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  #161  
Old 12-14-2007, 11:12 AM
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I'd be more inclined to believe the idea that Masako was just being a selfish wimp if she was the only newcomer to the imperial family to have suffered in this way, but with the precedent of Empress Michiko's problems, which seem to have continued until recently if not still occurring, it seems as though the system puts a lot of stress on the wife of the heir to the throne.

As for the notion that Masako shouldn't have accepted Naruhito's proposal, we don't know how much pressure she was under. As Charlotte says, reports of her during her studies in the West say that she was a fairly stereotypical Japanese girl, and there's a lot of cultural pressure in Japan for young people (particularly women) to be respectful of their parents and to do things for reasons other than their own personal wishes. All the reports are that she was reluctant to accept Naruhito's proposal, but he was very insistent and (not sure how true this is) he'd said he wouldn't marry at all if he couldn't marry her. Sounds as though she was under pressure from her own family too, or at least would have been aware that her acceptance of the proposal might do good things for her father's career, and there's also a possiblity that her own career might have been affected - and I can see how the different pressures might have added up to the point where she felt that she couldn't refuse. It seemed fairly clear at the time that she had serious misgivings, and her problems in producing the requisite son would have added to the stresses since her marriage.

I still can't understand how the Pooh Bahs thought she'd be more likely to become pregnant if she was made to stay home while her husband was travelling out of the country, but maybe biology works differently over there. After all, they do claim that there's a Y-chromosome-based descent from a goddess, so who knows...
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  #162  
Old 12-17-2007, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanesa View Post
Did I say she must divorce? Maybe she was mistaken marrying the Crownprince, but facts are facts and here they are. She already married him. So she MUST try to get along with her task too. And I never liked divorce, so, I can't understand how my English could be so bad you understood I was proposing the Princess to divorce.

And if we must speak about her illness, don't forget that nervous illness are EMOTIONAL, so we can do something about them with a little of our own will. Psychologic experts can help you a little, but if you don't try to overcome youe emotional problems they will never be solved.

A physical disease is different. cancer could kill you and no psychologic expert could even help you. They could do the better to help you to accept the illness and help yo to acceot it and try to fight it. It's the same for a miscarriage. Your body is the only responsible for physical illness, even if they have a psychologic origine. Stress is psychosomatic and all emotional illness depends somewhat in your attitude facing life.

I DO thing, yes, that if Princess Masako tried to be "a nice girl" things will be better. I tried it myself in life, and believe me, I'm happier now than when I believed that everybody (except me) where responsible of my sadness and problems. I began to be nicer than I was to people and surprisingly to me IT WORKED! All that psychologic expert couldn't do for me, my own attitude toward life DID. I'm very happy and even feel better physically. I repeat: it works. All of us have a lot of psychological pressions from our friends, family, work-mates, etc. All of us could choice between trying to be nice and help others or have a nervous breakdown. I choice the first option. Being cheerful to others, brings happiness to your own life.

Vanesa.
I have to agree with you. Our happiness beggin inside ourselves. If we try to stop blaming others as the cause of our bad thoughts, bad humor or bad behaviour, we would be so much happier! When we decide to be nice and smile no matter the circumnstances, you will feel good. This is my opinion about us, anonymous people. In what concerns to a royal, I don't believe things are so easy like that. They are under pressure 24 hours a day.
Masako can do all her best but if others are always bullying her and avoiding her from special events, what can she do against it? I would feel sad, frustrated and depressed if someone was always refusing me to work as I should and could.
If a child is bullied at school or if someone hates his co-workers for some reason, they can always complain to the Principal or the Boss. And if things don't get better, well they can search for another school/job where they can feel better. This doesn't happen with Masako. To whom will she complain? Even if she gets divorced, she wouldn't have a normal life like we all have, she would always be the one who didnt fit in. Worst, she would lost her husband who seems to love her.
I think she is a strong woman (other in her place would have reacted to all this with a divorce and polemic interviews to magazines or tv shows). I would like to see Masako happy and working, but I don't know if it will be possible. Pity is a sad feeling, but I can't avoid to feel it for Masako. I wouldnt like to be in her situation.
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  #163  
Old 12-18-2007, 03:56 PM
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Your insights were wonderfully said, Regina, and I value them highly, since they are written without ressentful feelings. They are genuine and written by a warm person. I can feel it. But I can understand easily why...Your avatar tell much more about you than the words you wrote down.

Of course, Princess Masako is in a situation very different than mine or yours. She has an official possition. She could not do everything she wants to, and as all person in her possition she must have a party against her. Is NOT easy to deal with these. I know. I was not saying that she has not to face any opposition. But the fact is all persons that are in power or near to the power must face these kind of difficulties. And if you are a Crownprincess, or a president, or even a deputy, you must be aware of it. Or you are destroyed in no time. It's sounds sad and cruel. Well, it IS sad and cruel. But no way. It's reality. And fighting against reality is not good nor for your health, nor for your nerves.

I didn't said that Masako could distroy the REAL problems she REALLY has by a positive attitude. I was only saying that this could help a lot. And she could even have people that before didn't like her, suddenly taking her party.Positive vibe could do mracles in a certain way. Warm, happy and serene people have the sympathy of everyone...and then ,yes, having a great quantity of persons behind yourself, loving you, and supporting you, you can fight toward your ennemies .

It could again, sound cruel and sad, but peoples doesn't like the persons who are all time with their nerves broken, and showing sad, forced smiles. CRownprincess Masako could have a great supporting and defeat whoever tryes to attack her if her attitude changes. If not, people could think the IHA is right about her.

And no, Mandy. I'm not a psychiatrist. You could try to be nice toward me, since I'm nice toward you and the others. Even if I do not share your vision of life, I 'm not rude to you, for I have no reason to be. I'm not a psychiatrist, but in some time of my life I went to one , since I was ina very similar condition of the Cronprincess. I was broken and believed all people (BUT ME, of course! ) were to blame for my personal state. And it was her, this psychiatrit that said me the same than I write above: that all the problems I had could be true, that all the people who attacked me could be bad, but than the last word was mine, and that even if I was chocked to hear it, the one to blame was ME and not all the other persons. I culd made them change with my attitude. I follow her advice, and it worked, Not at first. But after a while, people was very surprised to see me always happy and cheerful, and they began to be nice toward me. Not all of them, of course and NOT all my problems went away. But now, I don't really care.

And please, don't be rude to me, for I'm simply trying to discover how could the Crownprincess be happy. I'm sad myself when other persons are sad, for I know how it is to be sad and thinking that some people is against you.

Vanesa.
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  #164  
Old 12-18-2007, 05:14 PM
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I'm sorry Vanessa for the ordeal you went through in life, and even without knowing the circumstances, I guarantee that you can't compare your situation to that of Masako's. Your were able to deal privately with your issues, and we would have been none the wiser if you had not informed us about them. However, Masako is being bullied on a very public stage and by an entity, the IHA, of which she has absolutely no control. They decide whether or not Masako is "well enough" to perform her royal duties which she does willingly and with a smile.

Even with my medical experience, I would never dare to pass judgement on someone who is ill except to say that no two persons ever react exactly alike when they are in the same situation especially when they are world's apart.
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  #165  
Old 12-19-2007, 03:38 AM
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perhaps things will be different ones Naruhito is crowned?
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  #166  
Old 12-19-2007, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanesa View Post
Did I say she must divorce? Maybe she was mistaken marrying the Crownprince, but facts are facts and here they are. She already married him. So she MUST try to get along with her task too. And I never liked divorce, so, I can't understand how my English could be so bad you understood I was proposing the Princess to divorce.

And if we must speak about her illness, don't forget that nervous illness are EMOTIONAL, so we can do something about them with a little of our own will. Psychologic experts can help you a little, but if you don't try to overcome youe emotional problems they will never be solved.

A physical disease is different. cancer could kill you and no psychologic expert could even help you. They could do the better to help you to accept the illness and help yo to acceot it and try to fight it. It's the same for a miscarriage. Your body is the only responsible for physical illness, even if they have a psychologic origine. Stress is psychosomatic and all emotional illness depends somewhat in your attitude facing life.

I DO thing, yes, that if Princess Masako tried to be "a nice girl" things will be better. I tried it myself in life, and believe me, I'm happier now than when I believed that everybody (except me) where responsible of my sadness and problems. I began to be nicer than I was to people and surprisingly to me IT WORKED! All that psychologic expert couldn't do for me, my own attitude toward life DID. I'm very happy and even feel better physically. I repeat: it works. All of us have a lot of psychological pressions from our friends, family, work-mates, etc. All of us could choice between trying to be nice and help others or have a nervous breakdown. I choice the first option. Being cheerful to others, brings happiness to your own life.

Vanesa.

I am a bit puzzled. You are Vanesa. The words I quoted were from HRH Abigail?

I would certainly not be the right person to criticize anybody`s English anyway as I am not a native speaker myself. But as far as I can see, yours is excellent. I don´t think that is the point.

Abigail said Masako has two possibilities in her opinion: „Either, she is getting truly better and will be contributory, or ... she must get out altogether.“
The first is clear: be a good girl, not be ill any longer and do her duty. But if she finds herself to be too „sensitive“ as you said in your post and accordingly unable to choose this option what would be the second one? How can she „get out altogether“ if not by a divorce?

I don´t share your opinion concerning emotional/psychological illnesses. (Nor does the mainstream medical world as far as I am informed.) And undoubtedly there is not such a clear line between illness on the psychical and on the bodily level. Emotional illness can be partly caused by the body (genetical predispositions, for example). And on the other hand psychical aspects influence the state of the body and can even co-cause severe illnesses of the body (stress, continually suppressed anger, extreme grief...). (There seems to be even evidence that among people with cancer there is a significant number who have problems of dealing with emotions of anger, more than the average population.)

And certainly pregnancy and birthgiving are extremely vulnerable to strong emotional impressions and stress. Why was it such a „biggie“ for Kiko to have her son? O.k., she was 39, not 25. But nowadays it is not unusual for a 39-year-old-woman to have her third child. (Geena Davis had her first at 46, and the next two two years later...) Kiko has given birth to two daughters without any problems I ever heard of. And from a physical point of view it is no more difficult or dangerous to give birth to a boy than to a girl. But from a psychological point of view? Oh well...

Of course, she knew the whole country was watching her. In the beginning it probably was fun and pride – for her, it was rather optional to give birth to a male heir, not a duty like for her sister-in-law. But when the months passed fear began to grow: now all hopes of the country and the imperial family were on her and what if anything happened to this baby? They had blamed her sister-in-law for „not trying hard enough“ to get pregnant. (Which is obviously absurd. You can try harder to win a football game but not to get pregnant.) If anything went wrong wouldn´t they blame her in the same absurd way of not having been „cautious enough“ or of not having „fully realized her duty in this important situation“?

I am absolutely convinced that Kiko`s problems in her third pregnancy were co-caused by the stress and strong emotional pressure she was under. In the end she made it, in spite of that. But this same pressure under which Kiko tumbled after a few months had been on Masako for over ten years... (I am not saying that this was the reason why she didn´t get pregnant. But I can well imagine that as, in fact, she did not get pregnant she in the end fell prey to this immensely stressful situation.)

I don´t think that anybody in this forum (myself included, of course) has an experience that comes even remotely close to this situation. We are all human beings, and so we can sometimes say „been there, done that, I know how you feel“, and in a way this also gives us a right to judge because we have an idea how much we are asking of a person.

But there are situations that are too special, like this one. We can only guess what it means to be in Masako´s position and what we are asking if we say she should try more. And we really can´t be sure if we ourselves in her situation would be able to do it. I am convinced that even Kiko - who was close enough to be well informed - thought it would be much easier before she had to do it herself.

And I am not sure if we do anything good by blaming Masako. As Elsbeth said her burden has been (is) on Michiko, it is/was as I explained in a way on Kiko, it will be on Hisahito. AND do you have any idea how much it will be on Hisahito´s wife? No mother still in her right mind will let her daughter marry this poor guy...

You say you want to forward Masako´s happiness. And I am sure that is what we all would want. But I think it is not effective to keep saying that Masako is "THE PROBLEM". If they would just stop blaming Masako she could do a big favour to her country and to the imperial family: to help them recognize that it is necessary to change this f...ing law of male succession that threatens to make one generation after the other miserable. (I don´t care for the theoretical background. I only see that they are sacrificing living human beings to this theory and I don´t think that any theory can be worth that.)

Masako´s illness could be a gift for the whole country if they would only accept it. Perhaps it is they who should try harder...
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  #167  
Old 12-26-2007, 09:43 PM
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Cool Hello, Chiara C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
I am a bit puzzled. You are Vanesa. The words I quoted were from HRH Abigail?

I would certainly not be the right person to criticize anybody`s English anyway as I am not a native speaker myself. But as far as I can see, yours is excellent. I don´t think that is the point.

Abigail said Masako has two possibilities in her opinion: „Either, she is getting truly better and will be contributory, or ... she must get out altogether.“
The first is clear: be a good girl, not be ill any longer and do her duty. But if she finds herself to be too „sensitive“ as you said in your post and accordingly unable to choose this option what would be the second one? How can she „get out altogether“ if not by a divorce?

I don´t share your opinion concerning emotional/psychological illnesses. (Nor does the mainstream medical world as far as I am informed.) And undoubtedly there is not such a clear line between illness on the psychical and on the bodily level. Emotional illness can be partly caused by the body (genetical predispositions, for example). And on the other hand psychical aspects influence the state of the body and can even co-cause severe illnesses of the body (stress, continually suppressed anger, extreme grief...). (There seems to be even evidence that among people with cancer there is a significant number who have problems of dealing with emotions of anger, more than the average population.)

And certainly pregnancy and birthgiving are extremely vulnerable to strong emotional impressions and stress. Why was it such a „biggie“ for Kiko to have her son? O.k., she was 39, not 25. But nowadays it is not unusual for a 39-year-old-woman to have her third child. (Geena Davis had her first at 46, and the next two two years later...) Kiko has given birth to two daughters without any problems I ever heard of. And from a physical point of view it is no more difficult or dangerous to give birth to a boy than to a girl. But from a psychological point of view? Oh well...

Of course, she knew the whole country was watching her. In the beginning it probably was fun and pride – for her, it was rather optional to give birth to a male heir, not a duty like for her sister-in-law. But when the months passed fear began to grow: now all hopes of the country and the imperial family were on her and what if anything happened to this baby? They had blamed her sister-in-law for „not trying hard enough“ to get pregnant. (Which is obviously absurd. You can try harder to win a football game but not to get pregnant.) If anything went wrong wouldn´t they blame her in the same absurd way of not having been „cautious enough“ or of not having „fully realized her duty in this important situation“?

I am absolutely convinced that Kiko`s problems in her third pregnancy were co-caused by the stress and strong emotional pressure she was under. In the end she made it, in spite of that. But this same pressure under which Kiko tumbled after a few months had been on Masako for over ten years... (I am not saying that this was the reason why she didn´t get pregnant. But I can well imagine that as, in fact, she did not get pregnant she in the end fell prey to this immensely stressful situation.)

I don´t think that anybody in this forum (myself included, of course) has an experience that comes even remotely close to this situation. We are all human beings, and so we can sometimes say „been there, done that, I know how you feel“, and in a way this also gives us a right to judge because we have an idea how much we are asking of a person.

But there are situations that are too special, like this one. We can only guess what it means to be in Masako´s position and what we are asking if we say she should try more. And we really can´t be sure if we ourselves in her situation would be able to do it. I am convinced that even Kiko - who was close enough to be well informed - thought it would be much easier before she had to do it herself.

And I am not sure if we do anything good by blaming Masako. As Elsbeth said her burden has been (is) on Michiko, it is/was as I explained in a way on Kiko, it will be on Hisahito. AND do you have any idea how much it will be on Hisahito´s wife? No mother still in her right mind will let her daughter marry this poor guy...

You say you want to forward Masako´s happiness. And I am sure that is what we all would want. But I think it is not effective to keep saying that Masako is "THE PROBLEM". If they would just stop blaming Masako she could do a big favour to her country and to the imperial family: to help them recognize that it is necessary to change this f...ing law of male succession that threatens to make one generation after the other miserable. (I don´t care for the theoretical background. I only see that they are sacrificing living human beings to this theory and I don´t think that any theory can be worth that.)

Masako´s illness could be a gift for the whole country if they would only accept it. Perhaps it is they who should try harder...
Hello, there ...

It's "HRH Abigail" here ... but, you can call me Abbie, if you care to, please.

I appreciate your disagreement with my stance and opinions.

You have the right to think what you will.

You have every right to express your opinion.

However, I think that Masako retreating from what she KNEW she was getting into, has gone on quite long enough, to be most honest with you.

My point was: Either this young Lady should get the treatment she so desperately appears to need, buck up and get on with it, or ... get out altogether.

Here in America we have an old saying: "If you can't stand the heat / Get out of the kitchen."

Meaning, if you cannot stand the job, and cannot perform it up to the expectations that are ... well, expected, then one should simply BOW OUT, and get another job. Yes, it's just that simple.

The Japanese People and Royal Household have given this lovely young Woman YEARS to adjust and recover!
I feel as though they have been most accomodating to her and her "condition". But, NOW the oneness is upon Masako to ENTER the Royal Mainstream and CONTRIBUTE. She's been ill since 2002, for Heaven's sakes. She's been allowed the luxury of being in seclusion and away from all her public duties for this long length of time.

Sooo, let's now see her get on with it --
Either get treatment, and MAKE it work, or ... get out.
The Royals don't have to put up with Ditherers, in my opinion.

Masako is not some uneducated Dolt.
She's BRILLIANT!
She KNEW darn well what was ahead of her, and expected of her, when she married into the worlds most conservative Royal Family and System. She knew.

Yes, at first I was most sympathetic towards her plight. I wanted her to retreat and concentrate on getting better.
But now, I want to see her making more of an effort about getting back in to The Swing of Things, and doing her JOB!

In America we have another saying: "Fish or cut bait!"
Meaning, either fish or just give it up!
Do it, or, give up!

I agree with The Empress Michiko, about Masako's plight and her obligation.
Michiko, herself was NEVER allowed the luxury of many years of retreat.

She put on a "brave face" and soldiered on, as one must do when one marries into this sort of situation, sorry.

Every "foreign" person who has married into Royal Situations has done this.

I just finished reading the EXCELLENT Biography, written by (the now ex) Queen Noor al Hussein of Jordan called "Leap of Faith" and it IT, The Queen goes into great detail about HER adjustment travails, and how she just went forth and COPED! She didn't cower from duty. She didn't retreat. She didn't sulk, mope, complain.
She sallied forth and GOT ON WITH IT!

Masako is also most well-educated.
She knows what's expected of her.
Either do the job, or bow out, if you truly don't feel you can perform.

GIVE someone else a chance to do the job in an exemplary fashion, if you feel as though you cannot.

This is really all I am saying, sorry.
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  #168  
Old 12-27-2007, 11:08 AM
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Dear Abbie, generally, I share your opinion: Love it, change it or leave it.

But I also know from my own experience that it can take a lot of time sometimes to "love things into change". I think Masako nonwithstanding her difficult position and her obvious difficulties in dealing with it has at least two excellent reasons for investing that time: her husband and daughter.

Naruhito is lucky that he is a male. If he were not he certainly would be criticized at least as much as his wife. He does not "fit in" any more than she. Is not that "big" for the heir of a throne to say: "If I can´t have this woman I won´t marry at all."? Or to unconditionally and publicly support his wife who has failed in fulfilling her first duty (to get a boy)? Maybe he even prevented Masako from leaving by saying: "Even if you leave I won´t marry again and then you will have sacrificed yourself for nothing." Considering what we know about him I think that absolutely possible.

From the "imperial" point of view he is neglecting the duties of his position in an irresponsible way.

But on the other hand: is not this way of unconditionally loving and supporting this one person he has chosen, no matter what happens and no matter how little she "fits in", is that not exactly what we are all dreaming of - not only in marriage but in all human relationships? To be appreciated for who we are, not for our "showing off" qualities?

I think such an relationship is very well worth fighting for. And as far as we can see it is this what Masako is doing.

And I think she has every right to it, no matter how long it takes and how much the japanese people or the imperial family are afraid of "losing their face" because of her.

I have already explained why I think that Masako is not "the problem", she is only a symptom of "the problem". If she gets out, maybe (maybe) HER life will be better but the main problem will remain unsolved.

Masako is so disturbing to people because her condition makes it so obvious that it is nearly as difficult to survive in her position as in the "dead zone" on the Mount Everest. Michiko suffered silently. That was, of course, more comfortable (for everybody except herself).

If Masako did leave and Naruhito then did remarry (which I doubt) the next one would have the same problems. Probably, she would not express them in the same way as Masako, maybe she indeed would get breast cancer. So people could pity her and go on with being in denial. But I don´t see that there is any use in that.

And I am absolutely sure that everybody in this position would have the same problems in one form or other. I practice Aikido, and so I look at people intuitively from a "fighting point" of view. And Masako (as well as Michiko, bye the bye, although now there is only a faint shadow left of her former self) is champion´s level concerning will and inner strength, in my perception. Concerning that, she is one in a million. If she cannot do it, nobody can.

Well, I suppose, so we agree to disagree...

One thing just to make things clear: when you say Masako should "get out" (if she chooses that option) you do mean by a divorce? Or is there another possibility I have overlooked?
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  #169  
Old 12-27-2007, 08:54 PM
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Thumbs up YOur EXCELLENT command of English!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
Dear Abbie, generally, I share your opinion: Love it, change it or leave it.

But I also know from my own experience that it can take a lot of time sometimes to "love things into change". I think Masako nonwithstanding her difficult position and her obvious difficulties in dealing with it has at least two excellent reasons for investing that time: her husband and daughter.

Naruhito is lucky that he is a male. If he were not he certainly would be criticized at least as much as his wife. He does not "fit in" any more than she. Is not that "big" for the heir of a throne to say: "If I can´t have this woman I won´t marry at all."? Or to unconditionally and publicly support his wife who has failed in fulfilling her first duty (to get a boy)? Maybe he even prevented Masako from leaving by saying: "Even if you leave I won´t marry again and then you will have sacrificed yourself for nothing." Considering what we know about him I think that absolutely possible.

From the "imperial" point of view he is neglecting the duties of his position in an irresponsible way.

But on the other hand: is not this way of unconditionally loving and supporting this one person he has chosen, no matter what happens and no matter how little she "fits in", is that not exactly what we are all dreaming of - not only in marriage but in all human relationships? To be appreciated for who we are, not for our "showing off" qualities?

I think such an relationship is very well worth fighting for. And as far as we can see it is this what Masako is doing.

And I think she has every right to it, no matter how long it takes and how much the japanese people or the imperial family are afraid of "losing their face" because of her.

I have already explained why I think that Masako is not "the problem", she is only a symptom of "the problem". If she gets out, maybe (maybe) HER life will be better but the main problem will remain unsolved.

Masako is so disturbing to people because her condition makes it so obvious that it is nearly as difficult to survive in her position as in the "dead zone" on the Mount Everest. Michiko suffered silently. That was, of course, more comfortable (for everybody except herself).

If Masako did leave and Naruhito then did remarry (which I doubt) the next one would have the same problems. Probably, she would not express them in the same way as Masako, maybe she indeed would get breast cancer. So people could pity her and go on with being in denial. But I don´t see that there is any use in that.

And I am absolutely sure that everybody in this position would have the same problems in one form or other. I practice Aikido, and so I look at people intuitively from a "fighting point" of view. And Masako (as well as Michiko, bye the bye, although now there is only a faint shadow left of her former self) is champion´s level concerning will and inner strength, in my perception. Concerning that, she is one in a million. If she cannot do it, nobody can.

Well, I suppose, so we agree to disagree...

One thing just to make things clear: when you say Masako should "get out" (if she chooses that option) you do mean by a divorce? Or is there another possibility I have overlooked?
ChiaraC, may I commend you on your EXCELLENT command of English? It is superlative and there are Americans who don't speak it nearly as well as you write it. I am floored, impressed beyond measure --
Oh, because your location is listed as being Berlin, I am assuming that you are German and not a native American. Correct?

Also, I rather LIKE the polite tone of your message and how you can disagree with someone yet do so civilly.
It's OK to disagree with anyone, here.
Just do so with some semblance of courtesy, that's all.

OK, about the lovely and troubled Masako ...

Well, you KNOW we don't entirely disagree.

See, my problem with her dithering is that she has had YEARS to get treatment and the help out there that is available to her, IF she really wanted to partake of it. For example, I am sure the IHA would consent to sending her away for treatment somewhere else, were she (as The Crown Princess) to request that they do so, you know? After all, it is in their best interest to get her well and doing the duty to which she consented when she elected (finally!) to marry Naruhito.

You CAN'T (as Diana learnt to her peril) CHANGE Royalty, especially if you are Commoner who's married into it. Diana was NO Commoner but she was too "modern" for the antiquated Royal status quo.
One has NO CHOICE but to adapt to IT and its archaic rules, peccadillos, and practices. The Royal System will NOT adapt to you, and your demands.
This is especially true of the Imperial Family of Japan, the worlds most conservative Royal System.
Masako KNEW EXACTLY what she was getting into when she married, ChiaraC. That's why she took her sweet time in accepting Naruhito's proposal. He told her the truth: That he'd all that was within his power to do, to help and guide her thru' the Labyrinth of Royal Practices and Protocol.
Trouble is, HE could NOT defy the System into which he was born. He had to give into it, when he realised that he had only a certain amount of "power" to change it.
Remember, shortly after he and Masako were married that Naruhito came out and CRITICISED his own family for not giving enough responsibilities to his wife and for not allowing her to use HER skills to enhance the Imperial System?
Well, what fall-out came from that? Naruhito's brother, Akishino attacked him and gave him public hell, whilst his own parents did likewise. So, he wasn't at liberty to attack The System any further.

The ball is now firmly in Masako's Court, rightly or wrongly, fairly or not, ChiaraC. She must take the steps needed to sort herself out, and get better, in order to be a fully functioning member to the family into which she consented (AFTER YEARS of deliberation and thought -- soul-searching, if you will) to enter.

Frankly? I think The Imperial Family has BEEN most tolerant of Masako. It has given her almost 6 years of breathing room! She has been in almost total seclusion for a long while, now, only occasionally making public appearances for photo-ops and other MANDATOURY appearances.

I think Masako must decide: Can she cut it? She knows if she can, ChiaraC. If she isn't comfortable with her Status and the Status Quo, then she should suggest a Divorce ... for the good of her own health, and .. for the good of The Imperial Family.

Oh, and by the way: "Face-saving" is SERIOUS business to Asians. It frequently is NOT wholly-understood by Westerners, but ... it is highly INadvisable to put people in the position where they even MIGHT be embarrassed lest they "Lose Face" because ... to Asians, this is a very serious offence.
WE just toss of being embarrassed but to anyone Asian, this is the most humiliating thing one can do to them, and in Japan it is completely frowned upon, especially the higher up the Social Pecking order that you go.

People go to GREAT lengths to be verry polite and AGREEABLE to their fellow-men and women, over in Asia, lest their Compatriouts Face be lost and they suffer unduly.

It's a huge deal.
I think that to avoid losing face herself, that Masako must think about how what she does, or doesn't do, reflects upon her adopted family, who have RISKED taking her on! You know, they weren't too terribly keen on Naruhito even marrying Masako, UNTIL his parents met HERS and got many assurances that she knew exactly how to best SERVE her country ... And, that's just what Royals do.
They SERVE!

I love reading your posts. I am AMAZED and shocked at how very well you write English, when many Americans don't even bother to learn another's language all that well.

Thanks and take care,

-- Abbie
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  #170  
Old 12-27-2007, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HRH Abigail View Post

You CAN'T (as Diana learnt to her peril) CHANGE Royalty, especially if you are Commoner who's married into it. Diana was NO Commoner but she was too "modern" for the antiquated Royal status quo.
One has NO CHOICE but to adapt to IT and its archaic rules, peccadillos, and practices. The Royal System will NOT adapt to you, and your demands.
This is especially true of the Imperial Family of Japan, the worlds most conservative Royal System.

Naruhito's brother, Akishino attacked him and gave him public hell, whilst his own parents did likewise. So, he wasn't at liberty to attack The System any further.
I have truly enjoyed reading the exchange of opinions. I would like to commend you on such thorough understanding of Asian culture.
Fully sharing your views, I would like to note the following. Crown Princess Masako can not just get a divorce and go on with her life like Princess Alexandra of Denmark or Princess Diana did. She has to weigh pros and cons super carefully. Divorce involving members of the Imperial family is viewed as unacceptable. If Crown Princess Masako opts for divorce, she may become an outcast. Her only child may be taken away from her (this will not surprise me much). Furthermore, divorce may adversely affect reputation of her family. Given the utter secrecy surrounding the Japanese Imperial family, it is hard to determine whether Crown Princess Masako recovers or not. At the same time, it will be fair to say that
the IHA will announce her full recovery, if she gets pregnant again.
Right you are noting that Crown Prince Naruhito have exhausted his reasons to attack the system. Now it is up to Crown Princely couple to make a decision.

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  #171  
Old 12-27-2007, 10:19 PM
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Thumbs up THANK you, Albina :)

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Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
I have truly enjoyed reading the exchange of opinions. I would like to commend you on such thorough understanding of Asian culture.
Fully sharing your views, I would like to note the following. Crown Princess Masako can not just get a divorce and go on with her life like Princess Alexandra of Denmark or Princess Diana did. She has to weigh pros and cons super carefully. Divorce involving members of the Imperial family is viewed as unacceptable. If Crown Princess Masako opts for divorce, she may become an outcast. Her only child may be taken away from her (this will not surprise me much). Furthermore, divorce may adversely affect reputation of her family. Given the utter secrecy surrounding the Japanese Imperial family, it is hard to determine whether Crown Princess Masako recovers or not. At the same time, it will be fair to say that
the IHA will announce her full recovery, if she gets pregnant again.
Right you are noting that Crown Prince Naruhito have exhausted his reasons to attack the system. Now it is up to Crown Princely couple to make a decision.

And, I APPRECIATE your understanding as well. I TRY to understand other cultures.
I don't always succeed.
I may disagree with how others choose to live, but I TRY to feel for what they go through.
I thank you, for acknowledging me in this manner.

I think you are correct, in stating that it is hard to determine whether Crown Princess Masako recovers or not. Well said. Her state of mind is still very much up in the air, isn't it?

I also agree with you that it is up to The Crown Princely Couple to make their own decision about how best they wish to proceed, regarding the future of their own marriage.

I also agree with you, that divorcing Naruhito will be most hard on Masako, and that their divorce will not go as easily as Charles' and Diana's did. She will be seen to be an outcast, and will lose likely all contact with Aiko, which may be most sad indeed.

I would LOVE nothing better than to see Crown Princess Masako get fully better and commit to getting fully well, too!
It really is in her best interest to serve her Country right now.
She loves Naruhito, I have a strong hunch, and he ADORES her.
It's just that there is only so much that he can do to "fight the powers" and he just cannot go any further than to do what he can do, BY LAW.
Naruhito is STUCK, in a way.
And, right now, as Japanese Law stands, Masako has NO CHOICE but to make more of an effort to conform to the rigid laws and practices of The Imperial Household Agency.

I have utmost confidence in Masako.

I KNOW she has it in her to do well against great odds, and she can come out a Winner!

Now, let's see her strive to WIN.

I KNOW she can do this.
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  #172  
Old 01-02-2008, 10:52 AM
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Smile Thank you for making me think!

Dear Abbie, as you probably can imagine I feel exceedingly flattered. (I am indeed German, no native speaker.) Thank you very much!

For me, it is a wonderful experience, too, that people can clearly express differing opinions without taking it personally and without quarrel. It takes two for that… Thank you. In this way, dissent is not an annoyance but to the contrary, a pleasure and something that helps me to learn and to see new aspects. I still don´t agree with you in some points but while contemplating about what you said I came to think about some things I probably otherwise would never have thought of.

I think we do agree in that there should be some change in Masako´s situation because it is obviously disagreeable to everybody concerned. We differ concerning WHO should change. But when we come to the REASONS for our views perhaps we are already getting closer to each other… Basically, you say (if I understand you right) that whatever one might think about the necessity of change in the system, the system certainly won´t change, so it has to be Masako, for practical reasons if not for any else. And I say, it´s the system that has to change because any other change would be purely "cosmetical".

I still think I am right but I am afraid you are right, too. I am well aware that when a powerful group of people is resolved against facing reality and against opening themselves for necessary change, centuries may pass before they are forced into it... ("The earth is flat." How much time and suffering, how many burnt "heretics" did it take us to get that one right? - Just one example.) (And, to make that absolutely clear, I am NOT talking about any individual in the imperial family. They are all paying their price for belonging to the system, and some of them a fairly high one, especially the women.)

Considering this, I have come to reflect about what I think Masako COULD do. And, honestly, I don´t think she should – or even could – "try harder". Look, she is an eldest child, an eldest daughter even, in a culture that prefers sons, and she has a very strong will. Taking into account these facts, I´d bet ten freshly made cream cakes against your old green hat that she is highly over-responsible, is very hard upon herself and expects herself to be absolutely perfect. The pressure from the people surrounding her is undoubtedly immense but maybe the pressure she is putting UPON HERSELF is even stronger. If she could remove at least that she might have much better chances to recover.

Accordingly, in my opinion, she should just relax, let go, forgive herself for being "a complete failure" and allow herself to be just herself, a wonderful human being, no matter what others may think or whatever (even reasonable) demands she may not be able to fulfill. Instead of trying harder, she should just STOP TRYING.

Easily said, considering the circumstances. Although her surrounding bears with her because in a way they just have to, they would probably be very far from thinking her wonderful exactly as she is or from supporting her in giving up trying. The only "star of hope" is again Naruhito.He alone seems to be able to accept and love her as she is – although it would be for him, of course, much more comfortable to have a healthy wife and although it would be very easy for him to project his own bad conscience on her.

"Bad conscience?" you will say. "Nobody is blaming Naruhito." In fact, we all seem to agree that he is doing his very best under very difficult circumstances. But he is an eldest child, too… I am sure that although nobody else does it, he is blaming HIMSELF. He is blaming himself for having lured her into marriage – of which he knew she was horribly afraid – by a promise to protect her. And now he is so powerless to do that... I am sure he is having a bad conscience and because of that, in his stead, 999 men out of a thousand would look for somebody to "pass it on". It would be easy for him to say: "Well, sure I promised to protect her but not under those circumstances. How can anyone protect such a loser?" But he refrains from doing that and is as good as his word, no matter what it costs him. (You probably perceive that I admire him exceedingly.)

Both of them, Naruhito as well as Masako are, in my opinion, dealing with the human experience of being powerless and vulnerable in a situation where they "should" be strong and competent. They are challenged to accept themselves as "only human" and be compassionate upon each other AND upon themselves in a situation where everybody (including themselves!) expects them to be "superhuman". We are all constantly learning life lessons but that one is decidedly "advanced level"…

So, I think if Masako would really accept what Naruhito is giving her, relax, forgive herself, see herself (like with his eyes) as wonderful and perfect and just let all the others have their opinion, she might have a real chance to recover. (And then, strong and healthy, she might even be able to change some of the system…)

But that, again, is easily said… We are all dreaming of unconditional love. But to be open to it in real life is another story. When it does come, how many of us are able to set aside all feelings of pride, of unworthiness and of "I have to do something to earn it." and simply fall to their knees, bow their head and accept it?
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  #173  
Old 01-02-2008, 02:21 PM
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Smile WOW-za!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
Dear Abbie, as you probably can imagine I feel exceedingly flattered. (I am indeed German, no native speaker.) Thank you very much!

For me, it is a wonderful experience, too, that people can clearly express differing opinions without taking it personally and without quarrel. It takes two for that… Thank you. In this way, dissent is not an annoyance but to the contrary, a pleasure and something that helps me to learn and to see new aspects. I still don´t agree with you in some points but while contemplating about what you said I came to think about some things I probably otherwise would never have thought of.

I think we do agree in that there should be some change in Masako´s situation because it is obviously disagreeable to everybody concerned. We differ concerning WHO should change. But when we come to the REASONS for our views perhaps we are already getting closer to each other… Basically, you say (if I understand you right) that whatever one might think about the necessity of change in the system, the system certainly won´t change, so it has to be Masako, for practical reasons if not for any else. And I say, it´s the system that has to change because any other change would be purely "cosmetical".

I still think I am right but I am afraid you are right, too. I am well aware that when a powerful group of people is resolved against facing reality and against opening themselves for necessary change, centuries may pass before they are forced into it... ("The earth is flat." How much time and suffering, how many burnt "heretics" did it take us to get that one right? - Just one example.) (And, to make that absolutely clear, I am NOT talking about any individual in the imperial family. They are all paying their price for belonging to the system, and some of them a fairly high one, especially the women.)

Considering this, I have come to reflect about what I think Masako COULD do. And, honestly, I don´t think she should – or even could – "try harder". Look, she is an eldest child, an eldest daughter even, in a culture that prefers sons, and she has a very strong will. Taking into account these facts, I´d bet ten freshly made cream cakes against your old green hat that she is highly over-responsible, is very hard upon herself and expects herself to be absolutely perfect. The pressure from the people surrounding her is undoubtedly immense but maybe the pressure she is putting UPON HERSELF is even stronger. If she could remove at least that she might have much better chances to recover.

Accordingly, in my opinion, she should just relax, let go, forgive herself for being "a complete failure" and allow herself to be just herself, a wonderful human being, no matter what others may think or whatever (even reasonable) demands she may not be able to fulfill. Instead of trying harder, she should just STOP TRYING.

Easily said, considering the circumstances. Although her surrounding bears with her because in a way they just have to, they would probably be very far from thinking her wonderful exactly as she is or from supporting her in giving up trying. The only "star of hope" is again Naruhito.He alone seems to be able to accept and love her as she is – although it would be for him, of course, much more comfortable to have a healthy wife and although it would be very easy for him to project his own bad conscience on her.

"Bad conscience?" you will say. "Nobody is blaming Naruhito." In fact, we all seem to agree that he is doing his very best under very difficult circumstances. But he is an eldest child, too… I am sure that although nobody else does it, he is blaming HIMSELF. He is blaming himself for having lured her into marriage – of which he knew she was horribly afraid – by a promise to protect her. And now he is so powerless to do that... I am sure he is having a bad conscience and because of that, in his stead, 999 men out of a thousand would look for somebody to "pass it on". It would be easy for him to say: "Well, sure I promised to protect her but not under those circumstances. How can anyone protect such a loser?" But he refrains from doing that and is as good as his word, no matter what it costs him. (You probably perceive that I admire him exceedingly.)

Both of them, Naruhito as well as Masako are, in my opinion, dealing with the human experience of being powerless and vulnerable in a situation where they "should" be strong and competent. They are challenged to accept themselves as "only human" and be compassionate upon each other AND upon themselves in a situation where everybody (including themselves!) expects them to be "superhuman". We are all constantly learning life lessons but that one is decidedly "advanced level"…

So, I think if Masako would really accept what Naruhito is giving her, relax, forgive herself, see herself (like with his eyes) as wonderful and perfect and just let all the others have their opinion, she might have a real chance to recover. (And then, strong and healthy, she might even be able to change some of the system…)

But that, again, is easily said… We are all dreaming of unconditional love. But to be open to it in real life is another story. When it does come, how many of us are able to set aside all feelings of pride, of unworthiness and of "I have to do something to earn it." and simply fall to their knees, bow their head and accept it?
Wow-za!

Again, your command of English is better than alot of Americans', and I am not being polite to you, here.

I just want Masako to find Peace, Happiness, and to settle into doing what she wants to do in THAT family, without likely feeling as though she has to bang her head against a wall.
She cannot REPRESENT Japan, as a Diplomat and I think that was really what she was hoping to do, no?
'tis a great shame to see all her education and training go to waste.

ChiaraC, you write well, too, may I add ...

-- Abbie
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  #174  
Old 01-02-2008, 03:43 PM
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I've never said that Princess Masako WAS the problem. She HAS a problem , that it is very different of blaming her for the present situation. A person who has a problem is not blamable. She must be helped to go out of it as soon as possible. But people, as persons who all of us are, have their own limitations: character, temper, education, etc, etc . Any of us could be out of it. Sometimes we acts wrongly believeing we are doing the right thing. And other persons needs to come and said us what we are doing. Then, with love and understanding, we may start to go out of the problem.

I don't thing that the Crownprincess could be guilty of anything so bad that couldn't be repaired. I'd rather think there is some person behind her problems, using them to support their political and social opinions: she represents the liberal, outgoing, executive woman: the anti-tradition. So they support her against the "evil, evil, dark people" who likes tradition and Japanese culture and cosmovission. There is another party who is behind Princess Kiko, for she represents the Imperial House Tradition, the woman who wouldn't rebelles herself against the Imperial House rules...and who gave a male heir to the throne. So, there is a rivlary who is not in these two women, but in press parties and in people like me or you, who are supporters of one possition or another. We must admit it, and we wouldn't fight as bloody ennemies because these two innocent women.

I suppose you already knew it , since I'm a regular poster here, but I like Princess Kiko a lot: she is always smiling and does what she must do. When she entered to the Imperial Family she knew in what dance she was entering in. I like a lot persons that have no scandals around her. Since I was a child, smiling persons are my favorite. These loving and caring persons to whom you could go and have sweet words of consolation. I've never liked these crying, pouting persons who, inestead of giving love (which makes you happy, very happy, for the one who gives love always has love in return) are always asking for love. Adding to this, I never was a feminist. I always loved men and women walking TOGETHER and never one behind or ahead of the other. I've never liked competition among sexes, and if I consider important the self-developpement of all individual, being woman or man, I've never liked liberals and entreprise people. And much less in Royal Houses: I like writers, painters, historians, architects, musicians, teachers...I know maybe I'm wrong, but by temper, I could not like Princess Masako as well as Princess Kiko...and much less after the last one's pregnancy, when certain people wished strongly the DEATH of the little innocent boy or that his mother suffered some bad accident, only for Princess Aiko could inherite a throne. Sincerily, I'm not against women inheriting thrones, but I'm also an admirer of having some respect for other cultures, who could have their own reasons to act the way they want.

I wish with all my might that Princess Masako could change and become a worthy Empress when the moment comes. Now, I think she still needs some help to become a real Princess. When you are one, you can't do everything you wishes to...But, wait..i think that this is even for commoners. As far as I know, any of us is able to do ALL that we want. Isn't it?

Vanesa.
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  #175  
Old 01-02-2008, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandy View Post
I'm sorry Vanessa for the ordeal you went through in life, and even without knowing the circumstances, I guarantee that you can't compare your situation to that of Masako's. Your were able to deal privately with your issues, and we would have been none the wiser if you had not informed us about them. However, Masako is being bullied on a very public stage and by an entity, the IHA, of which she has absolutely no control. They decide whether or not Masako is "well enough" to perform her royal duties which she does willingly and with a smile.

Even with my medical experience, I would never dare to pass judgement on someone who is ill except to say that no two persons ever react exactly alike when they are in the same situation especially when they are world's apart.
I agree with all your post, mandy.
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  #176  
Old 01-02-2008, 08:26 PM
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Cool Iwasn not replying to you, sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanesa View Post
I've never said that Princess Masako WAS the problem. She HAS a problem , that it is very different of blaming her for the present situation. A person who has a problem is not blamable. She must be helped to go out of it as soon as possible. But people, as persons who all of us are, have their own limitations: character, temper, education, etc, etc . Any of us could be out of it. Sometimes we acts wrongly believeing we are doing the right thing. And other persons needs to come and said us what we are doing. Then, with love and understanding, we may start to go out of the problem.

I don't thing that the Crownprincess could be guilty of anything so bad that couldn't be repaired. I'd rather think there is some person behind her problems, using them to support their political and social opinions: she represents the liberal, outgoing, executive woman: the anti-tradition. So they support her against the "evil, evil, dark people" who likes tradition and Japanese culture and cosmovission. There is another party who is behind Princess Kiko, for she represents the Imperial House Tradition, the woman who wouldn't rebelles herself against the Imperial House rules...and who gave a male heir to the throne. So, there is a rivlary who is not in these two women, but in press parties and in people like me or you, who are supporters of one possition or another. We must admit it, and we wouldn't fight as bloody ennemies because these two innocent women.

I suppose you already knew it , since I'm a regular poster here, but I like Princess Kiko a lot: she is always smiling and does what she must do. When she entered to the Imperial Family she knew in what dance she was entering in. I like a lot persons that have no scandals around her. Since I was a child, smiling persons are my favorite. These loving and caring persons to whom you could go and have sweet words of consolation. I've never liked these crying, pouting persons who, inestead of giving love (which makes you happy, very happy, for the one who gives love always has love in return) are always asking for love. Adding to this, I never was a feminist. I always loved men and women walking TOGETHER and never one behind or ahead of the other. I've never liked competition among sexes, and if I consider important the self-developpement of all individual, being woman or man, I've never liked liberals and entreprise people. And much less in Royal Houses: I like writers, painters, historians, architects, musicians, teachers...I know maybe I'm wrong, but by temper, I could not like Princess Masako as well as Princess Kiko...and much less after the last one's pregnancy, when certain people wished strongly the DEATH of the little innocent boy or that his mother suffered some bad accident, only for Princess Aiko could inherite a throne. Sincerily, I'm not against women inheriting thrones, but I'm also an admirer of having some respect for other cultures, who could have their own reasons to act the way they want.

I wish with all my might that Princess Masako could change and become a worthy Empress when the moment comes. Now, I think she still needs some help to become a real Princess. When you are one, you can't do everything you wishes to...But, wait..i think that this is even for commoners. As far as I know, any of us is able to do ALL that we want. Isn't it?

Vanesa.
I was replying to ChiaraC, sorry.

Like you, I am also hoping that CP Masako will become useful to her Country and SERVE it in the fashion that she pledged to do, when she became CP, and finally elected to marry Naruhito.
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  #177  
Old 01-02-2008, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanesa View Post

I don't thing that the Crownprincess could be guilty of anything so bad that couldn't be repaired. I'd rather think there is some person behind her problems, using them to support their political and social opinions: she represents the liberal, outgoing, executive woman: the anti-tradition. So they support her against the "evil, evil, dark people" who likes tradition and Japanese culture and cosmovission. There is another party who is behind Princess Kiko, for she represents the Imperial House Tradition, the woman who wouldn't rebelles herself against the Imperial House rules...and who gave a male heir to the throne. So, there is a rivlary who is not in these two women, but in press parties and in people like me or you, who are supporters of one possition or another. We must admit it, and we wouldn't fight as bloody ennemies because these two innocent women.

Vanesa.

Masako doesn't represent the 'liberal, outgoing, executive woman' and Kiko the 'woman who doesn't rebel' that's just tabloid media and forum posters stereotypes of the 2 women.

Look closely at their background, education, work and their lives.

Masako grew up as a Japanese expat where her parents ran a traditional Japanese home, more so than if they had been in Japan where other societal influences were at play. Once back in Japan she attended a very conservative catholic private school that her mother and grandmother had attended, it was single sex, at the time still had nuns in the school and was very strict and the students studious. It was a selective school and Masako initially failed the entrance exam as she had been at school in the US, after a year in a Japanese public school she retook the exam and was admitted to the school. Masako didn't embrace her public high school in the US, she was shocked by it, she studied hard and was something of an outsider. At university she was heavily involved in the Japan society and rather than spending her vacation time working part-time jobs or partying with friends, she went on homestays in France and Germany, she studied and worked to improve her languages and she wanted to follow her father's footsteps into the Foreign ministry. ( the 'good' Japanese girl, he had no son, so the oldest daughter would follow in his footsteps. Had he a son I doubt whether she would have gone into diplomacy) Once in the ministry, she worked the incredible hours Japanese civil servants did, lived at home, at no time, even when studying did she ever live in her own apartment, she boarded with families.
Her 'dating' period with Naruhito was very formal, he persued her relentlessly but they spent little time together, most of their time was spent talking on the phone.

Kiko on the other hand, also spent time living overseas, she attended university, had a 'normal' dating experience with Akishino, they were able to socialise in Tokyo with him driving her around in his volkswagon. The set of lights in Tokyo where he proposed later became a tourist attraction! ( Not overally romantic he proposed in his car when the lights were red!) Even after she was married she continued to study. No big deal you say. Well it is in Japan where once women marry they don't continue with either their education or their work, especially once they have children. Kiko continued with her PhD studies even after the births of her daughters. In the last year she has translated children's books, again to westerners no big deal. But yes to Japanese where a woman with 3 children just doesn't work. Last year's birthday interview Akishino talked about how he's concerned that she doesn't do too much, Kiko is a role model for the modern Japanese woman, far more than Masako even was. That's because Kiko has continued to work 'outside' jobs, after marriage and children in a country where very few women do.

Masako has had more pressure on her as she's the crown princess but then she's also been the 'good' Japanese girl all her life and done what was expected of her. Not having a son early in her marriage she failed what was expected of her, that I'm sure has contributed to her breakdown. Not the idea that she was this liberal woman.
Kiko was actually the more 'liberal' woman by no means is she or was she the 'traditional' approved IHA model. Not having to worry about living up to people's expectations helped her with the pressures that she was under in the last few years to deliver a son.
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  #178  
Old 01-03-2008, 03:19 AM
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One of the differences between Masako and Kiko is that Kiko was at university with Prince Akishino and they seemed to be an item even then, so she was adjusting while quite young to the prospect of marrying him. Masako, on the other hand, had graduated from university and had several years of experience in a job when the prospect of marrying into the royal family presented itself. It seems to be fairly well documented that it wasn't a prospect she relished, whereas the photos of Kiko and Prince Akishino together as students show two young people who were relaxed in each other's company. The transition for Masako would have been much more traumatic, especially since apparently she was being put under pressure at home. You can see with Diana that when a family is more interested in getting the daughter married off into the royal family than in thinking about what it might do to the daughter, things can turn fairly ugly.
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  #179  
Old 01-03-2008, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
One of the differences between Masako and Kiko is that Kiko was at university with Prince Akishino and they seemed to be an item even then, so she was adjusting while quite young to the prospect of marrying him. Masako, on the other hand, had graduated from university and had several years of experience in a job when the prospect of marrying into the royal family presented itself. It seems to be fairly well documented that it wasn't a prospect she relished, whereas the photos of Kiko and Prince Akishino together as students show two young people who were relaxed in each other's company. The transition for Masako would have been much more traumatic, especially since apparently she was being put under pressure at home. You can see with Diana that when a family is more interested in getting the daughter married off into the royal family than in thinking about what it might do to the daughter, things can turn fairly ugly.
Marrying the crown prince of the Imperial Family was not something that families were desperate to see their daughters do. Both Michiko and Masako's fathers first had to be won over. Michiko's father didn't want her to marry into the Imperial Family first and she was sent overseas for 'the grand tour' after Akihito began to show interest in marrying her. Masako too, initially her father was against the idea of her marrying into the Imperial Family and Masako was sent to Oxford to work on a post graduate degree ( she never finished it) Eventually both suitors won the fathers over and that helped persuade their daughters.
Ambitious Japanese families don't really consider marrying into the Imperial Family as a status symbol, particularly if the suitor is the crown prince. Those lower on the totem pole ( such as Akishino, his uncles and male cousins) are preferable as their wives would not have a totally perscribed job specification and life. The top of the totem, the crown princes, the Emperor are totally bound by tradition as to what engagements and roles they take on. Much of it focused around the religious shinto rites they perform which the majority of Japanese never see.

Kiko's life is different as she didn't marry the crown prince. There are parralels between what happened with Michiko and Masako, neither family were jumping for joy that the crown prince wanted to marry them. Something that doesn't bode well for the future for the sole male heir, realistically finding a wife won't be easy. And it's not the 'evil IHA' but simply the traditional expectations as to what duties the heir and his wife should perform. Change happens slowing in Japan and the last thing to change are traditions, people who fight to cling to them aren't awful and horrible, they are just attached to those traditions and can't see why they should change. "It's been like this for years" and the other phrase that is used a lot "It's the Japanese way".
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:25 AM
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feminism - Definitions from Dictionary.com
fem·i·nism
–noun 1.the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.


"I never was a feminist. I always loved men and women walking TOGETHER and never one behind or ahead of the other." vanesa post #168

sorry vanesa by your own words you are a feminist whether you embrace it or not.
i feel very sorry for the entire royal family, i'm not on masako's "side" or kiko's "side" i find them all lovely people and enjoy keeping up with their lives. i believe they are ALL stifled, bullied and kept from enjoying a life that could be much richer in experience and joy. i don't believe they will divorce because they love each other (thank goodness, can you imagine going through what all 3 women have gone through without support of a man that loves you) and masako would lose her child- she would never do that imo

thanks so much for your insight elspeth, it's interesting how they are perceived in their proper boxes and it's just the opposite, i had never seen it explained so clearly.

since families don't want their children marrying a royal do they aspire to marriages to the powers in the IHA?
btw i never saw anything about people wishing bad things on the little prince, that's disgracefull and disgusting, can you please provide a link- vanesa?
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