onsdag 27. oktober 2021

Japan’s incredible shrinking lmperial Family

Japan’s hit royal dramedy – if it were a TV show it might be titled The Perils of Princess Mako – finally came to an end on Tuesday with the young royal’s marriage to her college sweetheart, Kei Komuro. The couple has – hopefully – the happy ending they sought. It has not been easy: Komuro’s status as a commoner, and his family’s financial issues, have made him and his four-year wooing of the princess a tortured courtship that has taken place under the glare of a deeply intrusive media.

Mako leaves many things behind. She has had mental health issues due to the stresses, has abandoned her royal status, and – in a nod to press accusations around Komuro – has declined to accept a $1.4 million parting gift from the Imperial Household. Her exit also leaves the Imperial Family one princess down: It now numbers only 17 members. This situation is forcing Japan to take a look at its Imperial Household laws and its shrinking royal family. More broadly, it is raising questions over the role of women in a society that suffers under one of the world’s lowest glass ceilings.