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  #121  
Old 08-18-2009, 02:45 PM
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I agree that it is a shame CP Masako cannot yet travel abroad. Let's hope sooner we will see her involved in more activities abroad with her husband, so that they can represent Japan and the Imperial Family properly.
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  #122  
Old 08-20-2009, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linda85 View Post
I don't usually reply but this seems to be a direct insult, in my opinion, against the crwon princely couple.. We have seen TRH Akishino and Kiko taking trips to Roumania and now they are going to the Netherlands. It doesn't seem right that they should be representing JApan. I know that CP Masako is not as well. But she has been to the Netherlands in a private capacity. It just seems that the crown princely couple should have gone to Holland.

I agree with you. Of course, we can always only guess what is happening behind the scenes. But it is a fact that in the years after their marriage the crown couple – unlike the Akishinos and also unlike the former Princess Sayako - was hardly ever sent abroad, in spite of Masako´s professional abilities and perfect health (at the time), but that they were scheduled for a trip to New Zealand and Australia nearly as soon as Aiko was born. That looks to me very much like a prompt reward for “compliance” with the IHA´s wishes, and that raises the suspicion that the previous “house arrest” (as a Japanese newspaper termed it) had been meant as some sort of punishment or pressure. And if it was so at the time, why should it not be meant as such by now? (And the crown couple was, before Aiko’s birth, doing very few appointments INSIDE JAPAN, as well – the reason for this being, according to my information, that they were, much against their inclination, simply not scheduled for more. Details see here: http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...ako-16054.html, postings #10 and #11 So, if Masako does not appear in public, we can never be certain if that is still due to her health or if she is simply refused the opportunity to do more.)

And there is something else: I have carefully read the transcripts of the imperial press conferences as far as they are available in English. It is very interesting to compare the Akishinos’ way of doing them with that of the crown prince. The crown prince never fails to give typical little stories about Aiko, for example how she reenacted the sumo wrestling techniques she had observed in tv with her parents (or with staff members of the crown prince household – I WOULD have liked to watch that ), or how she grieved about the death of her dog. From the Akishino-press conferences, on the other hand, it is very hard to draw any stories that would give you an idea of the personality and the life of his daughters. For example, when their parents took them to visit Thailand and see the king and queen, we are informed that they “seemed to enjoy it”. No cute comment, no nothing. There are certainly reasons for this that lie in the personalities of Akishino and the crown prince but that is not my point here. The difference has political significance, and I am sure the crown prince is absolutely aware of that. The Akishinos’ way is much more “political correct” in terms of imperial tradition of how to deal with the public. By Japan´s ultranationalists, the imperial family is still expected to appear “distant”, not too human, or better: not human at all, to their people. (Whereas the “normal” Japanese, like the rest of the world, tend to be rather charmed by discovering an individual trait in their royals, as can be noticed when remembering how very popular the “banned” wedding photo of the Akishinos became.) As an example, the IHA never wanted to give out information about the royals’ pets. We can only guess how much the crown couple had to struggle when they wanted to give credit where credit is due and tell the public how much their spirit had been uplifted by the company of their faithful dogs. Besides, the crown prince still says in his news conferences “rebellious” things like: “We would appreciate it if more privacy could be allowed to us.” (Birthday press conference in February)

So, I think it absolutely possible that the IHA has another reason for their preference to send the Akishinos abroad: If Japanese royals take a trip abroad, they are due to give a press conference. Of course, it is impossible to completely inhibit the crown prince from giving press conferences. But IHA executives might feel that the less opportunity he has of speaking to the public, the better.
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  #123  
Old 08-21-2009, 06:52 AM
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There is no great conspiracy as to why Akishino and Kiko are doing the official trip to The Netherlands. Akishino is the patron of the Japan-
Netherlands Friendship society, Akishino and Kiko accompany the Dutch royals when they are in Japan for official visits. Akishino and Kiko attended the funerals of both Prince Claus and Queen Juliana. Therefore they are the logical choice to make the official visit to The Netherlands to commenorate 400 years of official contact.

In the first few years of their marriage, Naruhito and Masako did make some official overseas trips. A few years back the Chief Steward of the IHA made public the knowledge that Masako's overseas trips were cut in order they hoped she would fall pregnant. Their cutting back of overseas trips was deliberate, the Australia and New Zealand trip occured before the pressure began for another child.

Reading the few English transcripts of the official interviews that Akishino and Kiko do for his birthday don't really give any kind of real insight into what they're like. For one thing the interviews are dated, the last one is 2006, the Japanese site does have all the recent interviews. Live footage of Akishino and Kiko doing the interview gives a far better perspective. Akishino defers to Kiko, like a good Japanese husband when discussing their children.

The Akishino family is actually very popular with Japanese because they are fairly 'normal'. Their pets in past years have been seen in various video footage of them. Kiko especially when she married was hugely popular among Japanese women, and she continues to be popular now as she's friendly and nice when performing her official duties. Akishino is quieter. They are not the 'remote, stereotypical ultra nationalist' dream couple, the fact that that people feel they are approachable makes them popular.

Re: the idea of Masako and 'house arrest'. Masako had a breakdown, part of the stress she was under she refused to have doctors employed by the IHA. When she started to get better she also refused to attend planning meetings with the IHA courtiers in regards to official duties. Things have only improved within the CP household with the appointment of the new Head of Household who is a former diplomat that worked with Masako's father. With the improvement in Masako's health her public workload had increased over the past year. She was never locked away, either she refused to be involved with planning her workload or she was simply too unwell to actually carry out a workload of official duties. Eg Jan 2008 she and Naruhito went to a disabled winter games in Nagano, both attended the opening ceremony, the following day Masako was due to watch ice skating but wasn't able to and spent the day in her hotel room, she couldn't do 2 official duties in consecutive days. There's no way she's up to an official foreign visit with travel and multiple engagements each day.
  #124  
Old 08-23-2009, 06:31 AM
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Charlotte1,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the Akishinos and CP couple.
IMO, you are absolutely right! Great analysis!
No need to look for the conspiracy theories, the real facts are more simple. CPss just needs more time - and she will be OK.

And no need for Lucien to be so brutal and rough in his posts using players of speech, ex.#89.
  #125  
Old 08-23-2009, 03:44 PM
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You may not like how Lucien described Akishino, but he isn't too far from the mark. Ever since Akishino publicly criticized Naruhito, he's been given the best assignments. Even now with Masako almost fully recovered, nothing has changed. The IHA parade the Akishinos as if they were the CP couple, still giving them the best assignments. You can say what you like, repeat the same old rhetoric, but it is what it is. I think Akishino toadied to the IHA and now he gets the plum assignments.
  #126  
Old 08-23-2009, 04:17 PM
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As somebody said on another board, apparently the Japanese royal families 'devide' countries among their members. Akishino and his wife deal with the Netherlands for example. They are the patrons of the Netyherlands-Japanese friendship organization. Prince Naruhito and his wife deal with Belgium for example, while prince Tomohito has Norway, prince Katsura deals with New-Zealand and Australia etc.

courtesey: Antonia at the BRMB.

-
The prince visited a chicken farm in Barneveld, as he specialized int he domestication of the chicken according to newspaper 'Telegraaf'.

The couple was able to walk around in the city of Haarlem, which princess Kiko enjoyed (see royalblog: News Summary Royalblog.nl: Princess Kiko follows in Mozart's footsteps).
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  #127  
Old 08-23-2009, 05:00 PM
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Even if different royals specialise in different countries, it isn't impossible for the IHA to accept certain invitations and refuse others. The Akishino family has a far higher profile at present, and given the well-known clashes between Prince Naruhito and the IHA, people can draw their own conclusions about whether this is coincidental. Obviously people are drawing different conclusions.
  #128  
Old 08-24-2009, 08:57 AM
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It is a sad circumstance, but Elspeth is right: it doesn't matter if its tradition, or if its related to certain royal duties: people judge most of times for what they see, and what they are seeing is a CP with issues with the IHA, and an Akishino couple that is, perhaps, fulfilling the same duties as always but with more media coverage than ever and, as Elspeth says, get their own conclusions... sad thing; sad indeed.
  #129  
Old 08-24-2009, 12:09 PM
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News Summary Royalblog.nl: Princess Kiko follows in Mozart's footsteps
News Summary Royalblog.nl: Dutch appeal to visiting Prince Akishino
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  #130  
Old 08-24-2009, 12:55 PM
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I was totally unaware of the fact that each couple or member of the Japanese Imperial family has been assigned a particular country. Therefore, it is understanable that Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko have been travelling to the Netherlands to commemorate 400 years of the official relationships between the countries.
Given the discussion, I am inclined to share Elspeth's view on the situation surrounding the IHA, Crown Princely couple and Princely couple. We just draw our own conclusions by reading articles and analysing photos. This does not mean that our conclusions are accurate.
  #131  
Old 08-24-2009, 02:24 PM
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Leiden:

ANP Beeldbank

courtesy Koen van Weel
  #132  
Old 08-24-2009, 10:45 PM
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In the city of Leiden the prince and princess visited the Hortus Botanicus, to the museum Naturalis, to the Siebold house, to the museum for ethnology and to the LUMC (university hospital). The couple also met students that are studying Japanese in Leiden.

Although today was a private visit, the princess also visited the university hospital. She wanted to se the 'clini clowns', clowns that try to distract the mind of ill children. The princess accompanied the clowns while they visited some children. She also visited the tuberculosis ward, as she is a patron of the anti tuberculosis organization in Japan.

Tomorrow the couple will go to The Hague where they will be received by the prime minister and they will visit a special exhibition in the national archives/ royal library. The prince and princess will be accompanied by prince Constantijn and princess Laurentien.
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  #133  
Old 08-25-2009, 07:23 AM
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Pics 25.8.2009

Here are pics from the mentioned visit to the Koninklijke
Bibliotheek in Den Haag today, Prince Constantijn and
Princess Laurentien were with them:


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** belga **
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  #134  
Old 08-25-2009, 07:39 AM
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Prince Constatijn, Princess Laurentien with Japan's Princess Kiko and Prince Akishino at the exhibition From here to Tokyo, 400 years of trade with Japan, at the Royal Library in The Hague.
The princely couple are in Holland to mark the 400th anniversary of the establishment of Dutch-Japanese trade relations.

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  #135  
Old 08-25-2009, 08:52 AM
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More photos:
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  #136  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for sharing photos!
Princess Kiko looked amazing in a kimono. I like that Princess Kiko opts for traditional clothes whenever possible. It is nice to know that Princess Kiko has a busy schedule. For once Princess Laurentien chose both bright and style-restrained outfit.
  #137  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:45 AM
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One has to take into account the current reality. Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko are the parents of the future Emperor (unless succession laws are changed or Princess Masako welcomes a son) and thus have very prominent position. One may agree or disagree with IHA’s apparent efforts to give Akishino an equal prominence to the Crown Prince at the very least (and in Kiko’s case, clear preference over the Crown Princess), but it is quite clear that both Akishino and Kiko represent Japan very well.
Personally I would prefer Naruhito and Masako had an easier time with IHA and were given more duties, both in Japan and abroad. However, it might not be advisable for Masako since she has just started the slow process of recovery

Kiko looks very pretty. Her Kimono is beautiful, although I'd probably prefer something brighter or perhaps something that would show her personality better. The shoes are ugly, especially next to Laurentien’s red heels.
Akishino looks handsome and poised. I disagree with those who think he needs a haircut: his trademark long hair suit him, in my opinion.
Laurentien looks wonderful. I'm glad she chose solid colours and, for a change, an outfit that can be worn by someone other than her. Nice shoes and make-up.
Prince Constantijn looks very smart.
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  #138  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:01 PM
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Unfortunately these shoes are the standard footwear (geta-sandals) with white tabi socks. As far as I know,
there are no other shoes that can be worn with a kimono.
  #139  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:18 PM
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I did assume that it’s necessary footwear to go with kimono, thank you for confirming, Al_bina.
Although I respect Japanese culture and traditions, I do find the look unattractive.
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  #140  
Old 08-26-2009, 02:59 AM
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Thank you everyone for posting these great photos. Constantijn and Laurentien seem to be very good hosts to their Japanese counterparts. Kiko does look lovely in her Kimono, which simply would not look right if she wore it with high heels! It would be like Laurentien wearing trainers with her dress!
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