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  #121  
Old 08-22-2007, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bbb View Post
the IHA controls all aspects of the royal family- IHA controls all the money, where they go, when they go, who goes etc. my belief is they don't let masako go and trot out the depression story to explain her not going, then we see masako looking healthy and beautiful seeing him off on his trip making a fool of the IHA story. the japanese press doesn't print anything about the family unless it's been provided by the IHA. they don't do anything to make the IHA mad or they are barred from events and reporting. google IHA the stories about the amount of power they have is hair raising. they have set out to destroy masako just like they did the empress who is had a mental breakdown years ago.
In Poland we call it censorship.
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  #122  
Old 08-22-2007, 05:17 PM
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I think you'll probably find that the IHA would say they were protecting the monarchy, not that they were trying to destroy any of its members. Princess Diana was in a very troubled state even when she was out and about smiling and looking fine. I'm not saying that's the case with Masako, but the occasional photos we're seeing might not be telling the whole story.
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  #123  
Old 08-22-2007, 05:30 PM
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just my opinion but i think the only thing the IHA protects is the IHA power. They shame masako everytime they come out with "mental illness" comments- her own husband has said they have stifled her personality and caused her stress (of course the next day they made them all come out and say it wasn't true, remember how his brother stabbed him in the back) hopefully now that the all important boy has been born- i'm hoping the pressure has eased and she has life a little easier. she certainly looks happier and healthier than a couple of years ago. i adore their happy family and wish them all the joy and love they can manage in their palace/prison.
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  #124  
Old 12-21-2007, 11:14 PM
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Too much secrecy over Masako's health

Absence, when prolonged, becomes a kind of presence. Princess Masako is a case in point. Five years ago, she withdrew from the public eye, reportedly under enormous stress.
That is understandable. A Harvard-educated multilingual diplomat, she would naturally have found the tradition-bound ways of the Imperial Household, into which she married in 1993, hard to get used to. Her hopes of combining imperial marriage with a diplomatic career foundered.
Pressure on her to produce a male heir to the throne was unrelenting. Shortly after the birth of her only child, Princess Aiko, in December 2001, Masako renounced almost all public functions on grounds of ill health. Since then, as far as the public is concerned, little has changed...........
Japan Today - Kuchikomi - Too much secrecy over Masako's health
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  #125  
Old 12-22-2007, 12:15 PM
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i'm sure as we read this the IHA is plotting to cut off at the knees the writer, publisher and paper that printed this story. their history of censoring the press and punishing the media that steps out of the line the IHA has drawn is well known. i feel so sorry for masako, it must be torture being controlled that this.
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  #126  
Old 12-22-2007, 02:36 PM
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It dare to assume that the omnipresent Imperial Household Agency has concocted "the ill-health situation complicated by very,very slow recovery" for Crown Princess Masako. Furthermore, the IHA has hidden her behind the palace walls, as if being afraid that she may create an awkward situation in public and embarrass the Imperial family.
Yes, she may have some stress-related depression. At the same time, she is capable of performing some royal functions alongside her husband
and participating in official engagements more regularly.
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  #127  
Old 02-05-2008, 04:56 AM
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Tabloids turn against the Crown Princess Masako

They are grainy, indistinct photographs, but for a Japan on the edge of recession they are more than enough: a pricey Mexican dinner, a plate of rare black truffles and a bowl of shark-fin soup have unleashed an unprecedented media broadside against the future Empress of Japan.
After years of careful, respectful restraint, the Japanese press have turned on Crown Princess Masako: sympathy has turned to condemnation and tolerance has become attack...........
Tabloids turn against the Crown Princess Masako - Times Online
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  #128  
Old 02-05-2008, 09:49 AM
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i'm very sad to read this, poor masako-
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  #129  
Old 02-06-2008, 05:23 AM
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I was able to read the article and the comments by readers (some of whom are Japanese). About Masako's "crimes", what's so bad about shopping, eating or riding a horse? It's not as if she does them 24/7 (it said a few times only). And I like think these are small steps that could further aid her recovery for the long term. At least, she feels better to go around and can have some fun.

I do understand the "outrage" over the expenses, though, in the context of Japan's near recession. And that she seems to prefer personal engagements over her official ones and foreign ones over local trips (some of those who commented on the article have said this). And that she does very little for her country, they think. But if I recall it right, she receives very little personal funds from what is allocated to her household (most of it goes to the IHA-related expenses, I think) so I guess the money in question here isn't much. Is she supposed to ask for approval from the public everytime she uses the small personal funds from the state?

As for her not having more official duties if she's well enough to dine, shop and ride, well.... paging the IHA! If Masako is well enough to be out and about on personal matters, then she is well enough to have more official engagements then! I, for one, would love to see more of her.
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  #130  
Old 02-06-2008, 05:57 AM
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I feel so sorry for this woman. She had so much to offer the country - and the Japanese Royal Family. She obviously was aware that like under the Imperial Household would be stifling, and refused to accept the CP's proposal of marriage - until she was pressurised into doing so.

I just can't imagine what it must be like to live under that regime, and I do wonder why the RF can't slightly loosen the tight control of the IH. Perhaps they feel that if one bit is knocked down, the whole ediface will collapse, but if something becomes so out of date that people stop relating to it then it will collapse anyway.
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  #131  
Old 02-06-2008, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Alison20 View Post
I feel so sorry for this woman. She had so much to offer the country - and the Japanese Royal Family. She obviously was aware that like under the Imperial Household would be stifling, and refused to accept the CP's proposal of marriage - until she was pressurised into doing so.

I just can't imagine what it must be like to live under that regime, and I do wonder why the RF can't slightly loosen the tight control of the IH. Perhaps they feel that if one bit is knocked down, the whole ediface will collapse, but if something becomes so out of date that people stop relating to it then it will collapse anyway.
You´re so right, Alison, calling them "that regime". It´s worse than a dictatorship. They just want to crush poor Masako just because she didn´t produce a son. It´s insane. No wonder the poor girl is depressed.
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  #132  
Old 02-06-2008, 01:03 PM
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preaching to the choir on this ladies, i agree with everything you've said. i've been pushing this boulder up a mountain for a long time now. the IHA is firmly in power and the ladies of the royal family has paid a very high price imo from the start it was a plot to crush their spirits and their souls for their own power trip purposes. "that regime" is the perfect term, personally i've been attacked for my "western perspective", "culture insensitivity" and i just don't follow the family anymore, i check on masako and her family sometimes but with my "western perspective" i can't find anything to admire about a country that would let their crown princess be destroyed and then pile it on and turn against her when she's showing signs of improvement having a little fun. why don't they turn on the "powers that be" and demand an IHA investigation (somebody's getting rich and it isn't the royal family, technically they don't have any money of their own, it's all controlled by others, she has to ask permission to phone her own family for gawd's sake) and please don't post about the japanese believing in the "collective" not the individual, i get it...... but what about the "weakest link" theory, shouldn't they spending time helping her get stronger thus strengthing the whole family, not undermining and repressing her at everyturn, making them all look (except her husband) uncaring and cold, not to mention dictorial and cruel.
mental illness is still not understood apparantly, because kicking someone when they're down is not going to help their depression (but i don't think the IHA wants her to get better and i'm not so sure it's all true, perhaps it's a matter of control, how many times have we seen the prince leave on a trip and masako is "too ill" but looks healthy and happy in the "waving goodbye" photos)
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  #133  
Old 02-06-2008, 01:15 PM
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Of all the current Crown Princesses around the globe, I think Masako has some of the highest qualifications and it is such a waste that she has been deemed a failure and useless by the IHA. I don't really understand how the IHA works or why they have so much power, but I can see that they are holding the Imperial family back.
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  #134  
Old 02-07-2008, 07:36 AM
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The Times article about the Japanese tabloids negative stories on Masako shows the difference in how Masako is viewed by the traditionalist Japanese and the western media. The tabloids feed these views, they feed the views based on their cultural expectations of Masako's role. For the Japanese she is viewed negatively 'selfish, lazy Masako only thinking of herself', the western media feeds on the whole 'poor Masako, prisoner in the palace'

There is a large difference in the cultural values of western society and traditional Japan. And yes it does all go back to the Japanese belief that the collective is more important than the individual, now to someone who has only experienced western society and its focus on the importance of the individual, the idea that the individual is not the most important is a difficult one to grasp. But to the Japanese the individual is not the most important the collective is, for an individual to put their needs before the collective is considered selfish. So the Imperial Family and their role in Japanese society is more important than Masako and her needs. Horror I know to westerners, but think beyond your cultural norm and realise that other societies norms are different. Individual needs are seen as selfish and self-centered, the collective are not selfish and considerate of others more than yourself.

Western views are often posted that Masako could be such an asset if she were allowed to take on her own role. But all monarchies are different, the Japanese monarchy has set down specific roles for the crown princess, it's not acceptable that she go off and create her own role and not carry out the perscribed ones. Again Masako has been criticised by Japanese, 'how dare she want to carry out her own role, she's selfish, her role is to be the crown princess and carry out the duties that are set down for her' So western view, Masako should create her own role using her skills ( individual is important) Japanese view, Masako is the crown princess, she has a specified role and that role she should carry out. ( collective, here the Imperial Family, is important)

Tabloids on either side present their little factoids, made up facts, or twisted facts. The Japanese media have reported on Masako's outings from the beginning of her illness, it's only now hit the English language press. Masako has never been a prisoner in the palace, she's been seen at festivals, restaurants, she regularly rides horses in the palace complex where she lives.

As far as the western press is concerned,I'll debunk a few of the more common myths, she does go out, people visit her at her home, her sister is someone that is frequently seen driving through the gates, probably too, the only person the media can identify! She doesn't need permission to telephone her parents or anyone else ( a tabloid myth) the royals have access to their money, they even have credit cards, they have private money and they inherit money as well as jewels, artwork and antique furniture from deceased relatives. The government does pay large sums of money to the IHA but this is to run all the Imperial homes, hospital, science laboratory, orchestra, shrine priests and maidens, their police protection which comes from the IHA budget not the Police budget, the farms and holiday homes. All this information can be researched if one cares to do so and in English as well! (look beyond Google and tabloids!)

Mental illness in Japan carries a huge stigma, Masako is suffering from some form of mental illness, but look into her background beyond just her life as a princess and see that she's had large amount of pressure on her all her life. At age 8( after returning to Japan) she failed the entrance exam to the exclusive private girl's school that her mother and grandmother attended, Masako then spent a year at the local government school and attending after school cram classes to pass the entrance exam the following year. After doing the majority of her schooling in Japanese she gets dropped into an American high school in the 11th grade and in 2 years has to get good enough grades to enter an Ivy League university as she knows 2 years out of the Japanese school system means she has no chance of passing the entrance exam to Tokyo University ( the most prestigious university in Japan and also her father had been a student there) Her father didn't have a son so as the oldest she was groomed to be the substitute son, follow in her father's footsteps into the Foreign affairs department. All her life Masako has spent under pressure to fulfill other people's expectations of her, Imperial Family life just added to it and eventually she crashed.

Of course she's always smiling in photos, she'd hardly be out in public when she was feeling awful! Look at the recent trip to Nagano, Masako and Naruhito attend the opening ceremony of a winter games, the following day Masako was due to watch the ice skating with Naruhito, but pulled out because of fatigue. If she can't manage 2 days in a row of duties, she's not going to manage any kind on foreign visits. The IHA press office have been quite open as they did say last year that Masako is taking medication and is also seeing a counsellor. Pretty earth shattering by Japanese standards where no-one with a mental illness admits they have one, let alone make public that they're taking medication is seeing a counsellor. You grin and bear whatever is wrong with you.
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  #135  
Old 02-07-2008, 11:44 AM
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My point would not be about the western view being better than the Japanese, my point is that there should be balance and moderation in everything. I know that in more traditional societies they are horrified when they hear that we are putting out our old family members to pass their last days isolated among strangers and being taken care of by lowly-paid (and not necessarily very motivated) staff. And they are RIGHT. End of story. That is an example that shows US (the western people) being out of balance. Being concerned about the individual´s wellbeing should not end in cruelty toward others. (And, besides: what about the individual wellbeing of the old ones?) But, of course, it is not that easy to make a change. If you change one point you have to change the whole...


And in Masako`s case it is the other system being out of balance. It is well and good if they are concerned about the collective welfare and expect their people to adapt to the rules. But what use is it to anybody if they have a crown princess who is constantly having breakdowns? She has done her best and tried to fit in but obviously was unable to make fit a round peg into a square hole. (Sorry, Masako.)
In this case it would be in the collective interest no less than in the individual to support her and help her to recover. I do not see that all this judging and blaming has had ANY good effects – from which point of view ever.
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  #136  
Old 02-07-2008, 12:36 PM
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THE TWO FACES OF PRINCESS MASAKO
The change of life of the future Empress surprises the Japanese
LAS DOS CARAS DE LA PRINCESA MASAKO
Masako de JapĂłn -
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  #137  
Old 02-07-2008, 02:15 PM
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Really interesting, Hilal. These articles are very illustrative.

I'm sure certain people will hate me when I state what I really think about this last criticism to the Crown Princess...In fact, it will be not a criticism toward her, but rather to their western supporters, most of them young modern girls. If Princess Masako did what it is said in the first article published here, I agree with Japanese's people's criticism. When you are facing recession you MUST give the example. Do you remember a certain Queen Marie-Antoinette? Part of her discredit and posterior fall, came because her luxurious life before 1789. Of course, she didn't cause French Revolution for these kind of fesity life...But her people wouldn't like to see her enjoying while their were experiencing high difficulties. EVen if they could show a certyain likeness for frivolity, peoples of the world (Western or not) doesn't likes frivolous Royals or Presidents. They doesn't like that authorities ask them for severity and austherity while these same authorities brings a lavish kind of life.

The other problem is that Crownprince is always suffering nervous breakdowns, and even if we can feel sympathy for her and pity her situation, we must accept that this is damaging her work. We don't need to be part of IHA to realize this fact.

In my personal interpretation, this poor lady is a person who doesn't accept her duties as future Empress and wants to keep a "free life" as she did when she wasn't a Royal, but with all the money and privileges she must enjoy being one.THis is the first step to the overthrow of a Monarchy...when Royals wants all their privileges and lavish lifestyle but no duties or few of them.

I hope that Crownprincess Masako will realize this before it could be too late.

Vanesa.
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  #138  
Old 02-07-2008, 02:28 PM
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If Masako is potrayed as enjoying the high society life, I must assume that the IHA is playing games in order to convey an unfavourable impression of Masako in the public eye. This scenario seems plausible since they are promoting their pet couple Akishino and Kiko over of the crown prince couple. Moreover, who can prove that Masako's attendance at the ice skating performance was really canceled for health reason. Or, was it canceled by the IHA to give her negative publicity. The one person who could tell us the truth, Naruhito, remains silent probably anticipating another censure from his unsupportive brother, Akishino, whose lust for power is well known.
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  #139  
Old 02-07-2008, 02:30 PM
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I read all the comments about Princess Masak and I realized that Westerns supports her to die, and Japanese people didn't. As an historian, I have a rule: hear what people from the country of we are speaking about said about a problem and never judge it hearing only foreign voices. We Westerns believes that the only way to see things are ours (and I think that we are even mistaken having taken the path we did nowadays...but this is another problem).

I agree strongly with the person who wrote: "...It sounds like "...Japan and nation have to change the law and culture, even tradition, for Harvard graduated poor princess to cure her illness...'"



Vanesa.
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  #140  
Old 02-07-2008, 02:47 PM
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I'm not sure I would call a lifestyle where you are kept away from other people, stopped from traveling freely, stopped from talking freely, hounded to reproduce and just generally harrassed until you have a breakdown a "privilege". As far as money goes, Masako would have done better financially to have married one of the wealthy Japanese businessmen that she would most certainly have come into contact with if she had persued her already bright diplomatic career. If any further proof of her genuine unhappiness was needed, it was provided by the IHA themselves when it was reported that she was suffering from shingles, a highly painful skin condition brought about by the compromise of the body's immune system, often caused by extreme stress. All the tennis in the world cannot compensate for a life that drives you into such distress.

True, I see things in a western perspective, but that does not mean I don't understand the Japanese philosophy regarding their royal family. If Masako was the first Japanese crown princess to suffer from a nervous breakdown, I wouldn't be so harsh in my critique, but Michiko had a breakdown as well. She also had sons which I think made all the difference. We really don't hear the full story regarding Masako. Is is really her choice to be let out of these functions, or is she made the scapegoat by an IHA with an agenda to minimize Naruhito's position as future emperor now that Akishino and Kiko have provided the much needed male heir? Yes part of me wants her to get it together and become an active Crown Princess, but the other part of me wonders if she is even being allowed to try.
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