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  #1  
Old 04-17-2008, 09:18 PM
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Princess Aiko- What happens when she marries

I have a question.... Since as of right now, Princess Aiko is not the heir to the Japanese throne, when she marries, does she lose her royal title and privilege just like her Aunt did last year?
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:41 PM
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You are quite right, Rebanfan81. Princess Aiko could keep her title, if she married a prince of blood from the right house. As far as I know, such prince is not available. Although my presumptions can be wrong.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:16 PM
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Thank you for responding Al Bina. I think Aiko is such cute little girl and I hate to think that rules put in place centuries ago will be the driving force of her life and that because she was a female, she isn't worth as much. I grew up in a house with a couple of older boys and now am an engineer in a mostly mans world, so I understand the stereotype and I just dont want that pretty little girl to feel less because she isn't male. I would think a country that is so progressive about technology could come into the 21st century regardign their women. IMHO
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Old 04-18-2008, 03:47 PM
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These rules are not from centuries ago, but only from one century and half ago. The Japanese Imperial House copied Salic Law from some European countries . It was discussed here in other thread (I can't remember exactly which one).

I hate this poor girl must lost her title for marrying a commoner, but I think there is something to do about it: she could marry a nobleman. And maybe, we may also cut the habit of nobility marrying ONLY commoners. And maybe, a day she could be Empress of Japan. However, as I always said, this is an issue that Japanese people must decide about, not us.

Princess Aiko is a so adorable girl, and I hate children suffering for adult causes. Sometimes we, adul people are so...absurd.

Vanesa.
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Old 04-20-2008, 04:11 AM
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Why is Aiko suffering because of adult causes? At the moment once she marries she isn't a princess anymore, she can choose whatever career she wants, if she wants to be an engineer she can be. By not being a princess she gets to lead a totally private life, she is no longer a public person. She won't have to spend the rest of her life at mind numbing official events, no appearances on the balcony for New Year ( the Imperial royals have 7 (!) balcony appearances they start at 10am and go through until 3pm with a 30min lunch break. Unlike the European royals it's not a quick wave one time appearance, Emperor's birthday is just 5, they get it easier on that day)

Like her aunt Sayako she will get a 'severance package' of enough money to set herself up in her new life. Sayako got enough money to buy a large apartment in a brand new building in central Tokyo not far from her parents at the Imperial Palace, with Tokyo real estate prizes it wasn't cheap! Sayako was given a car even before she married. Aiko would still inherit any private wealth from her parents, Akihito's 3 surviving sisters all inherited from their father Emperor Hirohito.

Marrying 'out' doesn't mean that all contact ceases, Sayako still visits her parents, they go to dinner at her apartment. She and her husband are on the official guest list for the Emperor's birthday dinner, Sayako attends the New Year audiences but instead of being up on stage with the other princes and princesses she sits in the audience, and probably has a far more comfortable time of it, instead of standing for the whole time!

Even Hirohito's daughters would still come once a week for a family lunch and bring their children, marrying out doesn't mean no contact it never has.

Aiko not being a princess once she marries is not the worst thing that could happen to her and she definitely wouldn't suffer!

As far as marrying a noble, there are no nobles in Japan, all the noble families were disenfranchised with the reform of the Imperial Family in 1947. She won't be forced into an arranged marriage as once things change in the Imperial Household they stay changed. Akihito, his brother Hitachi, his male cousins Tomohito, Takamado, sons Naruhito, Akishino all made love marriages. The generation before (Hirohito and his brothers were arranged marriages).
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Old 04-20-2008, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Rebafan81 View Post
I have a question.... Since as of right now, Princess Aiko is not the heir to the Japanese throne, when she marries, does she lose her royal title and privilege just like her Aunt did last year?
By the current Japanese law, yes.
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2008, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlotte1 View Post
Why is Aiko suffering because of adult causes? At the moment once she marries she isn't a princess anymore, she can choose whatever career she wants, if she wants to be an engineer she can be. By not being a princess she gets to lead a totally private life, she is no longer a public person. She won't have to spend the rest of her life at mind numbing official events, no appearances on the balcony for New Year ( the Imperial royals have 7 (!) balcony appearances they start at 10am and go through until 3pm with a 30min lunch break. Unlike the European royals it's not a quick wave one time appearance, Emperor's birthday is just 5, they get it easier on that day)

Like her aunt Sayako she will get a 'severance package' of enough money to set herself up in her new life. Sayako got enough money to buy a large apartment in a brand new building in central Tokyo not far from her parents at the Imperial Palace, with Tokyo real estate prizes it wasn't cheap! Sayako was given a car even before she married. Aiko would still inherit any private wealth from her parents, Akihito's 3 surviving sisters all inherited from their father Emperor Hirohito.

Marrying 'out' doesn't mean that all contact ceases, Sayako still visits her parents, they go to dinner at her apartment. She and her husband are on the official guest list for the Emperor's birthday dinner, Sayako attends the New Year audiences but instead of being up on stage with the other princes and princesses she sits in the audience, and probably has a far more comfortable time of it, instead of standing for the whole time!

Even Hirohito's daughters would still come once a week for a family lunch and bring their children, marrying out doesn't mean no contact it never has.

Aiko not being a princess once she marries is not the worst thing that could happen to her and she definitely wouldn't suffer!

As far as marrying a noble, there are no nobles in Japan, all the noble families were disenfranchised with the reform of the Imperial Family in 1947. She won't be forced into an arranged marriage as once things change in the Imperial Household they stay changed. Akihito, his brother Hitachi, his male cousins Tomohito, Takamado, sons Naruhito, Akishino all made love marriages. The generation before (Hirohito and his brothers were arranged marriages).
Sayako also has the pleasure of walking three steps behind her husband... I find it rather offensive that the daughter of an emperor should be treated like common ordinary person because she is a woman whereas Akishino and Naruhito were allowed to retain their titles even though they both married commoners. I would call that double standards.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mandy View Post
Sayako also has the pleasure of walking three steps behind her husband... I find it rather offensive that the daughter of an emperor should be treated like common ordinary person because she is a woman whereas Akishino and Naruhito were allowed to retain their titles even though they both married commoners. I would call that double standards.
It seems as though this current system of Her Imperial Highness loosing her status as Her Imperial Highness upon her marriage to a Japanese national came from the old Imperial House Law under the Meiji Constitution. Likewise HIH Princess Takako, the Suga-no-miya san et al all became plain Mrs Shimazu (her husband's people were formerly known as the Count Shimazu of Sadowara) etc after their marriages. I understand that even women who were born as "kazoku" or aristocrats became "hei-min" or commoners should they have married to non-aristocrats. Likewise women who were born into the ranks of "shizoku" or something like a hereditary kightly families also lost their status as the members of the Shizoku class upon their marriages to men of commoners' status.

Nori-no-miya san's aunt, HIH (Imperial) Princess Shigeko, the Teru-no-miya san, also lost her status as Her Imperial Princess or the "Naishin-noh" san when she married to her relative HIH (lesser) Prince Morihiro (or Morihiro Oh Denka) and became HIH the (lesser) Princess Morihiro or the "Morihiro Oh-hi Denka). Having said that, the wife of the 14th Tokusen-ke shogun, Iémochi, HIH (Imperial) Princess Chikako, the Kazu-no-miya san, retained her style as HIH (Imperal) Princess Chikako or Chikako Naishin-noh and addressed at the shogunate court in Édo as Miya-sama.

They do things differently over there, so it seems.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlotte1 View Post
Why is Aiko suffering because of adult causes? At the moment once she marries she isn't a princess anymore, she can choose whatever career she wants, if she wants to be an engineer she can be.
Only with the right education beforehand.


Quote:
By not being a princess she gets to lead a totally private life, she is no longer a public person. She won't have to spend the rest of her life at mind numbing official events, no appearances on the balcony for New Year ( the Imperial royals have 7 (!) balcony appearances they start at 10am and go through until 3pm with a 30min lunch break. Unlike the European royals it's not a quick wave one time appearance, Emperor's birthday is just 5, they get it easier on that day)
Lovely for her, I'm sure. However, it would be very nice if she had the choice, like Princess Patricia, to give up her royal status and obligations. It's a rather different thing from being forced to do it. She's living her young life in a fishbowl, meaning that it's hard for her to do normal things and make normal friends, and then when she marries she's chucked out of the royal environment like some sort of factory reject.


Quote:
Aiko not being a princess once she marries is not the worst thing that could happen to her and she definitely wouldn't suffer!
Of course it's not the worst thing that could happen to her, but I take issue with "she definitely wouldn't suffer." How on earth do you know?
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Only with the right education beforehand.




Lovely for her, I'm sure. However, it would be very nice if she had the choice, like Princess Patricia, to give up her royal status and obligations. It's a rather different thing from being forced to do it. She's living her young life in a fishbowl, meaning that it's hard for her to do normal things and make normal friends, and then when she marries she's chucked out of the royal environment like some sort of factory reject.




Of course it's not the worst thing that could happen to her, but I take issue with "she definitely wouldn't suffer." How on earth do you know?
Well, apparently, Teru-no-miya san (HIH Princess Shigeko of Teru), when she was young, said something like she was not always at ease because she was born into such a noble house and whatever she said or did would reflect upon the image of the imperial family and she always felt that she had to be extremely good though at times she felt that she was unable to live up to other people's expectations etc.

This miya-san, so sadly passed away when she was only 35.
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:52 AM
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Sayako also has the pleasure of walking three steps behind her husband... .

That was just in the wedding reception, it’s a tradition!!! It doesn’t mean that is what continues in real life! In a traditional Japanese wedding reception the wedding couple walk around the room acknowledging their guests, traditionally the wives walk 3 steps behind their husbands. This tradition is observed by regular Japanese who end up having a traditional Japanese wedding reception. One of my Japanese friends in Japan, at her reception was the epitome of Japanese wifely submission as she walked behind her husband at the wedding reception eyes lowered. It’s as much of an act as the western women who wear virginal white at their wedding and fluttered their eyelashes when they promise to ‘obey’. In my friend’s case she was anything but a subservient female, she fought for a promotion in her company despite being told that clients wouldn’t accept a female in that position. Eventually she got her promotion, was extremely successful at the job and opened the door for her company to promote other women to similar positions. After she married, she continued to work ( most Japanese women stop working once they married) and she then worked while pregnant ( keeping the fact that she was still working a secret from both her and her husband’s disapproving family) And yet to make her parents happy she agreed to follow all the old traditions with the engagement ceremonies and wedding, even if she and her husband weren’t all that enamored in the idea of following tradition. She and her husband are equal partners as even she admits he’s unusual for a Japanese man as he cooks, and shares the household workload and child rearing. Sayako like other Japanese housewives would have total control of the money, her husband will hand over his salary to her, she gives him an allowance. Living at home until he was 39, he would have done that with his mother and once married his wife is in charge. The fact that Sayako at her wedding reception walked 3 paces behind her husband means nothing in what her life is like now!
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Only with the right education beforehand.




Lovely for her, I'm sure. However, it would be very nice if she had the choice, like Princess Patricia, to give up her royal status and obligations. It's a rather different thing from being forced to do it. She's living her young life in a fishbowl, meaning that it's hard for her to do normal things and make normal friends, and then when she marries she's chucked out of the royal environment like some sort of factory reject.




Of course it's not the worst thing that could happen to her, but I take issue with "she definitely wouldn't suffer." How on earth do you know?
Aiko will attend ( like all other Imperial Family members) Gakushuin University, it's one of the most academic and prestigious universities in Japan. If she wants to study engineering, then she will. Education is important to Japanese and the Imperial royals, including those who marry 'out'. Sayako has a science degree, she worked as a researcher at the ornithology institute before she married, like all traditional Japanese women she stopped working once she married. Akihito's youngest sister Takako graduated from junior college, she married in 1960 so for that era she was highly educated for a Japanese woman. The younger female princess currently
Princess Akiko is doing a post-graduate degree at Oxford ( her undergraduate degree was from Gakushuin University, her sister also graduated from there) Princess Tsuguko is at Edinburgh university, one sister is at Gakushuin, the other still in high school ( Gakushuin high school!) Knowing that she will marry 'out' Aiko can study what she wants to and can work at that.

Aiko's life isn't that isolated, Sayako in her last birthday interview was asked about making the transition. Sayako said it wasn't that difficult for her as she always knew that she would marry 'out' and become a commoner, it's not something that was sprung on her at as an adult. From childhood her mother prepared her, Sayako spent time with her aunts ( Akihito's sisters) and they were her early mentors. Michiko also made sure Sayako spent time with her family. Naruhito and Masako are going to even more lengths to make sure that Aiko's experiences are similar to other children her age, that's why she was taken to Disneyworld, Ueno zoo, her mother took her on the subway, she has sleepovers with her kindergarten. Aiko attended playgroup before kindergarten, it was a regular one not a 'gakushuin'! Her fishbowl isn't that isolated when compared with European royal children, Aiko doesn't have to be protected from paparazzi, she goes on ski holidays with her parents and there is no press. That's the IHA control of information if you like and lack of paparazzi in Japan. Sayako also worked outside the Imperial Family, Aiko may or may not have that opportunity, but following the pattern of other Imperial females she will at some stage study in a western country. Even Akihito's cousins married women who studied either in the US or UK. The fact that Aiko's parents are so determined to let her experience 'normal' life means that her life is far less isolated than that of her aunt and great aunts who married 'out' without a great deal of angst.

Aiko won't be 'chucked' out of the royal environment, Sayako, and her aunts all continue to have contacts with their family. All of them spend ( or spent) time at the Imperial Palace, once a week was the norm for Akihito's sisters, servants still waited on them, the cooks prepared the meals. If they stayed at the Palace ( one of Akihito's sisters lived in another city and so would stay for a prolonged period of time) servants cleaned their rooms, did their chores etc. Sayako attends ceremonies as a commoner, one of Akihito's sisters is head of some religious organisation ( Shinto) so she has a public role, of her choice.

My 'she won't suffer' is because I took issue with 'a child suffering for an adult cause' so the same can be said there. No I can't know she won't suffer ( although based on what happened with previous princesses, my informed opinion is she won't) but then no-one can equally make the claim that Aiko will suffer.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:51 AM
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I say the mom, Masako, finally has a boy and all this speculation ends. :o)
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:50 PM
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Easier said than done....
But one can only hope for the best outcome.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:25 PM
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The US imposed constitution is what makes a Princess a commoner upon marriage outside of the Imperial Family.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:09 PM
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Call me thick but why don't they just change it back? Not like America cares anymore
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:22 PM
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Membership of the Imperial Family is determined by the Imperial House Law of 1947, not the constitution. Article 12 states that:
In case a female of the Imperial Family marries a person other than the Emperor or the members of the Imperial Family, she shall lose the status of the Imperial Family member.
Compare this to the corresponding article in the previous Imperial House Law of 1889:
Article XLIV. A female member of the Imperial Family, who is married to a subject, shall be excluded from membership in the Imperial Family. However, she may be allowed, by special grace of the Emperor to retain her title of naishinnô or nyoô, as the case may be.
So under the current law, the only person Princess Aiko can marry and keep her title is her cousin Prince Hisahito. It has been suggested that Article 12 be amended to the 1889 wording. I think it is a good idea, particularly as it is a bit of a fiction that all these princesses are now commoners. Mrs Kuroda (the former Princess Sayako) has served as a special priestess at Ise Shrine, as have other former princesses. It is likely that Mrs Kuroda will one day follow her aunt, Mrs Ikeda (the Emperor's sister, the former Princess Atsuko) as Sacred Priestess at Ise. It seems that when it comes to Shinto tradition, it is irrelevant what some modern law says about their titles and membership, or not, of the statute defined "Imperial Family". These former princesses are still considered the most suitable representatives of the Emperor at the holiest of Shinto shrines dedicated to the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Omikami. it seems ridiculous to pretend that they are no longer part of that family.

Even though the constitution does not need to be changed to allow princesses to keep their titles, it seems that the Japanese government prefers not to rock the boat and tamper with the law as it stands. The Era Name Law of 1979 caused a great deal of controversy, as did the National Flag and Anthem Act of 1999. Any proposed changes to the Imperial Household Law are likely to focus the spotlight on the Imperial Family and monarchy, something the government would prefer to avoid. I suspect it is easier for the government to do nothing until circumstances force the issue.
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