of having a big mouth.... jajaja...

But being serious, the guys at the IHA and the Imperial Family must take into account all this stress-related illness, and see that they are very closely related to development of official duties and stress linked to a though life within their moats.

Maybe they might need group theraphy or something, don't you think?? The only problem is that mental health is still a taboo subject in Japan..
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  #48  
Old 12-12-2008, 09:09 PM
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Well....its true that may Japanese consider mental illness is taboo....but that starting to change....eventhough its slow.

Well....the only thing really, in my mind and opinion, that is causing all of these illness within the Imperial family is the IHA. They are the ones scheduling, deciding and what have you with the Emperor, Empress, Crown Prince & Princess etc.....what they will do and when.
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  #49  
Old 12-13-2008, 02:23 PM
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Dr. Kanazawa has made a terrible mistake of spurring unnecessary speculations about the state of affairs within the Imperial family. I would not like to blame the IHA though. Has anyone read "Rising Sun" by Michael Chrichton, in which a junior Japanese executive decided to take an initiatve for a company sake without consulting his superiors, thereby making the company lose its face? There is a possibility that Dr. Kanazawa acted on his own initiative without fully comprehending a possible controversy his statement might create. It remains to be seen whether his trasngression will be punished in any manner or just overlooked.

Another perspective on the internal state of affairs within the Imperial family situation Emperor Akihito, the father of Japan, overcome by family trouble - Telegraph
Quote:
The disagreement appears to stem from the failure of Naruhito and his wife, Crown Princess Masako, to produce a male heir, but beneath it lie profound dynastic and cultural tensions that are shaking the "modern" model of the Imperial family. At the core of the dispute are two ideas of what the country's monarchy should be. On one side are those who favour the prevailing Western-style constitutional system, with the royal family in a largely ceremonial role. ...
Quote:
If Akihito had believed, back in the early days of his reign, that he could change the IHA's approach, he now knows differently. And it is essentially this defeat at the hands of his own courtiers that explains the awkward stand-off with 48-year-old Naruhito. The Crown Prince feels strongly that his own wife – also a commoner – has had a raw deal from the IHA and that the lessons of his mother's unhappiness should have been learned.
As far as I have understood, Langley stated that Imperial servants contribute to the rift between Emperor Akihito and Crown Prince Naruhito.

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  #50  
Old 12-15-2008, 11:56 AM
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An interesting article! And there is at least one thing in it that I have always suspected: that the crown prince while fighting for his wife is also defending his mother, meaning: doing what he always thought his father should have done in the past. (Although I rather suppose that his mother is not appreciating it.) The emperor feels the unspoken accusation in his son´s attitude. And his own bad conscience for the past in which he saw his wife suffering and let her do battle alone makes him even more relentless towards his son. - But then we have to admit that Akihito only did what Asian tradition requires: the first loyalty of a son belongs to his parents, not to his wife. If she has a problem with her parents in law, she´s on her own. - A rule quite easy to follow as long as marriages are being arranged... But independent of the culture you grew up in you will IMO always feel guilty if you love someone – and Akihito undoubtedly loved his young wife – and do not support your love in suffering, tradition or no tradition. He probably never felt quite well about letting her stand alone but on the other hand, tradition´s hold on him was strong, and his duty was clear. - Naruhito is bringing his father´s inner conflict to light by the way in which he stands up for his wife, and much resentment between father and son may flow from that source.
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  #51  
Old 12-15-2008, 07:43 PM
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Ah, the light goes on. Naruhito has broken a taboo by defending his wife. In western terms, this makes him a good husband; but in Asian terms, it makes him a bad son. I think I've got it now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
- But then we have to admit that Akihito only did what Asian tradition requires: the first loyalty of a son belongs to his parents, not to his wife. If she has a problem with her parents in law, she´s on her own. - A rule quite easy to follow as long as marriages are being arranged... But independent of the culture you grew up in you will IMO always feel guilty if you love someone – and Akihito undoubtedly loved his young wife – and do not support your love in suffering, tradition or no tradition. He probably never felt quite well about letting her stand alone but on the other hand, tradition´s hold on him was strong, and his duty was clear. - Naruhito is bringing his father´s inner conflict to light by the way in which he stands up for his wife, and much resentment between father and son may flow from that source.
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  #52  
Old 12-15-2008, 08:38 PM
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Being Asian myself, I understand fully how much pressure the CP must be in -- tradition, bring honor to one's family, and bring no shame to the group you're a part of. I feel absolutely horrible for the CP -- she never wanted to be married into the Imperial family but in the end she was pressured to do so.

A part of the reason why I believe she is having so much difficulty is because she is more Westernized than any other Japanese person within the government and royal circle (did she not get her undergraduate education at Harvard? I might be mistaken, but I believe she spent time abroad when she was a child).

On a side note, I spoke with a Japanese friend recently and she was angry that the young princess will not be the heir to the throne. My friend also mentioned that there are a lot of Japanese people who feel the same way. However, it is of my opinion that the Japanese do not view their RF the way other countries do -- for over a thousand years the Emperor never had any power. They were one of the earliest figure head monarch in Asia. Perhaps this is why, but most Japanese people I come across do not have any strong feelings for their RF. To them, the RF are figures in the background almost invisible, and therefore, not much paying a lot of attention to. Whenever I ask them about the RF, they seem very surprised as if to say, "why on earth would you be interested in THAT?" This is also especially true for the younger generations.
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  #53  
Old 12-15-2008, 09:09 PM
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Here is the part I dont understand. If, as has been widely reported, Masako had IVF to have her daughter, why they did not select a male embryo for implantation? Unless there were no healthy male embryos. At Masako's age, with her previous infertility issues, it is very unlikely that an IVF using her own eggs would be successful. Perhaps a donor egg IVF.
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  #54  
Old 12-15-2008, 09:35 PM
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If they used a donor egg, the child will not be 100% royal blood -- blood is very important in Asian culture.

Secondly, as far as I am aware, in order you to "pick out" a MALE embryo, you need to first pick out the MALE sperm. But "how" is the biggest question because it is impossibly hard to figure out whether or not a certain sperm is male or female without killing or damaging it (it's not like you can draw blood from a sperm which is one single cell).

Thirdly, I highly doubt if the RF would welcome the opportunity to "artificially" inseminate the Crown Princess because that would be inviting more gossip and unwanted attention AND if would be like admitting that they are not perfect. Old families in Asia, especially prominent ones, are very proud and DO NOT want to be seen as having anything less than perfect. Think of 19th century RF of Europe. What never ceases to amaze me is how celebrities and other "illustrious" families in the U.S. set up foundations in honor of their children with disability (e.g. Hunter's Hope). In Korea (where I am originally from), families of big corporations like Samsung or LG will never admit that they have a child with disability (if they had one in the family), let alone draw attention to it by setting up a foundation after him/her.

I'm just trying to describe the general mentality of old-fashioned Asians.
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  #55  
Old 12-16-2008, 08:01 AM
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It is not the donor egg that is the problem. If push came to shove, no one (in the IHA, at least) would really care if the child was biologically Masako's. It is the child being biologically Naruhito's that is important. That is why, in the past, concubines were brought in to produce a male heir if none were forthcoming from the Empress.

If the CP couple were so inclined, they could use Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis as a method to guarantee a healthy son and there is certainly no information stating that this has not already been tried. Success rates for IVF are still fairly low.
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  #56  
Old 12-16-2008, 09:36 AM
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ITA, Kimebear. BTW, they do have the technology to separate the XX and XY sperm before implantation. They spin it in a centrefuge and the the two separate. They also check the embryos for genetic defect, preimplantation. Success rates quoted to me in NYC were (depending on the maternal age, etc) 18-25% per cycle (as defined by a pregnancy, not a live birth).
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  #57  
Old 12-16-2008, 12:06 PM
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Kurenai has made very valid points (see post #52 and 54). When it comes to the Imperial family, Japanese wish to see a strict adherence to tradition, no matter how out-dated these traditions may be. Although a younger more progressive generation does not care much about blindly observing the traditions, the IHA strives to ensure that the Imperial family is a paragon of everything traditional that define Japanese as the nation in today's globalised world.
Kurenai is correct about attidues toward people with disabilities and mental issues. I come from a different part of Asia, but it is customary to check families of perspective partners for health issues. It is called "the bloodline check".
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  #58  
Old 12-18-2008, 12:14 PM
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Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurenai View Post
I feel absolutely horrible for the CP -- she never wanted to be married into the Imperial family but in the end she was pressured to do so.

A part of the reason why I believe she is having so much difficulty is because she is more Westernized than any other Japanese person within the government and royal circle (did she not get her undergraduate education at Harvard? I might be mistaken, but I believe she spent time abroad when she was a child).
She went indeed to Harvard. See here:
A German book about Crown Princess Masako
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter View Post
Here is the part I dont understand. If, as has been widely reported, Masako had IVF to have her daughter, why they did not select a male embryo for implantation? Unless there were no healthy male embryos. At Masako's age, with her previous infertility issues, it is very unlikely that an IVF using her own eggs would be successful. Perhaps a donor egg IVF.
You find a possible explanation for not selecting a male embryo here:
A German book about Crown Princess Masako

And here something about the probability of IVF having been used:
A German book about Crown Princess Masako
and here:
A German book about Crown Princess Masako

Bye the bye: nobody knows if it was really Masako having the infertility issues...
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:35 PM
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There are very few situations in life that seem completely without resolution, and this appears to be one of them.

I sincerely hope that the Crown Princess and Crown Prince have found happiness in each other and in their child, and that the happiness they have is enough to keep them from totally despairing at the heaping of bad feelings onto them.
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