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  #1241  
Old 11-08-2020, 05:32 AM
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Weeeell, there's a surprise!

Why are arch-conservatives so afraid of women?
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  #1242  
Old 11-08-2020, 08:17 AM
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This is completely predictable. It would have been more astonishing if the decision had been to have a substantive discussion about the issue. I can't help feeling very sorry for whoever Hisahito marries; with the precedent of the pressure Masako faced, he may well have a difficult time finding a woman who wants to take all that on.
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  #1243  
Old 11-08-2020, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Weeeell, there's a surprise!

Why are arch-conservatives so afraid of women?
Maybe it has something to do with Shinto religion?
The Emperor is also the Head of the Shinto religion. And women are not allowed to enter Shinto shrines and temples during menstruation, and in some instances, women are completely banned from climbing the tops of sacred mountains due to their 'impurity'.
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  #1244  
Old 11-08-2020, 08:33 AM
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So they're just kicking the decision to the future hoping a teenager's future wife has a son. This is exactly what is still causing problems for the family this time around. The sensible thing to do would be to attempt to sort it out now, even if they're hoping Hisahito has a son.
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  #1245  
Old 11-08-2020, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Ista View Post
I can't help feeling very sorry for whoever Hisahito marries; with the precedent of the pressure Masako faced, he may well have a difficult time finding a woman who wants to take all that on.
The pressure could be even heavier since Hisahito's wife will be solely accountable (as with Masako, her husband will be considered blameless, but unlike Masako, she will have no sister-in-law to step in to provide the male heir) for heading off a political crisis by producing at least one son.

Furthermore, she could have to carry the burden of being one of only two royals working to represent the country in the world's largest monarchy, populationwise.

And in this day and age, social media raises the odds that any skeletons of wife candidates as well as their families and friends will be exposed and destroy reputations, as we saw with the firestorm over Kei Komuro and his mother.



On the flipside, traditionalists know perfectly well that Hisahito is the only male heir of his generation, and that if he remains unmarried because the woman he loves is unsuitable, the window will open for the selection of a female-line descendant through Mako, Kako, or Aiko as his successor.

So ironically, traditionalists may be more generous to Hisahito in regard to his choice of wife, because for an arch-traditionalist it would be better to have an untraditional (e.g. a reality television star and glamor model with a history of offensive gaffes and scandals) empress consort than to be reigned over by an uncontroversial emperor from a female line.
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  #1246  
Old 11-08-2020, 11:14 AM
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Making a decision on a 'stable' succession is halted? Not sure how the one male nephew of the emperor with a male child would provide for a stable succession. It would provide for another generation of a very unstable succession... And if he wouldn't have son all female members would have left the family or are past child bearing age, so a little late to incorporate them in any plans for a stable succession. So, it seems they've decided they are not interested in a stable succession if that would mean considering giving female branches a chance.
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  #1247  
Old 11-08-2020, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
The pressure could be even heavier since Hisahito's wife will be solely accountable (as with Masako, her husband will be considered blameless, but unlike Masako, she will have no sister-in-law to step in to provide the male heir) for heading off a political crisis by producing at least one son.

Furthermore, she could have to carry the burden of being one of only two royals working to represent the country in the world's largest monarchy, populationwise.

And in this day and age, social media raises the odds that any skeletons of wife candidates as well as their families and friends will be exposed and destroy reputations, as we saw with the firestorm over Kei Komuro and his mother.



On the flipside, traditionalists know perfectly well that Hisahito is the only male heir of his generation, and that if he remains unmarried because the woman he loves is unsuitable, the window will open for the selection of a female-line descendant through Mako, Kako, or Aiko as his successor.

So ironically, traditionalists may be more generous to Hisahito in regard to his choice of wife, because for an arch-traditionalist it would be better to have an untraditional (e.g. a reality television star and glamor model with a history of offensive gaffes and scandals) empress consort than to be reigned over by an uncontroversial emperor from a female line.
I'm not so sure about that. I can see it being the other way around from what you're suggesting and a prospective bride being handpicked for Hisahito in the same was as for instance Princess Takamado has been actively involved in introducing suitable young men to her daughters. Most spouses that have married into the Imperial family since WWII have either been members of the affluent upper-middle class (and had some noble ancestry) or have belonged to the former nobility. These marriages show that there's still an expectation for the members of the Imperial family to marry someone of a certain social standing and that while legally abolished the legacy of the old aristocracy is still very much alive.
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  #1248  
Old 11-08-2020, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by yukari View Post
Maybe it has something to do with Shinto religion?
The Emperor is also the Head of the Shinto religion. And women are not allowed to enter Shinto shrines and temples during menstruation, and in some instances, women are completely banned from climbing the tops of sacred mountains due to their 'impurity'.
For some, probably.

However, from an outsiders point of view it doesn't seems to me like the Shinto religion matters that much in the day to day life.
Shinto has for centuries been very successful in living together in people who are Buddhist or Christians. It seems to me to be more a part of tradition and being Japanese.

Anyway, there have been female emperors before and times with underage or mentally or physically incapable emperors. Someone else simply stepped in.
Apart from that, during the Shogunate, the Imperial Family was confined to Kyoto in de facto palace-arrest and while an important duty of the - whole - family was to adhere to and practice Shinto rituals, the Emperor was excluded from from visiting temples (that were often full of most troublesome monks BTW!) or going on pilgrimages to various parts of Japan. - Yet Japan and Shinto is till here...

If it looks like a convenient excuse.
If at sounds like an convenient excuse.
Then it probably is a convenient excuse.
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  #1249  
Old 11-08-2020, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JR76 View Post
I'm not so sure about that. I can see it being the other way around from what you're suggesting and a prospective bride being handpicked for Hisahito in the same was as for instance Princess Takamado has been actively involved in introducing suitable young men to her daughters. Most spouses that have married into the Imperial family since WWII have either been members of the affluent upper-middle class (and had some noble ancestry) or have belonged to the former nobility. These marriages show that there's still an expectation for the members of the Imperial family to marry someone of a certain social standing and that while legally abolished the legacy of the old aristocracy is still very much alive.
Agree, I wouldn't be surprised if Hisahito is expected to marry relatively young to a suitable candidate that is chosen for him to give them as many years as possible to produce the required heir.

I wonder whether there are also attempts to for example set Kako up with a member of one of the abolished branches (hoping that they'll leave Mako alone and let her marry her fiancé).
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  #1250  
Old 11-08-2020, 01:12 PM
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I agree with you, Muhler. Traditionalists' approval of male-preference restrictions at Shinto shrines (and in the imperial succession laws) results from their approval of male preference, not the other way around.


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Originally Posted by JR76 View Post
I'm not so sure about that. I can see it being the other way around from what you're suggesting and a prospective bride being handpicked for Hisahito in the same was as for instance Princess Takamado has been actively involved in introducing suitable young men to her daughters. Most spouses that have married into the Imperial family since WWII have either been members of the affluent upper-middle class (and had some noble ancestry) or have belonged to the former nobility. These marriages show that there's still an expectation for the members of the Imperial family to marry someone of a certain social standing and that while legally abolished the legacy of the old aristocracy is still very much alive.
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Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
Agree, I wouldn't be surprised if Hisahito is expected to marry relatively young to a suitable candidate that is chosen for him to give them as many years as possible to produce the required heir.
I wasn't suggesting that Hisahito was likely to flout traditional expectations in regards to his choice of wife. What I was suggesting was that if he does flout the expectations, reject any attempts at matchmaking, fall in love with an unsuitable, untraditional woman, and (somewhat like his uncle and sister) insist that he will marry her or no one, traditionalists might reluctantly support the marriage, as they would prefer an unsuitable but fertile consort over opening the door to a permanently unmarried and childless Hisahito being succeeded by one of the princesses' descendants.


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Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
I wonder whether there are also attempts to for example set Kako up with a member of one of the abolished branches (hoping that they'll leave Mako alone and let her marry her fiancé).
Perhaps Prisma can clarify whether there are any tabloid stories of the Akishinos attempting to set up such a marriage for Mako (as the older daughter they would presumably have started with her).

Who are you referring to when you say "they"?
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  #1251  
Old 11-08-2020, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
I wasn't suggesting that Hisahito was likely to flout traditional expectations in regards to his choice of wife. What I was suggesting was that if he does flout the expectations, reject any attempts at matchmaking, fall in love with an unsuitable, untraditional woman, and (somewhat like his uncle and sister) insist that he will marry her or no one, traditionalists might reluctantly support the marriage, as they would prefer an unsuitable but fertile consort over opening the door to a permanently unmarried and childless Hisahito being succeeded by one of the princesses' descendants.
Interesting thought. I hope he has enough will-power to withstand the powers around him when need be.

Quote:
Perhaps Prisma can clarify whether there are any tabloid stories of the Akishinos attempting to set up such a marriage for Mako (as the older daughter they would presumably have started with her).

Who are you referring to when you say "they"?
I'm not sure who exactly played a part in ensuring that Mako didn't marry so far; it surely is her father but I'm sure there are others involved. And given that they managed to postpone her wedding (hopefully not indefinitely) but it seems quite a few powerful men are in charge of the life of these two princesses (at least more than they'd like them to be); at least in this area.
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  #1252  
Old 11-08-2020, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
For some, probably.

However, from an outsiders point of view it doesn't seems to me like the Shinto religion matters that much in the day to day life.
Shinto has for centuries been very successful in living together in people who are Buddhist or Christians. It seems to me to be more a part of tradition and being Japanese.

Anyway, there have been female emperors before and times with underage or mentally or physically incapable emperors. Someone else simply stepped in.
Apart from that, during the Shogunate, the Imperial Family was confined to Kyoto in de facto palace-arrest and while an important duty of the - whole - family was to adhere to and practice Shinto rituals, the Emperor was excluded from from visiting temples (that were often full of most troublesome monks BTW!) or going on pilgrimages to various parts of Japan. - Yet Japan and Shinto is till here...

If it looks like a convenient excuse.
If at sounds like an convenient excuse.
Then it probably is a convenient excuse.
That's the thing, Muhler. The reality is the Emperor (and Imperial family in general) has lost their power since long ago. We cannot compare them with the European Monarchy nor see it through western's eyes.

Back in the past, when shogun acted "in the name of the Emperor", it's not the same as British government acted "in the name of the Crown". The former basically mean that the shogun acted in the name of God (or Goddess as it's Amaterasu). They were used as symbol to justify whatever the shogunate did. The Imperial family "selling value" was their divine status and I mean it literally.

Not only was he confined in Kyoto, but the Emperor used to be put behind the curtain. It was partly to maintain his divine status, so that royalty remain cloaked in mystery and magic, to not to be seen by "common" people.
I'm in the opinion that Meiji Restoration was not about restoring the emperor's power/authority, but about the friction between Southern Daimyos and Edo with the Southern was the one to use the emperor as their "poster boy". If not for the modernisation, I wouldn't be surprised if after the fall of Tokuwaga shogunate, Satsuma or Choshu shogunate would emerge, in fact the next government (as in the one with the "real power") was filled with people from that fraction, so it's just different name. Although yes, several members of Imperial family did indeed also later wield more power compare to during the bakufu period.
The emperor's surrender speech at the end of WWII not only hurt public feeling that he's betraying them by surrendering (you see, samurai spirit, to die than to surrender) especially after they had given and endured for the war (the condition for the Japanese was as bad as the countries they invaded), but also the revelation of the Emperor's non-divinity.

There's this old article which I think give a good explanation of the predicament surrounding the Imperial family:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...urtain/305241/

Quote:
(...)
The courtiers of Japan's royal house did not need the death of Princess Diana last year, and the anti-monarchical sentiment amid the mourning that ensued, to remind them that modern monarchies can be fragile institutions, venerable but also buffeted by the crosswinds of the moment. "Emperor Akihito realizes that the greatest challenge for a monarchy in a democratic society is simply to survive," a senior Japanese palace official said to me recently. But how to survive?
(...)
There are the purists, who subscribe to the view of monarchy articulated for Britain in the late nineteenth century by the political writer and Economist editor Walter Bagehot: royalty must remain cloaked in mystery and magic. They shun talk of more frequent and less formal imperial outings. By scripting press conferences, limiting photographs, and assuming personal responsibility for royal foibles, the purists seem intent on purging the imperial family of its humanity and individuality. They cherish a vision of Japanese monarchy that the public is becoming increasingly disinclined to accept.

Then there are the more forward-looking courtiers, who are busy studying the King of Thailand's development projects and the Belgian monarchy's involvement in trade missions. They want to give Japan's Emperor a more activist role. Members of this group are desperately searching for a modern theme that would solidify public support. "Strong ideological opposition to the monarchy has weakened in recent years," says one senior courtier. "But now we have a new problem: there is an increase in the number of people who don't feel they need the system. And the monarchy hasn't been made meaningful to the younger generation."
(...)
The truth is, however, that many of the traditional trappings of the Japanese throne, from archaic-looking Shinto wedding ceremonies to the design of some of Japan's most sacred shrines, were purposely created by Japan's governing elite as a way to unify the populace after the Meiji Restoration of 1868. This event, which ended two and a half centuries of feudal rule, brought the imperial house closer to the center of Japan's culture than it had ever been before. Hitherto, for example, the average Japanese knew little about the Emperor, or about his mythical claim to descent from the sun goddess.
Call me harsh but tbh, I will not be surprised if at some point, they will opt to abolish the monarchy instead of dealing with the succession issue if by that time they (the government) think that they no longer need the symbol since the public no longer buy that divinity stuff.

And actually, in a way, Japanese is not as patriarchy as the western. Many current former noble and samurai clan family at some point are descent from female line, so does many old family establishment where at some point in time there's no son to inherit and the daughter will marry a man whom married into her family (the man took his wife's name and not the other way around) instead of going to long lost cousins, so the family name will still live on.
In comparison, many noble titles in Europe either ceased to exist when there's only daughter or they need to find the long-long lost family to get the closest male to inherit.

The past empress were actually kind of "in between" until there's a male old enough to inherit the throne. So in my view, in western monarchy it would be more like a regent. This empress mostly didn't marry. So again, in a way. it's back to the maintaining the "purity" of the "divine bloodline".
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  #1253  
Old 11-08-2020, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JR76 View Post
I'm not so sure about that. I can see it being the other way around from what you're suggesting and a prospective bride being handpicked for Hisahito in the same was as for instance Princess Takamado has been actively involved in introducing suitable young men to her daughters. Most spouses that have married into the Imperial family since WWII have either been members of the affluent upper-middle class (and had some noble ancestry) or have belonged to the former nobility. These marriages show that there's still an expectation for the members of the Imperial family to marry someone of a certain social standing and that while legally abolished the legacy of the old aristocracy is still very much alive.
Well, omiai is not so uncommon amongst common people, where a single man or woman will be presented with several envelopes containing a photo and profile of prospective matches and later a meeting is arranged for the two when both in agreement.
So if the Imperial family does it, it will not be so strange.
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  #1254  
Old 11-24-2020, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
[...]

Perhaps Prisma can clarify whether there are any tabloid stories of the Akishinos attempting to set up such a marriage for Mako (as the older daughter they would presumably have started with her).

[...]
Hi. Sorry, I missed your post. I don't recall tabloid stories about setting up marriage for Mako. Most stories mention the Akishino couple's policy of letting the children choose their own partners / doing what they like or want. Mako would have to give up marriage plans to Kei Komuro for any setup to even begin.

Japan eyes post-marital title for female imperial family members - Kyodo News
Quote:
The Japanese government is considering giving a new honorific title to female imperial family members who lose their royal status after marriage to enable them to engage in public duties, government sources said Monday.

[...]

The plan being floated to give the honorific "kojo" to married female imperial family members is also an alternative to allowing them to retain royal family status, in what could be a controversial change.

The creation of the new title is seen as easier to accept for conservatives who are against allowing women to take the throne or married female members staying in the imperial household.

The then Democratic Party of Japan-led government between 2009 and 2012 also explored the possibility of allowing female imperial family members to perform public activities after marriage.

"It's an idea that can gain support beyond party lines," said a person close to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is also the president of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The government is considering special legislation to create the new system, rather than revising the Imperial House Law, according to the government sources.

[...]
Additional info from Japanese Kyodo and Yomiuri/YahooNews regarding the proposal:
- "kojo" would be special-purpose national civil servant
- princesses would still leave Imperial status on marriage
- government provides allowance as civil servant

Google translates 皇女 "kojo" honorific as "princess" so if this proposal becomes reality, perhaps the government will specify a different English/Western term? Or maybe "princess" title like some of the Swedish royals (3 of King Carl XVI Gustaf's sisters / Princess Madeleine's children)? Drop the HIH and "of Akishino/Mikasa/Takamado"
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  #1255  
Old 11-24-2020, 10:01 AM
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The plan sounds like a way for the government to break the law without admitting to breaking the law.
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  #1256  
Old 11-24-2020, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post


On the flipside, traditionalists know perfectly well that Hisahito is the only male heir of his generation, and that if he remains unmarried because the woman he loves is unsuitable, the window will open for the selection of a female-line descendant through Mako, Kako, or Aiko as his successor.

I suspect that, if Hisahito doesn't have a son, traditionalists would rather reinstate previous male-line branches of the Imperial Family than embrace succession in maternal line. I wonder why Japanese public opinion doesn't rally against that though.
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  #1257  
Old 11-24-2020, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
I suspect that, if Hisahito doesn't have a son, traditionalists would rather restore previous male-line branches of the Imperial Family than embrace succession in maternal line.
You are correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
I wonder why Japanese public opinion doesn't rally against that though.
Public opinion is currently against it. See the poll here: 70% were opposed.

Which explains why traditionalists are determinedly against the establishment of female-line of cadet branches. They are well aware that in a situation where an elderly, childless Hisahito has been supported by his nieces and nephews for decades, many taxpayers will balk at restoring former (male-line) branches to the imperial family when a number of (female-line) princes and princesses are already available.
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  #1258  
Old 11-24-2020, 06:40 PM
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The youngest daughter of Emperor Ninkō and his concubine, Hashimoto Tsuneko was born as Chikako several months after the death of the emperor. Her half brother, Emperor Kōmei, made her a naishinnō so she became Kazu-no-miya Chikako naishinnō (和宮 親子内親王) just before she married Tokugawa Iemochi, the 14th shogun Tokugawa (or more like because she would married him, thus she'd outrank her to-be-husband and mother-in-law). Even after entering Ōoku, she was addressed as "Kazu-no-Miya-sama", instead of "Midai-sama" (traditional address for Midaikoro). And later after Iemochi's death and she became nun, her title was Seikan'in-no-miya (静寛院宮). She never lost "宮" on her name.
That was almost 2 centuries ago, on the brink of Meiji Restoration, but it was done so I wonder why don't just let the princesses keep their title after marriage?

As for reinstating former male-line ...

Long ago, within the seshū shinnōke (世襲親王家) households, younger non-heir sons (who were titled prince (親王, shinnō)), had two career options. They could "descend" to subject status with a surname such as Minamoto or Taira, and serve as a government official, or they could enter the priesthood, generally as the head of one of the monzeki temples in and around Kyoto. During the Edo period, the latter practice became almost universal. Non-heir sons who entered the priesthood were styled princely priest (法親王, hōshinnō), and were automatically excluded from the succession, but could be recalled to "secular" status (and thus reinstated as potential successors) if the need arose. Unwed daughters, once they crossed a certain age, also often became nuns.
With that above, it's likely the traditionalist would prefer that route than start entirely new one by going through with female line.
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  #1259  
Old 11-26-2020, 08:22 PM
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Comments regarding the government's proposal to give "kojo" title to princesses post-marriage to continue public activities. [Jiji]

Yuichiro Tamaki, leader of the Democratic Party for the People, commented "There’s [still] a problem. [The proposal] does not directly contribute to stable succession."

Kazuo Shii, chairman of the Communist Party, said "I think it is necessary to consider recognizing women and female emperors."

New title eyed for princesses after they wed so they continue duties : The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
... One proposal is for female members to be given the title “kojo” (literally, imperial woman), which would allow them to continue to perform their official duties even after marriage to help maintain the imperial family’s activities, sources said.

[...]

They said conservatives who advocate maintaining the current male line of succession may accept the idea if women given the kojo title must still leave the imperial family...
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  #1260  
Old 11-29-2020, 02:05 PM
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Forgive me for being simple but being as they had Empresses with little fuss hundreds of years ago and only starting kicking out Princess, scrapped the nobility because of After War changes in the 1940’s... why is there so much controversy now? They need the girls or the Imperial family could very well consist of one man in 20 years. Plus given the nil birth rates and the lack of male Royal babies in Japan he may repeat The same cycle but it really be the end this time.
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