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  #581  
Old 04-28-2013, 02:44 PM
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MAsako looks happy. I can't get over the fact that she seems to shine when interacting with people. It is such a shame she has been sidelined. I know this is a western point of view.
No, it actually is not:
Quote:
''The Japanese imperial family is not in step with the times, with the perception of the new generation of citizens,'' said Toshiaki Kawahara, who has written many books on the imperial household. ''Unless they mix with the ordinary people, the imperial family will be forgotten.'' [...]

Many ordinary Japanese blame the Imperial Household Agency for transforming the Crown Princess from a sophisticated, highly educated traveler into a dainty flower who studies poetry and ancient rituals.

''Some women were happy having Masako-san enter the family, hoping the imperial system itself might change, but I said it would not be like that,'' said Mikiyo Kano, a professor who focuses on women in history. ''She's totally ignored. Unlike an empress, Masako-san is a yome, the wife of a son, and according to Confucian patriarchy, a yome doesn't hold any role, not even a place in the family.''

It is hard to imagine a more backward step for one of Japan's most talented career women. And indeed for the moment at least, she seems to be receding from the wider public's interest. ''I look up to the female Japanese astronaut and the women athletes at the Olympics,'' said Yoko Nishimura, 49, a furniture store owner. ''I don't look up to Masako-san.''
(Source)

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When Masako joined the family after a six-year courtship by the crown prince, many people had high expectations for the Oxford-, Harvard- and Tokyo University-educated career diplomat. The gifted linguist and first empress-in-waiting to hold a real job was seen as a catalyst for modernizing the fusty institution and its 1,000 micromanaging bureaucrats. Since then, however, her low profile and deference to ancient obscure traditions have disappointed many. "We can't even tell she was a career woman anymore," says Miki Kodama, a 27-year-old office assistant. "It's a real shame."
(Source)

Quote:
A week before Princess Kiko gave birth, there were also hot debates about women's role in the imperial family. I observed some Japanese bloggers who expressed their support for Crown Princess Masako, a bright and smart former diplomat who married into the royal family. [...]

"If I had a chance to talk to Princess Masako I would say that women are not baby-making machines. Women should enjoy life and be proud of themselves, they should not be subjugated with all this unfair burden, such as giving birth and raising children," says a blogger.

Another blogger writes, "I observed how happy Princess Masako was with her wide smile on her recent visit to the Netherlands. The holiday pictures proved that the princess is suffering serious depression in Japan, and looked much happier in overseas. This is because of the burden in the monarchy system... A similar burden also exists for all Japanese women, in general." [...]

Many Japanese women refer to Masako as a good example of how difficult it is to perform traditional roles and give up their careers and freedom. Nowadays, it is common to hear Japanese women saying that sacrificing career, freedom, and success for childbirth is a tough choice. "Princess Masako made that decision, and we see how under stress she is...," says a friend.
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  #582  
Old 04-28-2013, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by linda85 View Post
Those pictures posted of the Crown prince and Crown princess leaving are wonderful. Thank you. MAsako looks happy. I can't get over the fact that she seems to shine when interacting with people. It is such a shame she has been sidelined. I know this is a western point of view.
I can't even imagine the feeling of freedom she must have. Or does she? Can anyone tells us how it is for her on these too few time she is allowed to travel? Does she really have some freedom or is she constantly followed, etc like at home?
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  #583  
Old 04-29-2013, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Emmily View Post
I can't even imagine the feeling of freedom she must have. Or does she? Can anyone tells us how it is for her on these too few time she is allowed to travel? Does she really have some freedom or is she constantly followed, etc like at home?
I do not think that she feels exactly free, but also for the other royals, it probably would not be "freedom" that comes to mind first when they think about attending a major royal event abroad (because there is such a lot of protocoll and stuff). And of course, Masakos staff will be with her in the Netherlands. But it is imo obvious if you look at the pictures of her departure and arrival that she is very happy indeed. As far at least as can be seen from the outside, Masako gets on with the other royals very well, for example with Philippe and Mathilde, Victoria or Felipe (not to mention Willem Alexander and Maxima, of course). It is to be supposed that they have more empathy and understanding for Masakos difficult situation than the people she is used to be with... I am sure this has a very relaxing effect on her. Besides, and I think this is the main thing, she feels she is allowed to be useful (for a change) and use her abilities.
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  #584  
Old 04-29-2013, 07:04 AM
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It really is so wonderful to see Naruhito and Masako together on such an important occassion. I hope that the success of this visit will give Masako some confidence in her ability to carry out more official duties and engagements.
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  #585  
Old 04-29-2013, 07:55 AM
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It really is so wonderful to see Naruhito and Masako together on such an important occassion. I hope that the success of this visit will give Masako some confidence in her ability to carry out more official duties and engagements.
Here, here...I agree. I'm so excited to see her in Holland.
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  #586  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:35 AM
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What a pleasure to see Masako's arrival at the airport; I was concerned that there was going to be a change of plans at the last minute.
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  #587  
Old 05-03-2013, 01:44 AM
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Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako returned home from the Netherlands today, May 3rd:



** gettyimages gallery **


After the festivities in Amsterdam, see here, a few other events had been on the agenda: A visit to the maritime museum in Amsterdam and meetings with Japanese officials.


** nhk.or.jp: Crown Prince visits maritime museum in Amsterdam **




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  #588  
Old 05-03-2013, 02:46 PM
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The crown prince talking with Japanese residents in Amsterdam

The crown prince and princess taking leave of the hotel staff in Amsterdam: 1 ** 2 ** 3

Departure from Schiphol

Aiko welcomes her parents: 1 ** 2 ** 3 ** 4

Crown prince, princess return home from trip to Netherlands

Japanese Crown Princess Masako meets parents in Amsterdam
Quote:
Visiting Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako met with the parents of the Crown Princess, who live in The Hague, at a hotel in Amsterdam on Wednesday night. […] Together with her husband, Crown Princess Masako enjoyed a conversation with her parents over tea, according to an Imperial Household Agency official.
Crown Princess meets up with parents
Quote:
[...] The Crown Prince and Princess also met with Kuniko Ozaki, a judge at the International Criminal Court, who was a senior colleague of the Crown Princess when she was a diplomat in the Foreign Ministry, and harpist Masumi Nagasawa, with whom they are acquainted, the Imperial Household Agency said.

The Crown Prince invited 27 Japanese professionals in the Netherlands, including Ozaki and Nagasawa, to the hotel. [...]
As All Toast Dutch Royals, The Saddest Princess Arrives On Rare Escape From Japan

Taking leave from the Netherlands:







Back home:



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  #589  
Old 05-03-2013, 03:34 PM
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Nice to see her smiling & laughing. Clearing the trip did her some good.
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  #590  
Old 05-03-2013, 03:55 PM
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Is it just me..Or anyone else finds the second part of the above videos a bit odd..I think Princess Aiko is so stiff in front of cams, maybe she is shy or she was prohibited by IHA/tradition from smiling or even talking to her parents in front of press..or maybe she was overcome with emotion on seeing them and holding it back..Whatever..I hope everything is alright.But she was so damn cute, total duplicate of her father..
I am delighted by the earlier half (in the airport). The CP appear so natural, and for a moment I wonder all the "past" was just a bad-dream
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  #591  
Old 05-03-2013, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by vkrish View Post
Is it just me..Or anyone else finds the second part of the above videos a bit odd..I think Princess Aiko is so stiff in front of cams, maybe she is shy or she was prohibited by IHA/tradition from smiling or even talking to her parents in front of press..or maybe she was overcome with emotion on seeing them and holding it back..Whatever..I hope everything is alright.But she was so damn cute, total duplicate of her father..
I have noticed that, too. I think it must be really hard for a 11-year-old if she is not allowed to embrace her parents after she has been separated from them for several days, for the very first time in her life... I suppose Aiko has badly missed them and may even have fantasized (and worried) about what would become of her if anything should happen to them, if they should never return – children think about these things. She is old enough to know perfectly that she cannot run to them and hug them and never let go, as she probably would have wished. She is still a kid, though. She is able to obey these strict rules, but she cannot do it gracefully.

Did you notice how she lighted up and smiled when her mother touched her? I think Masako knew what her daughter felt and that is why she nudged her husband softly aside to get close to Aiko and put her arm around her shoulder. Naruhito probably felt the same – have you seen in what a curious way he moved his arms, as if he was trying to fly? Unfortunately, he can even less afford to touch anybody in public as he is a man. But I think it is obvious that he, although used to being watched from his childhood, was having a really hard time with suppressing his natural impulse to hug his daughter when he felt that it was this what she badly needed.
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  #592  
Old 05-03-2013, 05:42 PM
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Assuming she is not allowed by proticol to embrace her parents, would it PR-wise be such a bad thing in the eyes of the Japanese if they actually hugged?
Never mind the court and courtiers, would the man and woman on the street fall on their behinds and feel it was outrageous behaviour?
- I ask because I wish to learn about traditional Japanse mentality.
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  #593  
Old 05-04-2013, 12:11 AM
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I thought the three of them looked light and happy, Aiko included. They have an aura of delight around them which is almost otherworldly in these pictures. What is their secret? Is it a great love? I think it probably is. A truly happy family, at least in the present. Aiko does look like her father, as someone said, and is going to be a lovely woman. I hope they prepare in some way for the day when she has to "leave the family" and not be a princess when she marries. I think her parents will talk to her about this and assure her they will always be her family anyway. that's what I discern, without knowing them well.
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  #594  
Old 05-04-2013, 12:34 AM
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I'm asian but not Japanese and I'm not used to hugging even my children, especially in public. I live in Australia for a long time now and I am getting used to accolades and hugs but still I'm not very comfortable with these. I think it's a matter of culture and the way we were brought up and it has nothing to do with being affectionate or not.
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  #595  
Old 05-04-2013, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Assuming she is not allowed by proticol to embrace her parents, would it PR-wise be such a bad thing in the eyes of the Japanese if they actually hugged?
Never mind the court and courtiers, would the man and woman on the street fall on their behinds and feel it was outrageous behaviour?
- I ask because I wish to learn about traditional Japanse mentality.
Japan is in some ways very modern but on others is still very traditional, especially on relashionships (either child-parent, lovers, friends, etc...).
Being affectionate in public can disturb the people around them, because its all about their culture and the way they are brought up, especially from the Imperial Royal Family who has all eyes on them.

And its not Japanese at all to greet with kisses on the cheeck, They greet with bows or shake hands with a simultanious bow (but the later is more business related.) And even bows have diferent meanings depending on the level.

Between child and parent that happens as well but it doesn't mean they can't hug each other in private, but I doubt about kissing. About lovers, they still have that modern way of asking for the women's hand at her father. And between friends and other people, they only address each other with their family name, addressing with their given name means they have a extremelly intimate relashionship. They even have diferent forms to add to the name when calling other person, each form as level of what kind of relashionship they have (-kun, -chan, -san, -sensei, -sama, etc...)

As for Aiko and her parents, I believe she is extremelly polite to them, so she might call them Oka-sama and Oto-sama (-sama is refered to a very higher status and important person, even like Lord/Lady), there's even an higher form, called Hahaue and Chichiue (with -sama or not), but this I doubt, In past was more in use, like in the Shogunate, samurai families or all the Imperial Family. But nowadays they are more united as family instead of children just being raised by nannies and have rare meetings with their parents.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:24 AM
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I see.

Thank you Mellie and Kathia-Sophia for excellent replies.

We are actually not that far apart in that respect.
Hugging is a relatively new phenomenon here in DK, only about a generation old. Before that it was shaking hand and I still prefer that, unless it's someone I know very well.
Dispensing with formal you and adressing people with their first name is only two generations old. - (In some ways it's a pity because in that way many nuances have become lost in how to interact with people. Nuances you have maintained).
I come from a family where we didn't touch much. Not that we weren't loving, but we rarely hugged and kissed. In Mrs. Muhler's family they touch a lot and it took some time before that was natural to me but now I like it - within the family, that is. It still feels a little invasive or over the top to me, if someone I don't know well, let alone a complete stranger, give me a hug.

But children are an exception to all of the above. With children you were allowed to "break the rules" and that was, and indeed still is, seen in a very positive light.

So yes, I can follow you.
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  #597  
Old 05-05-2013, 01:07 PM
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I hug friends more freely than I did ten years ago. I suppose my family was as affectionate as most when I was growing up as far as my parents were concerned, but we've never been very tactile as siblings. I've noticed a real shift with the previous generation as far as public affection goes. I don't remember men hugging each other so much even 20 years ago. Bragging about one's children seems to be over-the-top now as well.

But to get back on topic, I bet these three had a hug-fest once they got indoors!!!
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:53 PM
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So many new pictures and videos of CP Masako,I am extremely happy to see her!
She looked majestic and really happy in Amsterdam,I could not believe my eyes when I saw her in the Nieuwe Kirken!For me it was the best surprise of the inauguration to see CP Masako in such a good mood and looking so pretty and fresh.(The very best news next to Maxima and her fantastic dress and tiara on the sartorial side;-)

Thanks for all the interesting posts and infos supplied by everyone here,I am always interested to learn more about Japan and the Royal family and especially Masako and her lovely family:-)
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  #599  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Assuming she is not allowed by proticol to embrace her parents, would it PR-wise be such a bad thing in the eyes of the Japanese if they actually hugged?
Never mind the court and courtiers, would the man and woman on the street fall on their behinds and feel it was outrageous behaviour?
- I ask because I wish to learn about traditional Japanse mentality.
While I absolutely agree with everybody here in that Japan is no "hugging culture" , there are (as in every society) still individual differences in perception. While it would certainly be absolutely unthinkable for Masako and Naruhito to hug in public, I would guess that a lot of Japanese would not mind Masako embracing her 11-year-old daughter after having been absent for several days. There is no taboo on touching small children and, at eleven, Aiko is still a child (albeit not small, and with maybe a tinge of the future young lady already ).

But it is important to remember that what "the man on the street" thinks does not have much of an impact on Masakos life. (To give an example, there were several polls after Hisahitos birth that showed that there was still a comfortable majority in the country for changing the law to allow a reigning empress. But this did not have any real consequences and probably never will.) There is quite often a difference between the opinion of Masakos extremely conservative environment and the opinion of the average population. (See also the famous photo of Fumihito and Kiko, taken when they were posing for their wedding portrait - the photographer got himself in big trouble with the IHA. But with people "on the street" the picture is - quite understandably - a favourite.) So, even if the majority of Japanese might not have minded Masako hugging her daughter, it is fairly predictable that the princess would have been harshly criticized for it nevertheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
I bet these three had a hug-fest once they got indoors!!!
Of that, I am also sure. (And good for them! )

Princess Masako shows signs of confidence

By Masayuki Ota, The Japan News/Asia News Network, Sunday, May 05, 2013
Quote:
[...] Upon returning home, the royal couple said in a written comment via the Imperial Household Agency that they were relieved and very glad to have visited the Netherlands and attended the coronation ceremony together. [...] The crown princess' condition did not worsen during her five-day stay in Amsterdam, indicating that the trip may have been a success. [...] A local newspaper ran a photograph of Princess Masako in a cream-coloured dress under the headline "How lovely."

However, the crown princess participated in public events for about four hours during the five-day stay in the Netherlands. She spent the rest of the time in a hotel, according to the Imperial Household Agency.
She did not attend Wednesday's gathering with Japanese living in the Netherlands. An aide explained that it was still difficult for the princess to fulfil official duties for long periods in front of large groups. [...]

This time, opportunities for the media to cover the royal couple themselves were extremely limited as they were invited guests at the country's most important ceremony. Among the limited opportunities, the most memorable incident took place shortly after the royal couple arrived at the airport in the Netherlands: Princess Masako stopped the prince, who was about to get into a car, and together the royal couple smiled as they waved at reporters. It was a striking moment that made this reporter feel the princess' joy and enthusiasm in realizing the trip.

Hopefully, the most recent trip will lead to the crown princess regaining her confidence and her interest in fields such as international affairs and child welfare will lead to further activities.

According to psychiatrist Rika Kayama, it is important to build on positive experiences to recover from an adjustment disorder. "I think Princess Masako achieved great success this time as she did everything as planned," she said. Kayama also warned people not to press the princess too urgently. "People are apt to think that if a trip to the Netherlands is possible, then domestic tours are also possible. However, I'm sure she'll need to handle things at her own pace, which can't be measured by distance or time. People around her will need to give her encouragement here and there while remaining sensitive to her needs," Kayama said.
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  #600  
Old 05-06-2013, 01:00 PM
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Ok ok I am waiting for the next "Current event" of the Crown Princess..
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