Monday, March 12, 2007

Trouble In Japan's Imperial Household?

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Empress Michiko was the first commoner to marry into Japan's Imperial Household.

Following her marriage, the then-Crown Princess was ruthlessly tormented by Empress Nagako, something which is largely unreported in Japan. When Michiko's own son took a bride, the Empress was reported to have said that she wouldn't be as hard on her new daughter-in-law as her mother-in-law had been on her.

Alas, Crown Princess Masako has not had such an easy time of it, even with her lofty ally. The "failure" to produce a male heir, culminating in last year's debate over whether or not little Aiko should one day be Empress-regnant, has meant that Masako is now rarely seen in public; it seems life in the fishbowl may have gotten to the Empress as well.

That, and a new book about Masako subtitled "Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne", seem determined to make for a very unhappy Kokyo palace indeed.

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2 comments:

Seumas Gagne said...

I find it so strange that Japanese society has so completely abandoned its own mode of dress. Shouldn't the person on the Crysanthemum Throne be wearing 45 layers of silk kimono?

michael sean morris said...

They still do about 40 full Shinto court rituals a year, which involve the kinono and obi and all that.