What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

The Komuro Affair

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,341
Reaction score
2,554
A would-be prince kissed to a frog by the media with the help of the Imperial Household Agency: an opinion piece on Japan's imperial wedding drama.

komuro-mako.jpg

Kei Komuro and Princess Mako in 2017

Japan's imperial wedding drama a clash between old and new​


Westerners inculcated with modern democratic values will wonder what the fuss is about. Soon after the princess and Komuro announced their engagement in 2017, Japanese gossip magazines began to report "financial problems" between Komuro's widowed mother and an unnamed Mr. A described as her "former fiance." Mr. A, it was reported, had "loaned" Komuro's mother 4 million yen ($36,000) back in 2010 before their engagement was terminated. Mr. A told the magazines that the "debt" had not been repaid. Modern-minded Westerners will be surprised, and indeed offended, that a dispute over a relatively small sum between Komuro's mother and ex-boyfriend should have any bearing on her son or his wedding plans. After all, modern democratic values emphatically reject the ancient belief in collective tribal guilt, that the son is responsible for the father's sins. So, too, we have moved on from the related pre-modern notion that one must not marry outside of one's tribe, or below or above one's station. Ah, but there's the rub. Monarchy itself is anti-democratic. It is a status handed down from father to son based on blood, not individual merit. Outside Japan, that one's intended marriage partner's parents declared personal bankruptcy or divorced is no longer an insurmountable barrier. In Japan, "good family backgrounds" still matter, especially for the older sister of a future Emperor.

And the conclusion:

The messy drama shows that it is naive to expect that modern democratic values and the ancient codes embedded in a hereditary monarchy can be easily reconciled. If Komuro and Princess Mako plow ahead with an official wedding and the associated benefits and privileges, public opinion will strongly disapprove. Fair or not, the Imperial institution will be diminished in the public eye. The only dignified path forward for Komuro and Princess Mako is to renounce all Imperial benefits and privileges and live their lives as ordinary Japanese citizens.

Source: Japan's imperial wedding drama a clash between old and new

Love or the filthy lucre, what will it be?
 

Petaris

Sailing away...
Donor
Joined
3 Aug 2007
Messages
607
Reaction score
174
The media will win, either way it sells copy! :(

This is also why some traditions / traditional thinking should just die off.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #3

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,341
Reaction score
2,554
Surprising twist: today, it was reported that Princess Mako would move to New York and marry her fiance, Mr Komuro, by year-end. She will likely decline a lump-sum payment of 150m JPY (courtesy of taxpayers). Escaping the clutches of the Imperial Household Agency and the prying eyes of the media was probably the best decision of her life.


Under the current rules, female imperial family members lose their royal status upon marrying a commoner. The marriage of the princess and Komuro, both 29, has been postponed for over two years due to the dispute over 4 million yen that the former fiance claims the mother owes him. The sum includes money spent on Komuro's educational expenses. If the princess marries Komuro without traditional ceremonies, she would be the first female imperial family member to skip them in postwar Japan. The rites are an official engagement ceremony called "Nosai no Gi," in which the families of the betrothed exchange gifts, and a "Choken no Gi" ceremony to officially meet with the emperor and empress before marriage. The Imperial Household Agency will consider whether it is possible under current rules not to offer the lump-sum payment, which would be financed by taxpayers' money, in accordance with the princess's request.

 

Lothor

Proofreader extraordinaire
Moderator
Donor
Joined
26 Sep 2015
Messages
1,322
Reaction score
783
Seems I've heard a somewhat similar story to this before. View attachment 47828
The situation is a bit different with Harry and Meghan. Although parts of the media in Britain treated them very badly, they are not above using the media when it suits them. Mako and Kei probably genuinely want obscurity, and good luck to them.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #8

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,341
Reaction score
2,554
She looks happy.

mako.jpg


 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #9

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,341
Reaction score
2,554
It looks as if the Imperial Household Agency will agree not to pay a lump sum of some 150m JPY to Princess Mako. Dear IHA, on behalf of all taxpayers residing in Japan, thank you for your graciousness and understanding! :)

Side-note: according to the Imperial Household Finance Act, the lump sum is intended to "maintain the dignity of female members" after leaving the imperial family.

Mr Komuro will return to Japan on Monday, the wedding is planned for the end of October at the earliest.

 
Top Bottom