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  #121  
Old 08-27-2011, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
... Which goes to show IMO how much power the IHA has.
The head of Kunaicho (Grand Stewart) is Crown Princess father's childhood friend. He is very close to the Owadas.
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  #122  
Old 08-27-2011, 04:00 PM
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The tragic thing here is that one would expect the IHA to do anything they could to support the Emperor and Empress, and the Crown Prince and Princess, given that their own lifestyles depend on the survival of the Chrysanthemum Throne. They seem to be incredibly short-sighted.


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If the Emperor dies, I think we will see more of a pull between the Crown Prince and the IHA and Masako being one in the middle AGAIN. She is his weakness (based on his love and devotion to her). If they want to get to him, all they have to do is more of the same.
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  #123  
Old 08-27-2011, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Kasumi View Post
The head of Kunaicho (Grand Stewart) is Crown Princess father's childhood friend. He is very close to the Owadas.
Is he fairly new to the position ? Because if he has been at it for a while, he hasn't been doing a good job of watching her back.
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  #124  
Old 08-27-2011, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
Is he fairly new to the position ? Because if he has been at it for a while, he hasn't been doing a good job of watching her back.
He is nearly two years to the position of the Grand Stewart.
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  #125  
Old 08-27-2011, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
I don't believe Masako did love Naruhito when she married him, although perhaps she does love him now. He has made it clear he is absolutely devoted to her.

However, when he first proposed, she was obviously reluctant. She already had a lover, and a career she valued, and had no wish to become part of the Imperial family. I think she acquiesced more as a matter of duty, since he loved her so much that he was unwilling to accept any alternative match. JMO.
I thought I read that he proposed to her 2 or 3 times until she finally said (reportedly) "Yes. But only if you think I could be a help to you." Doesn't sound like love.
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  #126  
Old 08-27-2011, 06:56 PM
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We will never know if Masako declined so often because she didn't love him or because she was scared out of her wits at marrying into his family. There are a few love matches that started with a couple of refusals to marriage proposals: George VI and Elizabeth Bowes Lyon and Nicholas II and Alexandra, to name a few.
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  #127  
Old 08-27-2011, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SASSY

I thought I read that he proposed to her 2 or 3 times until she finally said (reportedly) "Yes. But only if you think I could be a help to you." Doesn't sound like love.
It seems like she was pressured into it, really. If Naruhito never married, the whole country would have blamed her for refusing him.
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  #128  
Old 08-28-2011, 11:19 AM
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I have already said that I personally believe that, at last, the prince succeded in convincing Masako that she could fulfill her life´s mission as his wife.

But, of course, there is no way to know for sure, and there undoubtedly WAS a lot of pressure on her and her family, as also described in this article from 1993. As far as I know, there is no second source for Masako´s meeting with the empress that it describes. (Though this does not necessarily mean it did not happen.)

I find it remarkable (and sad) how many of the motives of Princess Masako´s story are already to be found in this article that was written as early as the time of her wedding: the brother´s rivalry, the „golden cage“ and the commoner-unfriendly environment („A woman marrying the prince would be doomed to virtual slavery to palace tradition and continual surveillance by the `nasty´nyokan´ [female attendants], as well as to the curious eyes of the entire nation. A status barrier between her and her natal family would be created to inhibit their reunion.“ ) as well as the theme of the princess as „commoner victim of a tight-lipped conservative institution“, as journalist Michael Cucek termed it: „Royalists will become more royal than the emperor, and try to use the imperial family for their nationalistic purposes.“

Still, I want to believe that the hope that Edward Klein expresses about Naruhito and Masako helping guide Japan in the 21st century has, in spite of everything, a chance left to become reality. Imo, we should not forget what Shinji Yamas.hita says, an IHA employee for 23 years and now publisher of a quarterly magazine about the royals: „Many IHA employees have worked in other divisions of the government for years. They are not a uniformly traditional bunch.“ According to Yamas.hita, the real battle is within each organization, not between them.

Of course, that is the long-term perspective. But there are certainly many IHA members who are not keen on running for the Darwin awards...
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  #129  
Old 08-28-2011, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SASSY View Post
I thought I read that he proposed to her 2 or 3 times until she finally said (reportedly) "Yes. But only if you think I could be a help to you." Doesn't sound like love.
There are many good reasons one could give for believing that Masako was forced into this marriage, but her way of voicing her acceptance is imo not one of them. I think we are witnessing here a cultural habit of expression that we are simply not used to. Masako was expected (as traditional Japanese women in general) to show modesty and humility towards her husband-to-be, and she tried to abide by that rule by expressing herself in the way you mentioned. It may seem weird to most Westerners, but she was not even fully successful in her attempt. In fact, she was heavily criticized by conservatives because in her engagement press conference she dared to say things like "I basically share the prince´s opinion. But if I may add something with my own words…" or: "If I can help the prince…"

Well... I suppose they found she showed already too much self-confidence in assuming that she might be of some little use to the prince. Maybe she should rather have expressed surprise and deep gratitude that he was so kind as to marry her, useless and unworthy as she was...

I do not pretend to understand it either but I think we have to accept that there is a cultural gap. (Or this was already the first instance that showed that for some people, the princess could never do it right, even at the very beginning. )
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  #130  
Old 08-28-2011, 10:46 PM
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I agree ChiaraC, I have heard that Masako was pushed into the marriage with Narahito but the way she accepted the proposal, imo, is not an indicator that she was forced to marry him. IMO it seems that she had the frame of mind to recognize that this would not only be a marriage but a career for her helping her husband in his duty as crown prince and Emperor. It reminds me of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon's denials of Bertie's proposals and also of Charles asking Diana if being Princess of Wales "wouldn't be too awful for her".
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  #131  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
The tragic thing here is that one would expect the IHA to do anything they could to support the Emperor and Empress, and the Crown Prince and Princess, given that their own lifestyles depend on the survival of the Chrysanthemum Throne. They seem to be incredibly short-sighted.

Not if what they truly want is to get rid of her!

I have read that the IHA would prefer the younger brother to succeed, since he is more conservative and is the father of a son.

But I also read somewhere that Naruhito promised Masako that, if she married him, he would do all he could to make her life happy. I really question whether he has done so.
He could easily step aside, take his family into the private sector where they would be free from much pressure, and live as they chose. It's not only his wife, but his daughter who is subject to much criticism, considered a brat, etc.

(This seems a solution that would receive little objections from either the IHA or the rest of the Imperial family.)

But it seems like Naruhito is determined to have his cake and eat it; IMO it's rather selfish of him.
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  #132  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:28 AM
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I think Naruhito is torn between family and duty. If he gives up his position, the criticism would be worse and Masako and Aiko would also be blamed for putting happiness before duty and pressuring the Crown Prince to do so. Unless they leave Japan altogether (and maybe not even then) people they come into contact with will remember who they are and some may be unkind about it. I think they're in a tough position and it's hard to see what the best course of action would be.
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  #133  
Old 08-30-2011, 05:07 PM
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^i think so too!!!

for Japanese people, duty and work is the major factor on life, even more for the Crown Prince and his family, because unlike the other citizens, Naruhito has a duty to his country.

after Hisahito was born, Masako is more lively, of course she is not full recovered because that illness cant be cured from day to night. but she is more happy as far as i can see.
she no longer has the issue about producing an heir, so she is just enjoying her life as a parent and wife and at the same time, keeping her life as the Crown Princess of Japan!

she did a wondefull job with the victims of Tohoku region earthquake and received many positive response from her people!
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  #134  
Old 08-30-2011, 05:21 PM
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Why should Naruhito give up a position for which he has trained his entire life for because people can't handle the fact that he thinks differently than they do? Frankly, sticking up for his wife is something to be admired. From what I understand....Masako has faced tremendous pressure to provide a "suitable" heir and conform to the IHA.

In this instance, his cake is his wife, his daughter and future position. So he gives up his position and goes away. How does that solve the problem. Isn't saving face particularly important to the Japanese? From what I see he wants his wife to be an equal partner as Emperor. I realize that culturally that might be different than what the Japanese are used to...but no one is saying that it has to be all his way or all the IHA's way. Why can't there be a compromise.
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  #135  
Old 08-30-2011, 07:24 PM
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Right. To do that would be to say that he was a total failure as a Crown Prince. There are people today who still think of Hirohito and WWII when the term Emperor of Japan is mentioned, and I think that having a future emperor who's obviously loving toward his wife and child and who thinks for himself could do much to bring Japan's reputation forward. Crown Princess Masako is a human being first and foremost and I have no doubt that she wanted to do her duty when she married Naruhito.

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Why should Naruhito give up a position for which he has trained his entire life for because people can't handle the fact that he thinks differently than they do? Frankly, sticking up for his wife is something to be admired.
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  #136  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:34 PM
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My gut reaction to this whole situation has always been: 'I don't understand why the Emperor isn't more public and forceful in support of his son and Masako'. (Kind of like QEII has had trouble within her family, but one still gets the idea that she is more-or-less in control of what happens in that family...)

BUT in truth I don't know what to think, because we don't know what has gone on behind closed doors.

Clearly there is enough "blame" to go around here (even Masako may have some share) - all I know is, the Japanese Imperial Family and the IHA is way too secretive regarding the Family.

This is clearly acceptable in Japan and in the Japanese royal tradition, but it is bound to create a lot of confusion abroad and, if this and other boards are any indication, some animosity/skepticism/wariness toward the Japanese royal system.
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  #137  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:43 PM
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For a democratic country such as Japan to have such secrecy surrounding the Chrysanthemum Throne and the Imperial family seems to be (at least to Western eyes) backward. I understand that the Emperor and his family are much more "owned" than their European counterparts. To my understanding, they don't have their own wealth or even their own passports.


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Clearly there is enough "blame" to go around here (even Masako may have some share) - all I know is, the Japanese Imperial Family and the IHA is way too secretive regarding the Family.
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  #138  
Old 08-31-2011, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
Why should Naruhito give up a position for which he has trained his entire life for because people can't handle the fact that he thinks differently than they do? Frankly, sticking up for his wife is something to be admired. From what I understand....Masako has faced tremendous pressure to provide a "suitable" heir and conform to the IHA.

In this instance, his cake is his wife, his daughter and future position. So he gives up his position and goes away. How does that solve the problem. Isn't saving face particularly important to the Japanese? From what I see he wants his wife to be an equal partner as Emperor. I realize that culturally that might be different than what the Japanese are used to...but no one is saying that it has to be all his way or all the IHA's way. Why can't there be a compromise.
People on here sometimes act as if stepping down is something that is simply accomplished, if only because he has a brother and his brother has a son? It's no easy thing and would cause trauma to the direct succession. The Empress Consort is not supposed to be an equal partner and there is no way that she should be. Even in Britain, or the Scandinavian countries, the wife always walks two steps behind. Royalty, bless their backward little hearts, isn't about political correctness and about equality, but about traditions that are admittedly backwards. Masako has to figure out some method of adjusting since there is no way that her husband would dare step aside. What on earth is wrong wiht her that is preventing her from adjusting like her mother-in-law the Empress has, even after a breakdown?
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  #139  
Old 08-31-2011, 12:21 AM
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If there is confusion abroad about the Japanese royal family then I highly doubt they or the IHA care. There is a tendency in Western culture to be self absorbed and think everything is about one person and what they think and feel about a situation. The Japanese Imperial Family is the concern of the Japanese people and if selective people across the world don't like how they operate that's their problem and should be no concern to the JIF or the IHA; they serve Japan, not the Western World and its need to know everything.
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  #140  
Old 08-31-2011, 09:02 AM
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People on here sometimes act as if stepping down is something that is simply accomplished, if only because he has a brother and his brother has a son? It's no easy thing and would cause trauma to the direct succession. The Empress Consort is not supposed to be an equal partner and there is no way that she should be. Even in Britain, or the Scandinavian countries, the wife always walks two steps behind. Royalty, bless their backward little hearts, isn't about political correctness and about equality, but about traditions that are admittedly backwards. Masako has to figure out some method of adjusting since there is no way that her husband would dare step aside. What on earth is wrong wiht her that is preventing her from adjusting like her mother-in-law the Empress has, even after a breakdown?
Why should it just be Masako that confirms.

And frankly, what is wrong with the IHA that they have taken the position of slamming (for lack of a better word) the Crown Prince who defends his wife. Furthermore, why has the IHA felt it necessary to try to demean Masako (based on some of the rumours that have come out about her and Aiko). If that is what they are doing to her publicly....can you imagine what they are doing privately? Maybe that's why she can't get over it.
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