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  #21  
Old 02-16-2006, 07:58 PM
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There may be rumours about a devorce and it might even once have been concidered as an option, but I doubt it's going to more then just a rumour.

Masako will indeed have to leave the Imperial Palace, find a job and loose her daughter which she's definitly not prepared to do. She'll only be allowed to see her daughter with the permission of the IHA and after they treated her, I don't think Masako has much confidence in them that she will be able to maintain her place in her daughter's life.

I'm just mad because all the signs are there that Kiko became pregnant of an IVF-boy then I wonder why the IHA never suggested such a treatment to Masako. For instance after the birth of Aiko. She was fairly happy then that she had delivered a healty girl. And at that point, CP Masako had fewer mental problems and it could have worked out fine. IVF did exists back in 2001.
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  #22  
Old 02-16-2006, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Fie
all the signs are there that Kiko became pregnant of an IVF-boy
Could you please explain - what evidence is there that Kiko is pregnant through IVF? And what do you mean by IVF-boy?
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  #23  
Old 02-16-2006, 09:46 PM
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I really don't think the CP couple will divorce. Unlike the west, divorce is still a very taboo issue in a conversative Japanese culture and for the CP couple to divorce would mean Masako bring shame and disrespect to her husband and own family. But aside from all this traditional reasoning, you can see these two are very much in love and however rough the journey will be, they'll give each other the strength and support needed to carry on.

I think these divorce rumors are the evilness of IHA trying to make their lives a living hell - something the IHA seem to excel in doing.
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  #24  
Old 02-16-2006, 10:46 PM
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I believe it is more likely that Prince Naruhito steps aside (if the baby on the way is a boy) and lets his brother become the heir to the throne.
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  #25  
Old 02-16-2006, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by grevinnan
I believe it is more likely that Prince Naruhito steps aside (if the baby on the way is a boy) and lets his brother become the heir to the throne.
His brother is already his heir, he doesn't need to step aside. Should Akishino's child be a boy, then the baby would be third in line after Naruhito and Akishino.

Divorce is not an option. With a culture as conservative as Asian cultures, even divorce carries a certain amount of taboo and down-cast impressions of the person(s). Plus, as stressful as Imperial life is for Masako, she hasn't know any other life for the past 10+ years. It's not as if she could go back to the life she had before. It would be an impossible situation. Plus, she and her husband clearly love each other. Their marriage will last for the rest of their lives as it should be.
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  #26  
Old 02-19-2006, 12:28 PM
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the heat stays on Masako...

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...193940/1/.html
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  #27  
Old 02-19-2006, 02:03 PM
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Thumbs down

I really can't see divorce. Naruhito waited a long time for Masako to even accept his proposal, and he has stuck beside her through all of the hardships she has endured over the years. I believe they genuinely love each other and that he would probably give up anything else (royal status, position, etc) rather than her.
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  #28  
Old 02-19-2006, 03:05 PM
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I also don't believe that they will divorce. The society is very conservative in Japan and also they love each other:)
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  #29  
Old 02-19-2006, 07:47 PM
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They may not divorce but if Kiko has a boy, Masako's standing in the IHA will be worse than it already is. I don't know if the CP actually refused to have another child but her sister-in-law will be seen as at least trying, all the while carrying out her royal duties. I bet from now until the baby is born Masako will suddenly start feeling well enough to make more and more public appearances.
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  #30  
Old 02-19-2006, 08:11 PM
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Princess Masako is in one of the most difficult positions for a royal in any current monarchy. I just cannot grasp the concept that all the prejudice and pressure she and her husband are submitted to is plainly based in her giving birth to a girl and not a boy. What century are we exactly on?!? And if she was not around then the same pressure would have been applied to Princess Kiko herself.
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  #31  
Old 02-19-2006, 08:43 PM
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I feel great sympathy for Masako and Kiko may yet have a girl. But some of us are tired of the "poor Masako" parade. She's the mother of a girl and that's that. She should be proud of her daughter, but please, she knew what she was getting into when she married her prince and it's time to pick yourself up and go about your duties as best you can.
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  #32  
Old 02-19-2006, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laviollette
I feel great sympathy for Masako and Kiko may yet have a girl. But some of us are tired of the "poor Masako" parade. She's the mother of a girl and that's that. She should be proud of her daughter,
I think that this is a very unfair statement. I have never heard it said by Masako or even by gossip papers that Masako is unhappy that she had a daughter or that she bears an resentment to Aiko in any way or is not proud of her. From all the pictures I've seen, before and during ther stress leave, Masako has always been a doting mom as any other young royal mom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laviollette
but please, she knew what she was getting into when she married her prince and it's time to pick yourself up and go about your duties as best you can.
Going on stress leave and having to remove yourself from your daily life because of mental and physical exhaustion is a major ordeal. I don't think Masako (or her doctors) would've done it if her health, mental or physical, were not in jeopardy. It's not something to take lightly or act as if it's nothing at all. And I hardly think that it's as easy as a matter of putting on a smiley face and "picking yourself up and going about your duties as best you can." I think that belittles the issues Masako is dealing with.

It's also a matter that stems from deep-seeded, patriarchal beliefs by the Imperial Household Agency that are frankly, archaic. Masako's own husband has publicly criticized these beliefs and defended and stood by his wife for these archaic values, much to his father's dismay. Those are things not to be taken lightly -- when a son publicly criticizes a system that he grew up in and does it without his father's approval, and it speaks volumes about how much deeper the issue is than how Masako feels.

And when you consider that Empress Michiko went through a similar ordeal, doesn't that say something that two Crown Princesses of Japan have had difficulty adjusting to the imperial court, mean that it's the system and not them that's the problem?

In the long run, isn't a happy, adjusted Crown Princess a better princess, wife and mom better than a Crown Princess who is being told to "pick herself up and get on with things?" Isn't that what Masako was doing before her doctor-ordered stress leave?
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  #33  
Old 02-19-2006, 09:05 PM
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It says a great deal about the pressures on that family that the Empress also has had a number of stress-related illnesses and yet now when Masako is going through a similar problem both the Emperor and Prince Akishino have supported the status quo, to the extent that Prince Naruhito had to apologise for supporting his own wife and appearing to dare to criticise the system that had damaged her so badly.

Unfortunately, the way this has played out seems to have been just what Masako feared when she was so reluctant to marry into the family in the first place. She said the thing that made her finally agree was that Naruhito had said that he would protect her. And he seems to have tried his best to do so, but that just resulted in him being put under pressure too until he climbed down. He must be very concerned about everything that's gone on with his wife (and his mother for that matter) in the setting of all these people who don't seem to give a rip about them.
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  #34  
Old 02-19-2006, 09:16 PM
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I agree Elspeth. In a way, the Imperial Household Agency seem worst then the "Grey Men" Diana and the Duchess of York often talked about who worked behind the scenes of the British Royal Court.

To some degree (even a little bit), the British royal court (along with the Queen) did modernize in some ways that Diana and Sarah fought so hard for (and were so often publicly maligned for it).

In Japan, this doesn't seem to be the case. In Japan, there seems to be no showing that the IHA is willing to budge in the least on its very traditional beliefs and values despite criticism from the Crown Prince.

In other royal courts, when there is opposition, whether by the royal courts or the public, you can see members of the royal family rallying against each other. Look at how King Harald and Queen Sonja came out and defended Mette-Marit when her engagment to Haakon was announced. Queen Sonja especially noted how difficult her beginnings in the royal family was and how she had to wait nine years to marry the King, so she went out of her way to make life easier for Mette-Marit despite her colourful past and the son out of wedlock. And despite the controversy of Letizia's divorce, Queen Sofia was often seen walking arm in arm with Letizia in the weeks after her engagement was announced.

Although part of the reason may be a cultural difference, in Japan there was no such rally of support for Masako. The Empress, Kiko and Sayako never made an appearance with Masako or were seen to have visited her and nobody ever said anything to the effect that Masako's concerns were valid. Instead they were downplayed in Japan.

For me it's even worst when I think about all the problems Masako had in conceiving Aiko, from the miscarriage and all the public scrutiny about why she wasn't pregnant yet. It seems that she finally given birth to a beautiful baby and it's still not good enough.
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  #35  
Old 02-19-2006, 09:31 PM
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I feel like the IHA is playing games with us. Masako looked happy with Naruhito during their last outing. She seems to have recovered well enough to perform her duties, but the IHA seems to arbitrarily cancel her events. I don't trust the IHA to act in Masako's best interest.
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  #36  
Old 02-20-2006, 03:12 AM
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"It's also a matter that stems from deep-seeded, patriarchal beliefs by the Imperial Household Agency that are frankly, archaic".

Japanese society in general is very patriarchic, women have equality and respect on paper but not necessarily in practise. There are few women in any kind of leadership positions in Japan, women generally are expected to resign from their jobs once they marry, if they do keep on working then the expectation is that they will resign as soon as they get pregnant. ( In job interviews employers are allowed to ask “ are you married?” “do you intend to have children?” and employed based on the answers.)


"And when you consider that Empress Michiko went through a similar ordeal, doesn't that say something that two Crown Princesses of Japan have had difficulty adjusting to the imperial court, mean that it's the system and not them that's the problem?"

Empress Michiko’s ordeal was worse, there’s no comparison between what she went through and Masako. Michiko was the first commoner to marry into the Imperial Family and there was a lot of resistance to her not being from a noble family. She was snubbed. Michiko fought to have her children live with her and raise them herself, Masako never had to fight this battle and there was no suggestion that Aiko wouldn’t live with her parents. Michiko and Akihito travelled frequently as the crown prince couple, that’s one of the major problems with Masako and Naruhito, they want to travel overseas as ambassadors for Japan and have had few opportunities to do so.Michiko and Akihito had to travel frequently to bring goodwill in an era where memories of WW2 were still strong. The Emperor Hirohito and Empress were tainted as being the war-time Emperor and Empress. These foreign trips were extremely stressful as in some countries there were quite strong demontrations against the Japanese visitors. Princess Kiko also has stated in an interview that she found life difficult when she first married into the Imperial Family.

Here too is a very fundamental difference in attitudes to westerners, in Japan the system is more important than the individual. We as westerners think "change the system" Japanese (generally not all 127 million think alike!) believe that the system is important and the individuals need to give their all to it.


"to the extent that Prince Naruhito had to apologise for supporting his own wife and appearing to dare to criticise the system that had damaged her so badly."

Naruhito didn’t apologise for criticising the system. Culturally Japanese don’t criticise or complain, it relates to the value system that the collective is more important than the individual. The outcry in Japan over Naruhito’s criticisms wasn’t what he said ( Masako in past interviews had stated that she found adjusting to life in the Imperial Family difficult. Both had also stated they wanted to do more overseas trips) the biggest shock was that Naruhito criticised and complained in a society that doesn’t. The apology that he released was to apologise for the fuss that followed what he said, not for what he said.


"In Japan, this doesn't seem to be the case. In Japan, there seems to be no showing that the IHA is willing to budge in the least on its very traditional beliefs and values despite criticism from the Crown Prince."

The IHA is extremely tradition bound, I won’t pretend that it isn’t but to say there’s been no change is wrong. In the last year the head of the IHA retired a year early, there’s a new Chief Stewart. Naruhito and Masako also have a new head of their household. Things do change, imperial children are brought up by their parents not isolated in a separate wing of the palace. Masako takes her own child to an outside preschool, they’re not totally isolated in their palaces. The IHA was predominately male employees, in the past 10 years over half the new employees hired have been women.

"The Empress, Kiko and Sayako never made an appearance with Masako or were seen to have visited her and nobody ever said anything to the effect that Masako's concerns were valid. Instead they were downplayed in Japan."

This related back to Japanese societal attitudes that negatives things are not spoken about. Controversial topics are not discussed. It doesn’t mean they don’t support her as each have said in their birthday interviews that they hope Masako will recover. Michiko in her 70th birthday interview said that she was proud of what she had managed to do within the Imperial Family and changes that she brought and hope that her daughter-in-laws would continue.
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  #37  
Old 02-20-2006, 05:12 AM
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Recent pictures taken of the couple at the Bonsai Tree exhibition show a very loving couple. If they are heading for the divorce court then the you will be able to knock me over with a feather. I wouldn't be surprised if the Crown Prince steps aside for his brother than divorce his wife instead.

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  #38  
Old 02-20-2006, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelPrincess
Could you please explain - what evidence is there that Kiko is pregnant through IVF? And what do you mean by IVF-boy?
There is no real evidence, but I'm not the only one with these supicions. Just take a look at the topic announcing Kiko's pregnancy.

Kiko had her two daughters with an age difference of 2 to 3 years. Why didn't they try again for a boy after they had their youngest daughter? Why wait until Kiko was 39?

Also the timing of the announcement raises suspicion. Why did the IHA announce Kiko's pregnancy at 6 weeks, at a stage were something still could go wrong and after it was know that the prime minister was going to send in a bill to allow princess Aiko to become Empress?

The IHA doesn't want the succession laws to be changed, therefore they need a boy. All current successors have girls, so IVF seems like the best option.


Yes, Masako and Naruhito seem very much in love at the bonzai tree exhibition. I hadn't thought about Naruhito stepping down to let his brother become the next emperor, but it's definitly a possibility.
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  #39  
Old 02-20-2006, 12:44 PM
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Kiko's pregancy seems way too orchestrated to be just a loving couple deciding to have another child. And we also don't know how much struggle there may have been in order for Aiko to be raised by her parents - if indeed she is. Any photo-ops and public comments by anyone in the imperial family is most likely staged so let's not assume because we see some pictures and hear some comments that life is getting easier or more transparent.
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  #40  
Old 02-20-2006, 12:48 PM
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I really hope that the new baby will be a girl. :)
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