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  #181  
Old 06-16-2004, 02:16 AM
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I don't really see why the Imperial Agency is unwilling to bend about letting Princess Aiko ascend the throne. If I'm not mistaken, they've had eight empresses in their history, so it's not like it's unprecedented.

I feel terrible for Masako. She's in her 40s and it would be a significant risk to her health to attempt another pregnancy. Her health is fragile enough as it is. I think she's an amazing woman and a good role model for women of the 21st century.
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  #182  
Old 06-16-2004, 08:51 AM
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I agree with you, moonlightrhapsody. I think Naruhito has proved his love for Masako by defending her against the controlling "powers that be" in the imperial structure. I know there are a lot of cultural aspects that are very strong but I would hope that the Agency would back off and let her be. As you say, she doesn't seem to be in the best of health, and stress isn't good for her right now. Good on Naruhito for stepping up for her!
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  #183  
Old 06-17-2004, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlightrhapsody@Jun 16th, 2004 - 1:16 am
I don't really see why the Imperial Agency is unwilling to bend about letting Princess Aiko ascend the throne. If I'm not mistaken, they've had eight empresses in their history, so it's not like it's unprecedented.

I feel terrible for Masako. She's in her 40s and it would be a significant risk to her health to attempt another pregnancy. Her health is fragile enough as it is. I think she's an amazing woman and a good role model for women of the 21st century.
These dinosaurs are like the "grey men" Diana and Fergie talked about. They have to have absolute control. Any mention of change takes away some of their power and control and they don't like it one bit!!

In addition, there is obviously prejudice against women here too. I doubt the IHA has a female amongst them!! The Japanese people along with the Royal family need to stand together and topple this "totalitarian regime" and tell them who truly makes the decisions!!
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  #184  
Old 06-17-2004, 02:42 PM
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Agreed, Tiaraprin! The discrimination against women is shameful.

What are they going to do? There simply ARE no men. They can revise their constitution and find a related male. Revise their constitution and allow women to ascend the throne. Or they can let the royal family die out.

Or, they can adopt a boy, maybe. Or let the Prince marry someone else (not likely, he clearly loves his wife).

I wonder if Masako is terribly, terribly depressed and if she has considered suicide. Suicide isn't unheard of in Japanese tradition. And not unheard of with the very depressed who cannot feel hope for the future. She is probably watched 24 hours a day.

I wonder if she is getting any better by not appearing in public and taking it easy. It seems she has the country's support. I don't think she should go back to royal duties until they at least allow the couple to have a life. If there is no boy forthcoming, the royal couple should be allowed to travel and do what they want to do. Someone else can decide who will reign next.
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  #185  
Old 06-19-2004, 02:02 PM
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This is all so sad. I wish there was a way to let Masako know we care and stand behind her!!

Thank you for your kind compliment Paulina! :flower:
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  #186  
Old 06-21-2004, 08:30 PM
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Oh my goodness. I just read this entire thread in a single session, and my heart goes out to poor P. Masako. It seems that her spirit has been crushed by a system that would suck the life out of anyone. She is not able to be herself and to use her gifts. At least it seems her husband is behaving honorably, being her best advocate, steadfastly supporting her. Good for him.
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  #187  
Old 06-21-2004, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by papillon@Jun 21st, 2004 - 7:30 pm
Oh my goodness. I just read this entire thread in a single session, and my heart goes out to poor P. Masako. It seems that her spirit has been crushed by a system that would suck the life out of anyone. She is not able to be herself and to use her gifts. At least it seems her husband is behaving honorably, being her best advocate, steadfastly supporting her. Good for him.
He'd get my vote for "Husband of the Year"! :flower:
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  #188  
Old 06-22-2004, 01:06 AM
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Unfortunately it sounds as though he's had some pressure applied to him as a result, though, with the apology he had to make for upsetting his parents. Honestly - his wife's falling apart at the seams and the dinosaurs start making him say sorry for mentioning it? Do these people never learn? I'm just afraid that if they don't get a reality check in a hurry, they'll be dealing with a suicide attempt.
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  #189  
Old 06-22-2004, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elspeth@Jun 22nd, 2004 - 12:06 am
I'm just afraid that if they don't get a reality check in a hurry, they'll be dealing with a suicide attempt.
I hope you are wrong, but fear there is reason to be concerned. P. Masako is an extraordinarily intelligent, talented woman. She is certainly smart enough to know she is not realizing her full potential in the present circumstances and the prospects for change are dim. Who WOULDN'T be depressed? And the ridiculousness of putting a 40-year-old woman under immense pressure to produce a son is, in and of itself, insanity producing. I wish the powers that be would just let her be herself. She could be such an asset for the royal family, but instead they are holding her down.
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  #190  
Old 06-22-2004, 04:42 PM
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I think Elspeth is right. Everyone who is very depressed, is dangerous. There is real danger for a suicide attempt. Even for a smart and world-wise woman as Masako......
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  #191  
Old 06-22-2004, 04:52 PM
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I feel very sad for P. Masako who seemed so happy and full of promise on her marriage. It must be very difficult to live in a gilded cage, especially if you have educated at Harvard and Oxford.
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  #192  
Old 06-22-2004, 05:06 PM
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She had to know somewhat the situation she was marrying into; that can't be the sole cause of her breakdown.
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  #193  
Old 12-09-2004, 03:29 AM
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Happy birthday to Princess Masako.Today is her birthday.
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  #194  
Old 12-09-2004, 03:44 AM
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Japanese Princess Recovers From Stress

Wed Dec 8, 3:00 PM ET


TOKYO - Japan's Crown Princess Masako, who turned 41 on Thursday, said she is recovering from a psychological disorder brought on by the pressures of royal life, but won't resume her official duties for "some time."

Masako has been out of the public view since December 2003, when she withdrew from official duties due to illness. Under pressure, palace officials later announced that the princess had a stress-related disorder and was receiving counseling and medication.

Her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, said in May that a decade of palace life and pressure to produce an heir have left her exhausted and he blamed unidentified palace officials. Under Japanese succession laws only males are eligible to assume the throne, but the couple's only child, Aiko, is a girl.

In a brief statement, Masako said: "I feel my health is getting better gradually."

But she added that it would be "some time before I fully resume my official duties." Masako did not have any celebrations planned, the Imperial Household Agency said.

The statement was given to the media Wednesday on the condition that it wouldn't be released until early Thursday.

At a news conference Wednesday, Hideki Hayashida, grand master of the crown prince's family, quoted Masako's doctors as saying the princess is "heading toward recovery" but tires easily and doesn't sleep soundly.

Still, she was well enough to go for a walk after exercising with 3-year-old Aiko recently, and might even attend some New Year's events, Hayashida said, without elaborating.

At the start of every year, the royal family opens up a section of the moated palace in Tokyo and greets tens of thousands of well-wishers several times a day.

Masako, who was educated at Harvard and Oxford, gave up a diplomatic career 11 years ago to marry Naruhito. Many Japanese had hoped Masako would help reform the conservative, tradition-minded imperial family and the agency that runs the royals' affairs. She had kept a low profile until her illness and the changing statements about her condition stirred a row behind the palace gates.

Public concerns for Masako have put pressure on the government to amend the succession law to allow Aiko to be next in line after her father. Recent polls show that 80 percent of the Japanese public supports the change. Japan has had ruling empresses in the past — though not since the late 1700s.
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  #195  
Old 12-09-2004, 10:32 AM
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Masako of Japan says she's 'getting better'
Hellomagazine.com
9 DECEMBER 2004

Japan's Crown Princess Masako has broken her silence over the long-running illness that forced her to withdraw from public life. The troubled royal used the occasion of her 41st birthday on Thursday to assure her subjects she is slowly-but-surely getting back to her former self.

"Over the last year there have been some rough periods, but thanks to the warm support from the Crown Prince and many other people, I feel my health is gradually improving," she said. "It will probably be some time before I can resume my official duties, but I will make every effort to recover as soon as a possible."

Masako has been suffering from what the Imperial Household describes as an "adjustment disorder" since late 2003. The former diplomat is said to have experienced feelings of depression and anxiety as a result of her role, not least because of the pressure to produce a male heir. But doctors says she has now recovered enough strength to do simple things, although she still tires easily and has trouble sleeping.

The princess' struggles have also provoked discord within the normally harmonious royal household. Crown Prince Naruhito said his wife had "completely exhausted herself" in her efforts to adapt to palace life, prompting his younger brother Akishino to express disappointment at his sibling's outspokenness. "I myself was surprised," he revealed. "I think he should only have made those remarks after first talking to the Emperor about what he planned to say."

But despite the disagreements of recent months, all those inside Tokyo's Imperial Palace will be glad to hear Masako is recovering. And the princess herself will no doubt have been delighted by the recent news that her country's ruling party is planning a constitutional amendment to allow her only child, little Princess Aiko, accede to the Chrysanthemum throne.

Crown Princess Masako, seen here with her husband Naruhito and daughter Aiko, has been off the scene for a while. She is apparently suffering from an "adjustment disorder"
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  #196  
Old 12-09-2004, 06:15 PM
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I think that it's great news that she is feeling much better. I have always felt really sorry for her, and the stress that she has been put under. It must not be easy to have that much pressure put on you to produce a male heir, and on top of it to have it public knowledge. Then, for the whole world to know that basically you are depressed and feeling overwhelmed with your life. I think if it was me, that would plunge me even further into depression. I'm glad that she is feeling much better though.

That picture is really cute. Aiko is adorable! I think she resembles Naruhito very much.
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  #197  
Old 12-31-2004, 10:47 AM
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Princess Masako returns to public eye
Hellomagazine.com

31 DECEMBER 2004

Making a rare return to the public eye since being diagnosed as suffering from a stress disorder, Princess Masako of Japan attended the funeral earlier in the week of her in-law, 92-year-old Princess Takamatsu.

Elegant but slimmer than usual in deepest black and a veil, Masako accompanied her husband Crown Prince Naruhito to the service. And it looks as though the princess is likely to make a full return to official duties in the New Year as it was reported Friday that she is expected to appear on the palace balcony along with other royals on Sunday.

Traditionally the family joins the Emperor and Empress on the balcony of the hall of lasting peace on January 2 for the deliver a brief New Year message. It will be Masako’s first official duty since she withdrew from public life in December 2003.

While, according to custom, her relatives return seven times to the balcony, Masako will appear only once. However, the princess seems determined to fully resume her royal role as soon as possible, as indicated in her 41st birthday address on December 9. "It may take some more time to resume full-fledged duties but I would like to make efforts to recover and show my cheerful self," she said at the time.

The last 12 months have been turbulent ones for the normally sedate Imperial household. With the crown princess – a Harvard-educated former diplomat - coming under intense pressure to produce a male heir, Naruhito took the unprecedented step of voicing his concern over elements he said were stifling his wife. It was an admission one royal watcher likened to the declaration in 1946 by then Emperor Hirohito that he was not divine.

The crown prince’s remarks have prompted a series of responses by several members of the Imperial family, including his mother and the emperor himself.

While Naruhito and Masako have a daughter – three-year-old Crown Princess Aiko – current royal succession rules do not allow a female ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne. A meeting is due to be held in January, however, to discuss whether to permit a female monarch.

Photos:
1. Masako, who has rarely been seen over the last 12 months, attended the family funeral with her husband Crown Prince Naruhito

2.According to recent reports the 41-year-old princess may resume royal duties in the New Year after a year off the scene recovering from a stress related illness
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  #198  
Old 01-01-2005, 12:58 PM
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does her husband not get blame for having a no male heir? does he not protect her from the stress or does he cause it?
i dont get it, because he could be the one having problems not her?
its sad to see
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  #199  
Old 01-01-2005, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semisquare
does he not protect her from the stress or does he cause it?
i dont get it, because he could be the one having problems not her?
its sad to see
Crown Prince Naruhito has been strongly vocal in defending his wife against the pressures imposed by the Imperial court and causing her all this stress. I believe he held a press conference or gave an interview in which he was quite explicit in rallying against the old fashionedness of the Imperial court (demanding a male heir as opposed to allowing for a female heir), stifling Masako's education and personality and imposing upon her all sorts of restrictions.

I believe there was a fair amount of back lash (especially by older, more conservative Japanese citizens) against CP Naruhito for his comments.

I recently read an interview by Emperor Akihito (posted here in his and Emperess Michiko's news thread) in which even CP Naruhito's father said he was surprised by the strong words expressed by his son.
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  #200  
Old 01-03-2005, 10:53 AM
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http://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty...rincessmasako/

PRINCESS MASAKO ALL SMILES AS SHE RETURNS TO ROYAL DUTIES
3 JANUARY 2005

Japan's Crown Princess Masako rang in the New Year by marking her return to official duties after a 13-month break. The 41-year-old former career diplomat, who was accompanied to the ceremony by her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, appeared on the Imperial Palace balcony on Sunday with Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and other members of the imperial family.

Dressed in an elegant blue velvet coat, Masako looked relaxed and in good health as she stood alongside recently engaged Princess Sayoko, smiling and waving to thousands of well-wishers who gathered to take part in the traditional New Year celebration.

News that the popular princess would make an appearance seems to have caused a surge in attendance at the annual event. The second January is an important day for the Japanese public - it marks one of two occasions that they are allowed into the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the other being Emperor Akihito's birthday.

It was Masako’s first official appearance since she withdrew from public life in December 2003 due to a stress-induced illness stemming from difficulties adapting to life in the Imperial family and the pressure she has been under to bear a son.

1. The crown princess returned to her official duties on Sunday after an absence of 13 months due to a stress-related illness

2. Masako and Princess Sayoko wave to thousands of well-wishers from the balcony of the Hall of Lasting Peace in the Imperial Palace
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