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  #241  
Old 02-20-2013, 12:33 PM
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In the meantime, we should, in my opinion, not forget 2 important things:
  1. Nobody knew before (or could have known) that Masako would have such a hard time of falling pregnant, even if this point might have made all the difference between happiness and misery: If she had had a child earlier in her marriage (if even äbutô a girl), many things would have been much easier for her. Besides, she would never have been obliged to undergo an IVF treatment which is said to be highly stressful for the body and soul of the woman. (There has never been an official confirmation that the couple made use of an IVF-treatment but it is assumed by many spectators.) With a bit more of freedom and appreciation that the birth of a child (or even of an heir to the throne) might have granted her, Masako could today easily be perceived as a role model for Japanese women, as someone who gained the power to bring about change by cleverly conforming first to the old rules.
  2. Whether we think that the decision Masako made in 1992 was right or wrong, there is no turning back of time. Whatever she should do now, she would never get back her career, and nothing she could do would give her anything coming close to a normal life. If she should leave the imperial family, with or without her husband, she would remain, for the rest of her life, be it long or short, Japan┤s äfailed crown princessô. This may not be fair, but it is, in my opinion, an undeniable fact.
N.B.: How hard Masako actually tried to conform to the rules of the institution she married into becomes very obvious if we take a look at how radically her appearance changed: before (1986) and after 1, 2.

Another 1993 article:

Masako's Risky Walk Down The Aisle
Quote:
Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Ella who found herself working for subminimum wages at a dead-end job doing housecleaning and cinder removal for a wicked stepmother. When, after much ado, a charming Prince chose young Ella to be his bride on account of her beauty, humility and teeny-weeny feet, nobody ever doubted her answer. [...]

In downtown Tokyo, a woman named Masako Owada, Harvard- and Oxford-educated, dressed-for-success, spent years working 9 a.m. to midnight hammering out international trade agreements. She was dreaming of breaking the glass ceiling, not the slipper.
When, after much, much ado, a charming Prince Naruhito, chose Masako to be his bride, on account of her intelligence, humor, worldliness and petiteness, nobody doubted her answer either. It was no. [...]

What a difference a few centuries do make. The search for a prince who would Take Ella Away From All That has been replaced by the search for a woman who would Give All That Up for a prince.

Remember when the Prince of Wales renounced his throne for Mrs. Simpson in 1936? The world regarded it as a stunning romantic gesture. When Masako Owada agreed to give up her job to marry the next Emperor of Japan, the country talked about it as a great national service. [...]

Her past and future roles are at the absolute extreme ends of the freedom scale for Japanese women. The moat that she will cross, literally, to her marital home is a symbol too. Will she bring a new image to the role or become imprisoned in the old image?
Boston Globe Newspaper Company
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  #242  
Old 02-20-2013, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
^^^^
Why should her husband give up the role he was born to and to which she married into, just because he wife is for whatever reason unable to adapt? He may love his wife but he also has a duty to his nation.

Nobody is indispensable.
Naruhito's duty to the nation can just as easily be assumed by his younger brother (who seems to want the job).

Naruhito can take his wife and child away from the rigors of the royal life and into a private lifestyle where she may be able to function. If he doesn't, I just see more misery for both of them - and also their child.
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  #243  
Old 02-20-2013, 04:12 PM
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The Imperial Household Law says:
Quote:
Article 11. An ˘, naishinn˘ or nyo˘ of fifteen years of age or more, shall leave the status of Imperial Family member according to her or his own desire and by decision of the Imperial Household Council.

Beside the case as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, a shinn˘ (excepting the Kotaishi and the Kotaison), ˘, naishinn˘ or nyo˘ shall in the case of special and unavoidable circumstances, leave the status of Imperial Family member by decision of the Imperial Household Council.
Naruhito is the kotaishi (son of the reigning emperor, heir apparent). According to the law, he cannot just leave.

For further clarification of the terms here Article 6:
Quote:
The legitimate children of an Emperor and the legitimate grandchildren of an Emperor in the male line shall be shinn˘ in the case of males and naishinn˘ in the case of females. The legitimate descendants of an Emperor in the third and later generations in the male line shall be ˘ in the case of males and nyo˘ in the case of females.
The late Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, a shinn˘, wanted to leave the imperial family and become a commoner when he was younger. But his request was denied, even if nobody thought at the time that he or his descendants would ever have any relevance for the succession.The prince was told that if there had not been any extraordinary incident (he having caused a big scandal, committed a crime or something of the sort), a shinn˘ would not be allowed to leave.
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  #244  
Old 02-20-2013, 07:34 PM
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Thank you for sharing these highly interesting&informative articles with us,ChiaraC!
After I read the line "she needs to find a way to express herself simply with her smile", I had to think of the women of Stepford and the 1950┤s...it is so terribly sad Princess Masakos┤life and her many talents are wasted like that.But the situation is so immensely difficult.They can┤t divorce (they love each other,she would definitely lose her only child and it would be a shame for everybody),the Crown Prince can┤t step down and the IHA won┤t change their way of doing things over night.
The only possible solution I can think of would be to allow Masako to use her intelligence an experience for charitable causes.This would give her something meaningful to do so that she can unleash her potential,regain self-esteem and get a sense of acchivement .Modern Depression treatment always tries to have the patients occupied with some work so that they don┤t sit around and get the blues (simply put).
"Being busy is a way to prevent negative thoughts from going around your head repeatedly. For depressed persons, the first step is often the hardest, so making yourself do things can be a huge difference in your day and getting you started" quoted from Wiki-how http://www.wikihow.com/Cope-with-Depression
->this is also written in almost every scientific book about depression as I know many people distrust wikipedia or doubt the quality of the articles.
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  #245  
Old 02-21-2013, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
The Imperial Household Law says:
Naruhito is the kotaishi (son of the reigning emperor, heir apparent). According to the law, he cannot just leave.
But has Naruhito made the request and had it denied?
I'm thinking he hasn't, because I've read that the IHA and even the Emperor would prefer that the other brother was the heir.

That's why I said that Naruhito wanted to have his cake and eat it. He seems to adore his wife, but isn't willing to step aside and give up his position, even though he is aware that she can't cope with royal life.

He is the only one who can help; if she walks out she loses everything, including her child. But he doesn't help; he just keeps slogging along, hoping she'll improve (although how can she get better if nothing changes?)
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  #246  
Old 02-21-2013, 01:48 PM
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Please look again at the article: It says: "a shinn˘ [...], ˘, naishinn˘ or nyo˘ shall in the case of special and unavoidable circumstances, leave the status of Imperial Family member by decision of the Imperial Household Council", but it explicitly excludes the Kotaishi and the Kotaison from making use of this option. There is nothing Naruhito could ask for under the present circumstances.

It is true that I suspected that Naruhito was put under pressure to either give up his right to the throne or divorce Masako. But, in my opinion, the possibility of giving up his succession right was rather set up as a threat that should induce him to divorce Masako and re-marry, so he would have another chance of producing a son, but it was never seriously meant. Besides, it is one thing for him to renounce his right to the throne - there might be a way to accomplish this via article 3:
Quote:
Article 3. In case the Imperial Heir is affected with an incurable and serious disease, mentally or physically, or there is a serious hindrance, the order of succession may be changed by decision of the Imperial House Council and in accordance with the order stipulated in the preceding Article.
but it would be a completely different matter to give up his imperial status altogether. I do not think that he would ever be allowed to do that under the present circumstances
for the simple reason that he is, his brother excepted, the only grown up male member in the imperial family who has not yet reached retirement age. They urgently need him, and I am absolutely sure that they would never let him go. They cannot.

Besides, it seems to me that everybody has understood now that he will never divorce Masako, no matter what they threaten him with. The regular meetings with his father and brother show that, imo. By now, it seems to me that everybody is trying to make the best of the situation as it is.

But these are not the only reasons why I happen to disagree with your opinion. It is just that I have explained them already before in detail and do not think that it would make any difference if I should repeat them now.

Blauerengel, you are very welcome!
I quite agree with you regarding a possible solution, and it seems that Masako┤s medical team agrees with you, too. But the problem is that Japanese royals are not allowed to favour one charity over the other or actively promote a certain cause (like the British royals use to do). "They cannot say they like apples because if they did, what would the orange growers say?" This problem is also at the core of the conflict between the emperor and the crown prince. I dearly hope that Masako┤s doctors will sooner or later be successful and make it clear that this is a necessary measure. But so far, it does not look like it. We will see.
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  #247  
Old 04-14-2013, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post

Nobody is indispensable.
Naruhito's duty to the nation can just as easily be assumed by his younger brother (who seems to want the job).

Naruhito can take his wife and child away from the rigors of the royal life and into a private lifestyle where she may be able to function. If he doesn't, I just see more misery for both of them - and also their child.
That's how I feel, if she is so miserable and incapable of functioning then some tie needs to be cut. If he won't divorce her then they should leave together into a private life.
As someone early said he wants his cake and eat it to. It has been too long with her "disorder" and it seems on this thread everyone blames someone else without putting any need to get better on Masako's shoulders. Yes she had a future as a career woman, but that ended around 2 decades ago she she married her husband, it's time to put up or shut up.
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  #248  
Old 04-15-2013, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post

That's how I feel, if she is so miserable and incapable of functioning then some tie needs to be cut. If he won't divorce her then they should leave together into a private life.
As someone early said he wants his cake and eat it to. It has been too long with her "disorder" and it seems on this thread everyone blames someone else without putting any need to get better on Masako's shoulders. Yes she had a future as a career woman, but that ended around 2 decades ago she she married her husband, it's time to put up or shut up.
(...) First of all, we don't know what's going on in this family or royal house. Every piece of information is controlled by the IHA, whose flunkies have plenty of reason to fudge information depending on their point of view.

Secondly, if Naruhito has defended his wife and is standing by her, then where does anyone else get off criticizing them??

Thirdly, we're not talking about adjusting to royal life here, we're talking about a woman who was publicly criticized for not producing a son (something she obvs has no control over). Some went so far as to hint she should commit suicide to leave her husband free.

Fourthly, there are cultural and ideological nuances at play here that no one outside of Japanese culture can truly understand. So, I would tread lightly in making such blanket statements.

The Japanese royal family is a prime example of why we need to be cautious in expressing our opinion. Of course, everyone has the right to express their opinions, but that doesn't mean they won't be flat-on-their-face wrong.
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  #249  
Old 04-15-2013, 11:51 PM
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The Japanese have their heir and have had him for a long time, yet still there are problems with Masako. I stand by that if she can't take being Crown Princess then she should be allowed to leave; her husband defends her but that isn't going to help her NOR did I ever criticize him for defending her. He wants to remain Crown Prince with a Princess who hasn't been able to deal with her position for over a decade. Whatever sympathy I had for her evaporated when this problem of hers went on year after year after year.
Masako is not the only one in th family to nearly be broken by the IHA; I believe the Empress had it hard as well but somehow she got her act together.
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  #250  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
Masako is not the only one in th family to nearly be broken by the IHA; I believe the Empress had it hard as well but somehow she got her act together.
Doesn't this actually bolster Naruhito's position that he will remain devoted to his wife? After all, he's just following his father's example...
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  #251  
Old 04-16-2013, 02:39 AM
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The Empress has gotten better and whatever problem she had she has either alleviated it or learned to deal with it in a way where she can still be an asset to her family and country.

(..) millions all over the world have dealt with depression stress and other mental problems, but when it prevents you from doing your job properly for years then something needs to be done. She is not the only one who has dealt with problems within re family, she just seems to be the only whose problems cause problems for other people. Think honestly about when she becomes Empress if she can't take being Crown Proincess.
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  #252  
Old 04-16-2013, 03:30 AM
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Come on, leave the poor woman alone. Japanese royals anyway dont take charity work, which forms the major share of royal engagements.
All that is remaining is greeting guests at the door, attending foreign royal events, and those well-orchestrated walks in gardens and galleries.
If she is still "stressed-out" by these (I seriously cant understand, though), then ler her just stay back. This isnt gonna affect things in a big way. And as for those foreign economic/diplomatic/cooperation missions, there is hardly anything she actually has to do, other than accompany him. Already people are used to seeing the Crown Prince all over alone. So thats not a big deal.
So till he becomes Emperor, this solo-arrangement will be totally fine.
And once he ascends, still if she feels "stressed" to host guests, then Akishino and Kiko can assist the Emperor as hosts. They will obviously represent the Emperor on all foreign royal events/business/trips, literally everything but State Visits. (I am sure by then IHA will act as if Naruhito is a ghost and Akishino family are the only royals)..Or Aiko can always be the hostess. Or accompany her father, if they allow her to remain royal.
So hell is not going to break loose if Masako is not returning to duties.
Naruhito's work-ethic and diligence more than compensates for her absence. Actually apart from reading "lots and lots" about her, I dont know what benefit will her duties add. I feel atleast in public she need not smile and charm people like Maxima/Mary do to sell and boost their husbands. Naruhito is above par just by himself. He doesnt need her to grace him in public to boost his image. She need not complement him.
And it is totally absurd to suggest that she or both of them get out of the way..
Dont talk as if every previous Japanese Crown Princess/Empress had taken 500 engagements annually in history..
Just leave that couple alone..Let them be just another working man and housewife.
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  #253  
Old 04-16-2013, 04:40 AM
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I really think she is lovely and this whole situation IMO is NOT of her making. Now this is only IMO ... she married wit h good intentions as far as I could tell and the pressure to have a child did to me seem far more enormaous than the usual heir production, why ? I still have not figured out .. is it cultural.. she does nto have any disorder IMO and though I read some really passionate answers/ statements above I find it difficult to not keep rooting for her ... in fact I like her think whnen she allowed she does a great job looks pretty the little girl seems nice all good stuff.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:51 AM
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Understandably enough the topic of this thread is a sensitive one, please do not only treat the discussed persons with respect, but also each other. A couple of posts have therefore been removed. If you wish to continue your personal exchanges please use the private message system instead! Thanks!
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  #255  
Old 04-16-2013, 07:56 AM
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In a way I feel sorry for Masako, in another way I do not really understand her problem, NOW, (unless her syndrom AD is an non curable medical issue..)

OK, she had a brillant carreer of diplomate and she left all for love, but, where is the issue? She is japanese, and she married someone from her nation, speaking her language. Even if she was mainly raised abroad she was working for her country, didn't she know how the Princesses and Empresses were living? She knew that she was marrying the heir, he did not became heir after!! The propocol of the Royal Court in very strict and heavy, and Royal females do not really step out!! OK, but was this a secret? A diplomate should know the customs and protocol habits of her own royal Court.
She can not support the stress of steping out! Ok, but she was supposed to spend her life as a diplomate, that means a constant life of representation and official duties, was she able to do this at least? Plus the issue to change country every 4 years!
IMO they are other CP/Queens who faced more heavy issues.
Princess Muna of Jordan, married King Hussein, in a country with mentality/language/social habits completely different that hers, and on top of that she has been left by the King for another woman. Despite this, she stayed in Jordan, all over the years, she took care of the other woman's kids (Pcs Haya, etc) and now she is a respectable and lovely sort of Queen mother.

Same for Queen Noor, she moved from the States to Jordan, she was the "American foreigner" and she succeeded.

Masaco did not enter to a new uknown world, it was her own culture! And her father was a diplomate and has also served as an escort to members of the Imperial Family, this world was not unkown to her.

She has a lot of pressure to have kids, to produce a male heir, that is very sad, i feel sorry, BUT again, since the baby boy is born, 7 years since, they have a heir, she should be relieved, but again she does not really go much better..
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:47 AM
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She has a lot of pressure to have kids, to produce a male heir, that is very sad, i feel sorry, BUT again, since the baby boy is born, 7 years since, they have a heir, she should be relieved, but again she does not really go much better..
Yep, she should definitely be relieved that people in significant positions regard her as a failure because she didn't produce a child with the 'correct' reproductive system.

I would also feel remiss if I didn't mention the obvious: it is very different to know what something is than to live in it. You don't know how you would react unless you live in the shoes of the position, something we should all remember about people in any situation.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:28 AM
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Yep, she should definitely be relieved that people in significant positions regard her as a failure because she didn't produce a child with the 'correct' reproductive system.
Unfortunately this is the unfair discrimination women faced for centuries. You do not know the expression "She gave him only daughters". Now we know that sexe of babies is determined by man, but expression still exists.
Unfair! still unfair for Masako.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:13 AM
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I hate when people quote long posts just to give a sentence reply so I will just say that I agree with fandesacs2003 posts. Others have had it hard as well and have been able to over come their difficult situation. Of course it was horrible that Masako was was mistreated for only having a daughter, but I still do not see that as an excuse for not being able to do your other duties for years especially considering the male heir issue has thankfully been resolved.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:57 PM
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I am just very curious to know..
Does anyone have even a vague idea how they(IHA) "stress" her out?
I mean do they scold and curse her day in and day out?
Do they keep her in solitary confinemet? Or ostracize her from family?
Do they deprive her of her favourite food/music/TV/films?
Do they make her feel guilty for "ruining" this ancient institution?
What exactly causes the "stress"?
For example in Diana's case it was excessive paparazzi and her strained marriage. In that way there should be someway she will be stressed right..
I know they both are entirely different, but I am just giving an idea what I am thinking... In that way there should be someway she will be stressed right..
Just wondering if anyone has an idea..
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by vkrish View Post
I am just very curious to know..
Does anyone have even a vague idea how they(IHA) "stress" her out?
I mean do they scold and curse her day in and day out?
Do they keep her in solitary confinemet? Or ostracize her from family?
Do they deprive her of her favourite food/music/TV/films?
Do they make her feel guilty for "ruining" this ancient institution?
What exactly causes the "stress"?
For example in Diana's case it was excessive paparazzi and her strained marriage. In that way there should be someway she will be stressed right..
I know they both are entirely different, but I am just giving an idea what I am thinking... In that way there should be someway she will be stressed right..
Just wondering if anyone has an idea..
Just some general articles I found on the IHA:
- http://www.japanfocus.org/-Herbert_P_-Bix/1936
- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...9617-1,00.html
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