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  #601  
Old 05-06-2013, 03:06 PM
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Thanks, Chiara

The infamous "courties" and the suffocating environment at the court again?

Wonder how much it will take before the Imperial family says: "Go take a hike"!
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  #602  
Old 05-06-2013, 03:47 PM
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There's the rub. I don't think they can.


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Wonder how much it will take before the Imperial family says: "Go take a hike"!
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  #603  
Old 05-26-2013, 10:49 AM
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I do not think that, either.

***

On May 6, the day after their return from the Netherlands, the crown prince and princess drove to the palace to greet the emperor and empress.
1 ** 2

FNN article (in Japanese)

***
It is said in this article that King Willem-Alexander will have to relinquish the chairmanship of the UN water committee management. While one would logically expect Naruhito to take over it is also said that "Imperial protocol won’t allow" him to assume as chairman. I find this important to mention because it serves to show again how many restrictions are imposed on Japans royals. Water issues are Naruhitos passion, and I am sure he would have made an outstanding chairman...

***

Japan's Crown Prince to Visit Spain to Mark Bilateral Ties
Quote:
Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito will make an official visit to Spain next month, to mark the 400th anniversary of bilateral ties between the two nations, Japan's (NHK World) reported. A Japanese mission was sent to Spain in 1613 from what is now Sendai City, by powerful feudal war lord Date Masamune.
Japanese crown prince considering visit to Spain in June
Quote:
Crown Prince Naruhito is considering making an official visit to Spain for around a week in mid-June to attend events to commemorate 400 years of bilateral relations, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday.

Although Spain has invited the crown prince and Crown Princess Masako to visit the country, the crown princess will not accompany him as she is receiving treatment for a stress-induced illness, according to the agency.
Crown prince to visit Spain June 10-17; Masako not going

***

The President of the Bundesrat (German Federal Council), Winfried Kretschmann, has visited Japan. During his visit he has also been received by Crown Prince Naruhito. Kretschmann admitted to having been "really extremely impressed" by the conversation they had. He said the prince showed much interest in the nuclear phase-out that has been initiated in Germany after the Fukushima catastrophe. Besides, Kretschmann also told journalists that the prince had informed him that his wife had once been to see the Blautopf (a spring situated in the South of Germany).

I find this remarkable insofar as the "Blautopf" is certainly a must-see if you ever get to Blaubeuren where it is situated. But it is nowhere as famous as, say, the Louvre or the Brandenburger Tor. That means, Naruhito must have discussed with his wife who he would be going to meet and they must have also have found out before where exactly his guest was coming from so that he would be sure to know what Naruhito was even talking about and be even pleased by the subject. (I suppose that there are quite a few Germans (particularly from the North) who have never in their lives heard anything about the Blautopf. )
Articles in German: 1 ** 2

***
Today, the crown prince held a speech at an event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gakushuin kindergarten. The crown princess attended the speech in the audience.
1 ** 2 ** 3 **4



If I interpret this article right, Masako last week accompanied her husband to a museum as well as to a dinner at a foreign embassy and received a briefing about international matters at the togu palace.


Another video of the event:



Screenshots
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  #604  
Old 06-07-2013, 01:44 AM
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Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako attended the first death anniversary of Prince Tomohito at the Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Tokyo on June 6, 2013.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 **
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  #605  
Old 06-16-2013, 04:00 PM
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Crown Princess Masako and Princess Aiko welcomed Crown Prince Naruhito back home on June 16 after his return from Spain (see the extra thread here).



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 **


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  #606  
Old 06-18-2013, 07:59 AM
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If the crown princess can make the trip to Holland, I can't see why she couldn't have accompanied the crown prince to Spain? How did her 'condition' enable that she was able to undertake such an occasion such as the crowning of a new King but not a business trip to Spain? Sigh...it's such a shame that an intelligent, beautiful, confident woman is now a shadow of her former self. Those courtiers should all be hung!
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  #607  
Old 06-24-2013, 03:41 PM
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Masako looks unwell in the pictures taken at the memorial event. No wonder she didn't go to Spain.
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  #608  
Old 06-28-2013, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliza View Post
If the crown princess can make the trip to Holland, I can't see why she couldn't have accompanied the crown prince to Spain? How did her 'condition' enable that she was able to undertake such an occasion such as the crowning of a new King but not a business trip to Spain? Sigh...it's such a shame that an intelligent, beautiful, confident woman is now a shadow of her former self. Those courtiers should all be hung!

I'm not so sure the courtiers are to blame; it's possible Masako's mental issues are deep-rooted and have little to do with her marriage.
Perhaps she would have suffered from depression no matter what.
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  #609  
Old 06-28-2013, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post

I'm not so sure the courtiers are to blame; it's possible Masako's mental issues are deep-rooted and have little to do with her marriage.
Perhaps she would have suffered from depression no matter what.
Yes, but plenty of people suffer from depression. Everything points to Masako being a capable and fully functional person prior to her marriage. So, the question is, why would a woman begin to suffer so massively for so long?
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  #610  
Old 06-28-2013, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
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Yes, but plenty of people suffer from depression. Everything points to Masako being a capable and fully functional person prior to her marriage. So, the question is, why would a woman begin to suffer so massively for so long?
this question has been discussed at great length but also gives yet another opportunity to write of the need for change in Japan's very traditional societal structure where women are judged as secondary to men. Looking at the pictures of Princess Aiko,who in any other society would be born to rule her country, one can only imagine what her parents and she must be struggling with on a day to day basis. My heart goes out to them, and I wish them strength in a very difficult situation.
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  #611  
Old 06-28-2013, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casualfan View Post
Yes, but plenty of people suffer from depression. Everything points to Masako being a capable and fully functional person prior to her marriage. So, the question is, why would a woman begin to suffer so massively for so long?

Little was known about her, prior to her marriage.
Perhaps she did suffer from depression earlier, and it either went undiagnosed or simply wasn't publicized.
We have no way of knowing.
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  #612  
Old 06-29-2013, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post

Little was known about her, prior to her marriage.
Perhaps she did suffer from depression earlier, and it either went undiagnosed or simply wasn't publicized.
We have no way of knowing.
My point was that it hasn't seemed like the imperial family or structure has been supportive to her, and that has certainly hurt her.
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  #613  
Old 08-03-2013, 12:25 PM
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The following article was published already in June but as it is pretty comprehensive I thought you might still be interested:

Crown prince, princess to mark 20th wedding anniversary
June 06, 201, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Quote:
[...]At a news conference ahead of his 53rd birthday in February, Naruhito paid tribute to his 49-year-old wife for standing by him through thick and thin. “Masako must have gone through many hardships, but I thank her from the bottom of my heart for helping and supporting me,” he said.
One of the “hardships” was the unrelenting pressure on her to produce a male heir. Princess Aiko, the couple’s only child, was born in December 2001. “We were under enormous pressure,” Naruhito recalled in a statement on their 10th wedding anniversary. “Masako must have gone through difficult days.” [...]

In recent years, it has become almost customary for Naruhito to fulfill his official duties alone in Japan and abroad. Masayasu Hosaka, a nonfiction writer versed in the imperial family, said Naruhito and Masako can choose to develop their own style in how they perform official duties. He said the way the imperial family conducts its business has been varied over generations, although Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko established a style of acting together. “If reasons are clearly explained, the crown prince can usually perform official duties and attend ceremonies on his own, while the crown princess takes part as much as possible, giving priority to her treatment,” Hosaka said. [...]

Toshu Ogawa, an 85-year-old calligrapher, has known Masako for 30 years. [...] When he was visiting Harvard University, Ogawa used to invite Japanese students to parties. But Masako would always return to her room at a certain time to study. “She puts in enormous efforts without being noticed by those around her,” Ogawa said. [...]
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  #614  
Old 08-06-2013, 03:22 PM
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On August 6, the crown prince and princess attended a presentation by students of a creative education project initiated by the OECD to help revitalise the Fukushima region.
Listening
Clapping
Talking with the students


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  #615  
Old 08-12-2013, 09:02 AM
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The crown prince and princess along with Aiko on their way to vacation at Suzaki Imperial Villa in Shizuoka Prefecture.
1 ** 2 ** 3 ** 4 ** 5 ** 6





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  #616  
Old 08-20-2013, 07:44 AM
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On August 16, the crown princely family returned from their short holiday at Suzaki Imperial Villa.

1 ** 2 ** 3 ** 4



***

Today, the crown prince and princess visited Shichigahama town in Miyagi prefecture to comfort evacuees from the Fukushima disaster area who still live in temporary housing.
1 ** 2 ** 3 ** 4 ** 5 ** 6 ** 7 ** 8 ** 9



It was the couples first visit to the disaster area since summer 2011.
Here are some glimpses of the former visit:

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  #617  
Old 08-20-2013, 10:44 AM
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Thanks for updates!
It is great to see such enthusiastic crowd at the airport.
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  #618  
Old 08-20-2013, 03:49 PM
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You are very welcome, Albina!
It seems the crown prince and princess took the Shinkansen, so the cheering crowd is probably at the railway station, but otherwise I quite agree.

***

A few more pics with the evacuees: 1 ** 2 ** 3
After that, the imperial couple visited the Okada Producers' Association processing plant in Sendai, a miso maker which was badly damaged by the March 11, 2011 tsunami.
On the way
1 ** 2 ** 3 ** 4 ** 5
At the plant
1 ** 2 ** 3 ** 4 ** 5 ** 6 ** 7





Article in Spanish about the visit that says, among other things, that, after having chatted with the crown princess, 73-year-old evacuee Yoko Minowa told Kyodo press that, according to her, Minowa, Masako had "a great heart" and that she hoped for the princess illness to get better.
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  #619  
Old 08-23-2013, 03:26 PM
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Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako and Princess Aiko arrived at JR Nasushiobara station in Nasushiobara, Tochigi, on August 23, 2013, for a stay at the Nasu Imperial Villa.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 **
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  #620  
Old 08-25-2013, 09:07 AM
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I understand the need for amale emporer, but look at this three people. Father failed not only by producing only a daughter but also because he was stuborn and chose the wife, who failed as a mother and wife because she only gave birth to a daughter and is always ill. The girl is a disapointment for everyone, since she s only a girl, there is nothing she can accomplish to make up for what seems like a birth-defect. This is so terribly sad. And they look the part.
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