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  #41  
Old 10-03-2011, 06:06 PM
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CP Masako's story does have an epic quality to it. As time goes by, a person can see sort of an invisible curtain falling over her.


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I also like to remember (and remind people) what a lively, sound, outgoing young woman she was. Nobody would have suspected her to be prone to depression...
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  #42  
Old 10-09-2011, 10:27 AM
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That is a scary description but you are probably right.

What grieves me most is that in the later family movies the crown princess seems to make such an enormous effort to do it right, to smile, to look well. Of course, that is what you are trying to do when people are taking pics of you because of an official occasion. But Naruhito, in contrast, seems to be much more at his ease. I do believe that he has lots of humour. There are many pics on which he laughs or smiles from the heart. But probably also for him those occasions when the family has to stand there and pretend that they are having a good time while, basically, they are only waiting for the photographers and filmmakers to get their work done, are not exactly fun. But he has some sort of „professional grin“ that he can obviously switch on and off as needed (very useful for a crown prince). That´s what he does and end of story. I do not think that he is giving it a second thought if he is looking „good enough“. He is doing his very best, and if this should not be sufficient, too
bad. His wife, on the other hand, seems to try so very, very hard to credibly smile that it breaks my heart. (Just my impression, of course.)
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  #43  
Old 10-09-2011, 10:47 AM
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I agree with you,the prince seems to be more at ease and we always have to keep in mind that he doesn´t know any other life than the "royal life" with all its rules and obligations while his wife had a different,more independent life before she got married.
Furthermore it´s always the same-women get much more critisised than men when they appear in the public!For a man it´s enough to be halfway intelligent,well-mannered and dressed properly but a woman will be picked on for her figure,her fashion,her movements and every sentence will be twisted or even deliberately changed to damage her reputation...this makes me really sad,the Crown princess is such a lovely,intelligent woman and she has to put up with so much hate and backstabbing for all kind of reasons...
She never wanted to be in the spotlight because of her looks (she´s always been studying hard,working,doing what is expected from her etc.) and I can understand if she´s feeling uncomfortable at public events because she´s worried what the press or the people will later say about her appearance.
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  #44  
Old 10-09-2011, 12:21 PM
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Of course, as you say, the crown prince has the benefit of experience as he „grew up in the limelight“, so to speak, and, what is probably more important, he is used to being surrounded at all times by lots of people who do not belong to his family. Isamu Kamata, a confidante of the crown prince and the emperor, once said: „At all times, there are 5 to 10 servants surrounding Masako. She is watched all the time. If I were put in that situation, even I would suffer from neurosis.“ But if you look at this video of Masako´s earlier years as crown princess, I find she is doing remarkably well. You are quite right that women tend to be much more criticized than men because of their appearance but, at the time, she did not seem to mind.
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Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
Masako - at work (before her marriage), engagement, marriage, life as young crown princess:
In contrast, in the videos after 2004, it is visible imo what her doctors have once said about the princess: just when she is at a point of getting a bit better, she asks too much of herself and overdoes it, so the result is a relapse. She is too severe upon herself and would need a reassuring environment to balance this (which her husband keeps asking for ). I think I have said that before somewhere in this forum: while some people tend to tell her to “get a grip“, I´d rather tell her to relax and let it be. I do not think that she is trying too little, she is trying too hard. And that can be just as bad.
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  #45  
Old 10-09-2011, 12:56 PM
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[QUOTE
In contrast, in the videos after 2004, it is visible imo what her doctors have once said about the princess: just when she is at a point of getting a bit better, she asks too much of herself and overdoes it, so the result is a relapse. She is too severe upon herself and would need a reassuring environment to balance this (which her husband keeps asking for ). I think I have said that before somewhere in this forum: while some people tend to tell her to “get a grip“, I´d rather tell her to relax and let it be. I do not think that she is trying too little, she is trying too hard. And that can be just as bad.
[/QUOTE]

Yes,she seems much more relaxed and natural in old videos-even her hair and clothes look less formal and free than today.
You are right with your assumption-depression,burn-out and such issues stem from overpowering your mind,body and soul and if you constantly ask to much of yourself and try to be perfect all the time you will certainly get unhappy and frustrated,no matter how good you are.I believe that striving for perfection should be abandoned or replaced with a more realistic goal because there is no absolute perfection in this world and there will always be room for improvement or people who always nag...IMO it´s best to try to be as good as you can and then you have to let it be and do the next thing,always questioning everything and trying to get certainty will not bring you happiness on the long term!
Princess Diana once said that she´s always been critisised by the Royal family but no one complimented her when she did something well
Giving credits and respecting achievements is just as important as pointing out mistakes or weak sides.The CP has been critisised all the time and she has people supervising her all day long and she even gets bad remarks for things she cannot influence (like giving birth to a girl instead of producing a male heir!)
It is devastating to see an able,smart woman being treated so unfair.Telling someone who suffers from depression to "get a grip" on their life is a complete no-go,it will only make things worse and the recipient of your ill advise will feel only more miserable! (I would politely advise these wannabe experts to get some good books on depression and learn more about psychological illnesses if you were lucky enough that you never had any problems with handling your emotional problems and stress!)
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  #46  
Old 10-09-2011, 02:22 PM
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It seems to me that we had the discussion about perfection before. It obviously is an important point here. Albina said in the „Criticisms of the Crown Princess“-thread:
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Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
Japan is an extremely cruel country, which strives for perfection and rests upon strict adherence to traditions. Throughout Japanese history, the Imperial family has been a symbol of the Japanese identity as a nation. So the Japanese will be reluctant to introduce any major changes that may adversely affect this symbol or tarnish its images in any manner. The Japanese respect harmony and do not like anyone, who attempts to express his/her personal opinion. Any person, who dares to behave in differently, always gets pressure from others to conform to generally accepted rules and traditions, receive harsh criticism, and suffer ostracism. I believe that Crown Princess Masako dared to utter “me” a few times instead of “we”. In short, Crown Princess Masako attempted to rock the boat of the eternal harmony and peace. The same situation takes place in Vatican.
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I love everything Japanese: culture, cuisine, literature, fashion, perfumes, cosmetics, etc. Having said that, I still regard the Japan as one of the cruelest nations in the world. [...] Surviving in harsh geographical conditions and adopting only the best innovations prompted the process of the natural selection, where only perfect human specimens are fit to become the Japanese. Thus, the Japanese show intolerance toward imperfect things and human beings, which often equals cruelty.
Japan is known for its discriminatory attitudes toward women viewing them as servants to men and baby-making machines. Such situation bespeaks a deeply rooted view that women are imperfect and thus can not be accorded truly equal treatment. Although one of the well-developed countries, Japan is not willing to embrace forward thinking that tends to break outdated traditions, which define the Japanese uniqueness .
Although one could discuss how much of a role the idea of perfection plays in Japanese everyday life, it definitely seems to be an important value there, for everybody basically, but even more so for the imperial family. They are still, to a certain degree, expected to be flawless. The tenno – and, in a way, his family – are a national symbol and are, accordingly, required to embody all the best attributes of Japan (and none of the bad). That is also why the crown prince´s press conference in 2004 (when he accused unnamed persons of having denied his wife´s personality and career) created such a scandal. Up until that moment when the crown prince was obviously accusing a member of his own family to have caused his wife´s illness, the tenno could quite easily be supposed to be perfect. At least, as far as most Japanese commoners were concerned who had never heard anything to the contrary…
Here we touch the core of the conflict between emperor and crown prince: the crown prince wants to get closer to the people, he really wants to get into contact while the emperor (although he has also made several steps into that direction) is afraid that this would finally lead to the destruction of the mystic aura of the imperial family. That is exactly the dilemma: if you want to be close to the people and still be perceived as perfect and divine you have to be a god in all earnest. If you are a human you simply don´t have a chance… I think that is the question: are the Japanese o.k. with their royals being human beings? It is human to have a depression, to suffer from alcoholism (like Prince Tomohito) or to fail to get pregnant. I won´t happen only to Masako, imperfect things will happen again and again, even if imperial life should become less stressful one day. (Also Princess Victoria of Sweden had an eating disorder.)
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Originally Posted by blauerengel View Post
You are right with your assumption-depression,burn-out and such issues stem from overpowering your mind,body and soul and if you constantly ask to much of yourself and try to be perfect all the time you will certainly get unhappy and frustrated,no matter how good you are.
Are you working in the medical field? If so, I´d have a question (or maybe you have also an idea for an answer if you are not): Many people feel moved by Princess Masako and her situation. Articles about her often get a lot of vehement comments, in forums about the imperial family, it is usually she who is most talked about. You say that people who criticize her should read some „good books on depression“, and, basically, I´d agree with you. But, among those many comments, I have found it several times that people were criticizing the princess who said that they themselves had been suffering from depression. Sure, I would say that whatever sort of lives those people may lead, it is highly improbable that they have ever been in the situation of a crown princess in a monarchy that is in danger of dying out. Still, I think it is an interesting phenomenon and I´d like to have it explained. If people suffering from a depression constantly ask too much of themselves and try to be perfect all the time, maybe they also tend to ask too much of others (e.g. Princess Masako)?
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  #47  
Old 10-10-2011, 02:53 AM
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The reason I give CP Masako the benefit of the doubt as to why she is having such a difficult time recovering is that there are different levels of depression. Some people recover from depression spontaneously, others through therapy, others need medication and therapy, and some people never truly recover. There are people with depression who are able to function apparently well and then shock friends and family with their suicide. Others cover depression with alcohol, other drugs, or promiscuous behaviour. Still others become so depressed that they become silent and unresponsive. Depression isn't a diagnosis of "one size fits all." CP Masako could be doing everything that her doctors tell her to do and still be having a hard time appearing in public, which is why I think that accompanying Aiko to school might have been as much therapy for Masako as it was help for Aiko.


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Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
But, among those many comments, I have found it several times that people were criticizing the princess who said that they themselves had been suffering from depression. Sure, I would say that whatever sort of lives those people may lead, it is highly improbable that they have ever been in the situation of a crown princess in a monarchy that is in danger of dying out.
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  #48  
Old 10-10-2011, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
There are people with depression who are able to function apparently well and then shock friends and family with their suicide.
That is very true. Two years ago, the goalkeeper of Germany´s soccer team suddenly committed suicide. The whole country was shocked. I mean, he was part of the national team, he should have taken part in the World Cup, that is more or less the dream of every soccer-player. If he did not feel good and successful, who should? As it turned out, he had been suffering from depression for years, but not only had he succeeded in keeping the public in the dark, during the last days before his death he had even
managed to fool family and close friends. In his farewell letter (that was found after his death) he apologized for that and said that he knew that he had to deceive them and pretend that he was well because else they would have watched him so closely as to make it impossible for him to carry out his plans. He really knew how to keep up
appearances...
I was also, at the time, very shocked and sorry for him. I am not necessarily fond of somebody just because he happens to be good at soccer. But Robert Enke was always friendly and modest, very committed to the charity he had founded, and what he said was always worth listening to (which is not always the case with soccer-players, with some it is painfully obvious that they are paid for how they play, not for what they say...)
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Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
CP Masako could be doing everything that her doctors tell her to do and still be having a hard time appearing in public, which is why I think that accompanying Aiko to school might have been as much therapy for Masako as it was help for Aiko.
It is interesting that you say that because that is what I have been silently hoping, too. When a child is afraid of going to school, under normal circumstances it would certainly not be the solution I´d choose to send her mother with her (or with him, as the case may be). But the situation of the imperial family is, in many respects, not normal, so it is always very difficult to judge without knowing the exact circumstances. After all, Gakushuin and the IHA could not even find an agreement regarding what to tell the public about what really happened to Aiko. Gakushuin said one thing and the IHA another (which is, I suppose, rather unprecedented).

But, seriously, when I heard that Princess Masako bore her daughter company at school five times a week, I could not help thinking that this was probably a much bigger amount of communication with the outside world than she has had during the last 7 years or so. It is amazing that she was able to do it. Maybe she herself was amazed which might have a positive impact on her self-confidence (hopefully ). I suspect anyway that the crown princess uses to feel especially bad on very formal occasions (plus probably the fact that this usually means that she has to bear the artificial smiles of her in-laws). It seems to me that she is able to cope much better when she feels that she is being of some practical use, like with her daughter or also in the case of the earthquake victims whom she has been visiting alongside her husband – as far as I can see, whenever he was scheduled to do that, she has been by his side.
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  #49  
Old 10-11-2011, 12:04 PM
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I have not studied psychology but I have dealt a lot with depression and bipolar disorder in my family and with some friends so I tried to learn as much about it as possible,I´ve read many books from various experts on these topics and attended workshops to deepen my knowledge to be able to understand and help whereever I can.What I find quite annoying is that many people don´t know the difference between unhappiness and depression-there might be some similarities but while unhappiness is temporary and goes away as soon as the cause of your sadness is removed,depression is usually staying over a longer period and some patients fight their problems for many years without much success....that´s why outsiders might be lead to believe that they are lazy and they don´t do anything against it because they don´t see any change and emotional problems are inside and invisible.
When you don´t love yourself how can you forgive other people and let them be who they are with all their imperfection and weak points?
I also see the problem of tradition vs. modernity-
Many other Royal families over the world also had to modernize and adapt to appear more down-to earth and be closer to the people but the Japanese RF seems to adhere to their old traditions more than others....they don´t go to normal schools,use social media (facebook,twitter etc) to connect to their subjects or go out with no make-up or dressed carelessly. Everything needs to remain a secret,and the old guard seems to believe that if the more is known about the private life of the individuals inside the Royal family the less they are going to be respected.I guess it´s a cultural difference between "our world" and Japan, because we want to be informed and know everything about the people who represent our country while the the majority of the Japanese public wants to see perfect royals and not normal human beings with everything that entails.
By the way,I found this article quite interesting,I hope it hasn´t been posted before: Trouble at the Top: Japan's Imperial Family in Crisis :: JapanFocus
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:03 PM
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That video was very sad to watch. The slow snuffing out of joy, whether via internal or external factors....
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  #51  
Old 10-12-2011, 05:51 PM
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Yes,it is very sad indeed,I guess everyone can see that the Crown Princess is suffering and we can only hope that she will become better once they allow the Royal family more freedom and rights!I am sure that even the most conservative citizens will agree that it is better to change some of the ancient rules and have a happy Royal family than watching how they are slowly losing their joy of living.To me Japan is full of beautiful traditions and art and I don´t think that by reforming the monarchy it will lose its special aura of mystery or become irrelevant.On the contrary I hope that the public will still adore and appreciate them if the princes and princesses appear more modern and close to the people.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:14 PM
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I think that even allowing them to have their own money would be a start. Even if it's just a relatively small allowance by European standards, just so that they could feel that they had a little bit of independence.
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  #53  
Old 10-15-2011, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blauerengel View Post
By the way,I found this article quite interesting,I hope it hasn´t been posted before: Trouble at the Top: Japan's Imperial Family in Crisis :: JapanFocus
The link has indeed been posted before but that was several years ago. I doubt that there are still many people reading those old threads whereas imo the article has still considerable news value and is very well worth reading. So I think it is a good idea to remind us of it. There are, in fact, several articles on the same site (Japanfocus) that I´d recommend. You can easily find them by just putting as keyword: „Princess Masako“ and hitting „go“. The Time-article „Japan's Mystery of Majesty“ is also still interesting. For example, it mentions the fact that many of the revered traditions are not as old as many people would suppose:
Quote:
A number of traditions that many Japanese think of as ancient—including the Japanese flag and the imperial chrysanthemum seal—in truth date from the late 19th century. "I don't think most people realize that the whole current conception of the imperial system is only 135 years old, and a product of politics," says Kyosuke Itagaki, author of a recent book critical of the imperial system.
Concerning the imperial family and the media, I also like this article. My sense for the absurd is tickled by this story in which Japanese tv journalists ask a western correspondent for his opinion about Princess Kiko´s pregnancy and turn out to be quite shocked when he actually does tell them his thoughts – although, and that is the really funny thing, those thoughts would have been very predictable right from the start. Who (except Japanese media, obviously) would expect a man from the UK to show much empathy for the fact, that, after all, the Japanese had reason to hope that they would be spared the very great misfortune of having a woman on the throne? From a dutiful subject of Queen Elizabeth II who also knows his history (Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria etc.), that was asking a bit much imo.
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Originally Posted by blauerengel View Post
What I find quite annoying is that many people don´t know the difference between unhappiness and depression-there might be some similarities but while unhappiness is temporary and goes away as soon as the cause of your sadness is removed,depression is usually staying over a longer period and some patients fight their problems for many years without much success....that´s why outsiders might be lead to believe that they are lazy and they don´t do anything against it because they don´t see any change and emotional problems are inside and invisible.
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Originally Posted by NotAPretender View Post
That video was very sad to watch. The slow snuffing out of joy, whether via internal or external factors....
In fact, I suppose one of the biggest problem is that Masako´s condition was/is not taken seriously by a lot of people. As you seem to guess, NotAPretender, already in the nineties there were rumours that she was depressed (at the time probably still in the colloquial, not in the medical sense of the word). But, at the latest, her reaction after the miscarriage and the media-hype surrounding it (in 1999) should have convinced any unprejudiced watcher that she needed help. The details of the princess´ monthly period had been leaked to the press, obviously by someone who had very intimate knowledge of her. As a result, she locked herself up in her room, communicated with staff members only by letters, sometimes even refused to eat. And when she did eat, no staff member was allowed to be present. From a today´s point of view, this comparatively early incident might have been taken as a signal that the princess was in danger already. But obviously nobody, except her husband, wanted to notice. When she was feeling stressed and unwell again, in 2003, her medical team did not take her serious when she described to them her symptoms of sleeplessness, fatigue and her problems to get up in the morning. Their advice simply consisted in: “Take walks and think positive!” (according to the book by Fritz and Kobayashi). (That was before the outbreak of the crown prince complaining about the way his wife had been treated. It was one of the few changes that happened after his famous press conference that, as a result, there actually was a medical expert called in to treat the princess.) That way of simply ignoring the problem reminds me of a comment on a 2009 article that discussed a documentary that explores the „taboo subject of mental illness in Japan“:

Quote:
I have just finished working with the sister of a friend to help get her through severe post-natal depression. Shes doing great now, but she had ZERO support - a doctor who basically said "get over it, you have a baby to feed" and a bunch of friends who responded to her pleas for help with "nice weather were having". She was told she "couldnt have medication beacuse it would stop her breastfeeding". The woman was virtually comatose - she couldnt even change a diaper.
Therapy is almost always the answer in the long-term, but sometimes in the immediate term medication is necessary just to get the individual out of imminent danger - and right now Japan seems to be sadly lacking in both.
I have been told that depression medicines taken by a pregnant woman may endanger the health of her baby. Like this woman in the comment who was denied medication because „it would stop her breastfeeding“, it may have been asked of Masako to stop taking her medicine so she could get pregnant another time. I would suppose that she refused (and that her husband strongly insisted that she refuse! ) Maybe it is this what people close to the emperor mean when they accuse the couple of not having tried „hard enough“ for another baby.
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  #54  
Old 10-20-2011, 01:30 AM
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I have just read your recomended article by David McNeill,it´s very outspoken,I am sure Japanese people were quite shocked when they read it because it is so straight-forward...
I did not read every thread (my day has only 24 hrs only)so I sometimes post things again but it´s interesting to re-read certain texts after a few years to see if the predictions came true or to evaluate what has changed since that article was published...

IMO that´s an unforgivable mistake...."her medical team did not take her serious when she described to them her symptoms of sleeplessness, fatigue and her problems to get up in the morning"...you have just described some well-known symptoms of depression and they just told her to get well and take a walk!?! I understand her husband is angry and talks about the unfair treatment of his wife,he seems to be more easy-going and can handle the pressure and expectations better than her while she is destroying herself to fit into a certain role and do what is expected from her. I don´t know why they don´t give the couple some private time where they can do what they want,how should they feel romantic or produce a male heir if there are always nosy,inquisitive,indiscrete people around them?I would get really furious if people publish details of my monthly period or private life that no one needs to know,I feel really sad for the Crown Princess:-( As long as they don´t take her problems serious and allow the royal couple more privacy I don´t think she will be able to recover...
Giving them control over their own finance,let them have private vacations or giving them a place to stay where they can live a normal family life without supervision would be good for a start and will not keep them away from performing their royal duties.
I feel sorry that people know so little about psychology and have so little empathy and common sense,nowadays we have a lot of scientific research,good books & internet where everyone can get information on almost every topic,but many refuse to care or deepen their understanding and then they are always shocked when they hear about someone who comitted suicide...even among trained medical specialists or therapists who should know better (because of their training) I find some individuals who treat depressive people as if they were stupid&lazy instead of listening and helping them!
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by blauerengel View Post
I have just read your recomended article by David McNeill,it´s very outspoken,I am sure Japanese people were quite shocked when they read it because it is so straight-forward...
Sorry for answering so late! I had a bad cold and was just „busy surviving“, so to speak (as I did not want to stop working).

I doubt that many non-journalists, Japanese or otherwise, have come to read this exact text as it seems to have only been published for the Foreign Correspondents´ Club of Japan (although McNeill mentions this same incident in at least one other article of his). But I would not agree that „Japanese people“ would have been quite shocked by it (IF they had come to read it). Some probably would, but others, not at all. Although McNeill does not explicitly say so, I´d suppose that when he informs us, “Where I live, the news [about the pregnancy] is greeted with mixed reviews.“, that he is also speaking about his Japanese friends. This impression is strengthened by the fact that, later on, his first thought when being asked about the opinion of the British people, is „I’ve no idea how they feel because I work in Japan“ - which seems to imply that he knows more about the opinions among Japanese. The fact that the Japanese media was so enthusiastic about the pregnancy would not necessarily disprove that. I remember the time when the present pope (who is of German origin) took office. There was a big media hype in Germany about the incident - certainly not as bad as the one on occasion of the imperial pregnancy, but bad enough still. One very popular newspaper (“Bild”) even put the headline: „We are pope!“ (literally...) But, in contrast to this “Bild”-statement, I am happy to say that I am, admittedly, German, but nevertheless NOT pope. (Nor would I ever want to be...) And most people of my acquaintance feel exactly the same. (I suppose that many people all over the world know the experience of their country´s mass media sometimes being carried away with a hype of some sort while many people or even the majority in the country could not care less about the issue...)

It is a mythical construction that is used by certain Japanese as well as by (mostly uninformed) foreigners to say that there is a „Japanese opinion“ and then there is the western point of view. But, in fact, you can get lots of different views from Japanese people, some of them amazingly (?) „western“. Just for example, a member of this forum wrote on the question of male succession:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaiya View Post
Most people in Japan either didn't give a hoots about Aiko inheriting the throne or were for it. I'm a quarter Japanese and trust me, they aren't as patriarchal as you think. Especially the younger generation, women are a lot more independent now and it's common for them to be in the workplace. Besides it's all about modernization and gender equality. People no longer serve monarchies, but monarchies serve people. What purpose do they have if they don't change to reflect their country?
Some days after Princess Kiko´s pregnancy had become public, a Japan Times editorial deplored the “
chasm between the Imperial family and the 21st century” and complained bitterly that just when the prime minister was making efforts to close that gap a bit by winning the right of succession for the family's female members “along comes an unexpected pregnancy to send everything back to square one.“ After Hisahito´s birth, a young woman living in Tokyo told the BBC that “many people would like Crown Princess Masako's daughter to be empress. Women should be able to accede to the throne like in Britain.“ As probably in every country all over the world, there is not only one opinion in Japan, but many.

And then, what was so scandalous really in the content of what McNeill said (setting his rather sloppy and not too respectful way of expressing himself aside, just for this once)? First, he criticized
former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma for saying: „If Princess Aiko becomes the reigning Empress, and gets involved with a blue-eyed foreigner while studying abroad and marries him, their child may be the Emperor. We should never let that happen.“ In another forum, someone commented:
Quote:
Can you imagine if one of the European royal houses (like the Danish one) had something analogous about the horror of a prince (like Joachim) marrying a "slanty-eyed foreigner"? There would, quite justifiably, have been an uproar from here to Timbuktu!
So, I have to say that I do not think it so very remarkable that McNeill would take issue with Hiranuma´s statement but rather that Hiranuma would make it in the first place (obviously getting away with it, to boot).


Second, McNeill "dared" to mention the Korean roots of the imperial family. The same did the emperor in 2001. He said:

Quote:
Of the musicians in the Music Department of the Imperial Household Agency, some are direct descendants of musicians who came over to Japan from Korea at that time, and have inherited the music for generations and still perform the Gagaku (Imperial Court Music) on various occasions. It was truly fortunate that such culture and technology was brought to Japan through the enthusiasm of Japanese people and the friendly attitude of the Korean people. I also believe that it contributed greatly to Japan's subsequent development. I, on my part, feel a certain kinship with Korea, given the fact that it is recorded in the Shoku Nihongi (Chronicles of Japan, compiled in 797), that the mother of Emperor Kammu (reign 781~806) was of the line of King Muryong (reign 501~523) of the Kingdom of Paekche.
It is true that most Japanese newspapers failed to report this part of the emperor´s press conference which, imo, shows a shocking lack of respect towards his majesty. Even as a westerner, I´d say you may dissent with the tenno´s views, but you should at least give him a chance to be heard by his people.

However that may be, I think we would all agree that the present emperor is, although peace-loving and rather liberal, very far from being a radical leftist. He is just a sensible man with a rational and scientifically trained mind. I can easily believe that many Japanese are like him. The Japanese people are not living somewhere in the jungle, without access to the world in general, they are a civilized nation with a high level of education. I am sure that many of them are well aware of the fact that there is a woman on the British throne and that the British people are quite comfortable with that. When Aiko was born, an old Japanese man visiting from the countryside told the BBC in Tokyo: „I'm so happy! It doesn't matter to people in Britain that they have a queen, so why should it worry us.“
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:28 AM
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crown princely family of japan - YouTube
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blauerengel View Post
I don´t know why they don´t give the couple some private time where they can do what they want,how should they feel romantic or produce a male heir if there are always nosy,inquisitive,indiscrete people around them?I would get really furious if people publish details of my monthly period or private life that no one needs to know,I feel really sad for the Crown Princess:-( As long as they don´t take her problems serious and allow the royal couple more privacy I don´t think she will be able to recover...
Giving them control over their own finance,let them have private vacations or giving them a place to stay where they can live a normal family life without supervision would be good for a start and will not keep them away from performing their royal duties.
They have indeed made some concessions to the crown prince and princess, but only after it was already very late or maybe even too late. When the crown princess was so ill in 2004 that it could no longer be overlooked, she was allowed to spend some time with Aiko at her parents` holiday home in Karuizawa (which was absolutely unprecedented for a Japanese crown princess). By the time, Masako was completely apathetic, suffering from vertigo, headache and fatigue. She did not want to eat, could not sleep and broke into tears at the smallest irritation. She always brooded over the past and was unable to pay attention to the present or the future. Her mother who was with her and Naruhito who visited her whenever possible (he still had to attend to his official duties in Tokyo) were very relieved when Masako after some time expressed the wish to drive around a bit which seemed to be a sign of the princess beginning to get back to her former active and optimistic self. But after four weeks, she had to leave because, as the IHA asserted, it was „no longer possible to guarantee the princess´ safety“. After Masako had returned to the togu palace, she had such a bad relapse that her husband was fearing for her life. That is why, according to Fritz and Kobayashi, the prince finally decided to speak about the treatment of his wife on his upcoming press conference and call the public for help.

As I see things, the main problem is this apparent attitude of trying to either bribe or pressure the princess into recovery (not unlike the ways in which she was before bribed and pressurized to get pregnant). This became also obvious imo when the crown princely family was treated to a private trip to the Netherlands in summer 2006 (absolutely unprecedented, too). I hope and believe that all three of them enjoyed it. But as far as it was intended as a „medical measure“, the effect was, in all probability, undone by the fact that it was made sure that the crown princess would be aware that there was something expected from her in return. Akira Hashimoto, Emperor Akihito's close friend whom I have quoted before, commented to the press: „The Japanese citizens will not be convinced of the need to make such an exception unless Princess Masako returns to the public duties after the retreat.“ So even this seemingly generous concession was obviously used as a means of putting the princess under pressure – the very thing that, according to her doctors, had greatly contributed to her falling ill in the first place...


The real tragedy is here that imo nobody really profits from the state the crown princess is in. Nevertheless, the same means are used to "rein her in", so to speak, as were already used in the past and failed. But it is common, one has to admit. It often happens that people when their attempts to gain a certain end do not produce the desired result, just repeat the same ineffective actions with even more intensity - instead of "stopping to think" and trying a different strategy...
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:33 PM
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Here is a rare video about Princess Masako (2004), rare because the commentary is in English.
Japan's Sad Princess - CBS News

Here is a video of the crown couple’s 15th wedding anniversary.


Besides here are two videos in German: a documentary (spring 2006)
Majestät - Kaiser Akihito und Prinzessin Masako von Japan" - Folge 6 – Dokumentation


and a short clip (April 2012)
Die traurige Prinzessin Masako - Leute heute - ZDFmediathek - ZDF Mediathek
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:08 PM
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Crown Prince Naruhito and music – a very interesting video of Naruhito playing the piano/the violin/the viola, with members of his family, mostly watching (his parents, his siblings, a very young and pretty Masako (imo) (3.14) etc.)
www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=uXTb5uBU7VE

Crown Prince Naruhito with Crown Princess Masako at their residence Togu Palace in Tokyo on June 25 as he bids her farewell before leaving for Thailand, Cambodia and Laos for his week long Southeast Asian tour.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...ZtBFiTbqg&NR=1

The crown princess and her daughter welcome their husband and father home on July 1, 2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=JZMiheA5s3I
It is so cute how happy Princess Aiko is to see her father come home!
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:12 PM
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A video about the crown princely family after the birth of Aiko, with very cute pictures. It also includes the famous press conference when Masako nearly broke into tears while speaking about her gratitude for the birth of her child and her husband shortly touching her shoulder in order to support her. (Japanese royals normally do not touch each other in public, ever! )

In the following, you see Masako some time later, visibly stressed, and the video finishes with the famous press conference of Naruhito in 2004 when he accused unnamed persons of having "negated the career and personality" of his wife.

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