Princess Mako and commoner Kei: a tumultuous wedding in Japan’s imperial family

Princess Mako of Japan will say yes I love to her former college classmate Kei Komuro next Tuesday, four years after the announcement of a dream wedding turned into scandal that peppered the image of the imperial family with a financial feud.

The couple met again on Monday for the first time in more than three years, when Komuro visited Mako’s parents, Crown Prince Fumihito and his wife Kiko, before Tuesday’s wedding, to pay their respects and explain the dispute, still open and that was the stumbling block of the marriage.

The young lawyer returned to Japan last month from the United States, where he moved in August 2018 to pursue a postgraduate degree in Law at Fordham University in New York and sit the exam to practice law in the North American country.

Komuro’s departure from Japan came half a year after he was postpone his marriage to the princess, which was justified by lack of time for preparations, and which coincided with the spread of a financial dispute between her mother, Kayo, with her ex-fiancé.

Princess Mako, eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino, in the garden of the Akasaka imperial residence in Tokyo, weeks ago. Photo: AP

Postponement and changes

The wedding, which had initially been set for November 4, 2018, was again postponed in the context of the pandemic. With the monetary skirmish still in the air and opposition in certain social sectors, the couple opted for celebrate a civil bond and set aside the characteristic rites tied to this posh’s weddings to minimize their public exposure.

The most important wedding in the imperial family in more than a decade ended up becoming an unpleasant experience for Mako, who suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome due to intense media scrutiny and criticism of her and her boyfriend, she revealed. this month the Imperial Agency.

“I was truly happy when he proposed to me at the end of 2013 and I accepted on the spot,” recounted a beaming princess on camera in early September 2017, when she formalized her engagement to Komuro, in their first public appearance together.

The commoner groom

The couple wore five years of relationship when they announced their wedding plans. They met in 2012 at an informational meeting at Tokyo International Christian University, which they both attended, for students interested in international programs.

The complicity of both before the cameras fueled the romanticism around the couple, which had been growing since the engagement was leaked to the press and because of the implications for the princess, who will lose its status of a member of the imperial family.

Princess Mako and Kei Komuro's engagement in the media spotlight in Japan. Photo: AP

Princess Mako and Kei Komuro’s engagement in the media spotlight in Japan. Photo: AP

The women of the Japanese imperial family are disengaged from the institution when they marry a man who does not belong to the lineage, according to the Imperial House Law, which also exclusively grants to men the succession rights to the Chrysanthemum Throne .

Debate over succession

The announcement of the engagement of Mako and Komuro once again put the debate over the succession in the media spotlight, since it represents a new loss in the family, in continuous decline due to the shortage of men.

Mako, who turned 30 this Saturday, is the first-born of the crown prince Fumihito (55), brother of the emperor Naruhito (61); and older sister of Prince Hisahito (15), second in the line of succession.

Prince Masahito (85), brother of Emperor Emeritus Akihito (87), is the last male with succession rights in the aging and diminished Japanese lineage, the oldest reigning hereditary dynasty in the world, which is currently made up of 18 members, of which Mako will be leaving next week.

Princess Mako is a figure with a remarkable recognition in Latin America. The young woman was performing acts of representation in the region before and shortly after the announcement of her engagement, but her public profile decreased when the attacks on the couple began.

First the ceremonies that marked the commitment were discarded, then Komuro (30) left Japan and from the United States has published statements about the financial dispute, which involves the use of funds partly destined to cover his studies.

The controversy led Mako to decide give up the endowment of 150 million yen (1.13 million euros) received by women of the imperial family who marry and leave the institution, and to the aforementioned nuptial ceremonies.

Mako will thus become the first princess of postwar Japan to break both traditions.

The couple would have planned to move to New York after the wedding to start their new life, already far away – or so they hope – from the Japanese media spotlight.

Source: EFE


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Princess Mako and commoner Kei: a tumultuous wedding in Japan’s imperial family