Akishino Mako, the eldest niece of Emperor Naruhito, has finally given the “yes I want” to her fiancé Kei Komuro after overcoming a real obstacle course that he has dealt with for three calendars. Their love story, which never had the ballots to become the classic fairy tale, has become official today against all odds: the first-born of the crown prince to the Japanese throne has married her soul mate, yes, but without all the pageantry typical of these real events and being forced to leave the imperial family for choosing as her husband a man through whose veins the select blue blood does not flow. The princess, who turned 30 years old last Saturday, becomes, from this Tuesday, October 26, a simple mortal surnamed Komuro.
This morning the Tokyo Imperial Palace dawned, in the eyes of any passerby, like any other day, although, with all certainty, there was an unusual tension inside. There was no ceremony Kekkon-no-gi at the Kashikodokoro —the Shinto little link on the altar of the Sun Goddess—, no kimonos, carriages, or any kind of paraphernalia that might be expected at the wedding of one of the members of the oldest dynastic lineage on the planet. Outside its walls, the wedding bells have not rung either. In fact, because there was no civil ceremony, there was no civil ceremony: according to a spokesman for the Imperial Household Agency, it was an official of the institution, on behalf of the couple, who was in charge of presenting the documentation this morning for legitimize the marriage in the civil registry of Tokyo.
Around 10 a.m. local time (3.00 a.m. Spanish peninsular time), the now ex-princess left the residence of Akasaka, the palace in which to date she resided with her parents, the crown princes Fumihito and Kiko, and her brothers, Kako and Hisahito, this latest, second in order of succession to the crown. Wearing an elegant pastel green dress and a pearl necklace, and carrying a small bouquet of flowers, Mako has made several curtsies before her parents and her sister, who have come to say goodbye to her at the door, all aware that a rain of rain awaited them. flashes. Princess Kako, 26, has skipped protocol by merging into an emotional hug with her older sister. Complying with the measures to combat the covid-19 pandemic, everyone wore masks.
At 2:00 p.m. Japan, now husband and wife, the Komuro have written to the press their answers to the questions they had previously been sent. “In some of the disputed issues, erroneous data that have annoyed the princess were taken for granted,” reported the Imperial Household Agency, according to the Japanese television station NHK. The newlyweds have made joint statements to the media, in which Mako has expressed that she is determined to build a happy life with her “irreplaceable” husband. “I am aware that our marriage has generated discord (…) but for us, it is a necessary choice if we want to live by what our hearts dictate,” said Mako.
Contrary to what happened to his grandfather (Emperor Akihito), his father (the crown prince Fumihito) or his uncle (the Emperor Naruhito), the three married to non-royal women, Mako has been forced to leave the imperial family for the fact of being a woman and choose a husband without royal status. In response to the rejection that her marriage has caused among the most devoted to the monarchy of her country, Mako is the first of the Yamato dynasty that has not married under the Shinto rite and also the the only one who has given up the amount of 152.5 million yen (almost 1.2 million euros) that corresponds to him for leaving the institution after marrying what is defined in this elitist union as a commoner.
Mako’s path to the altar has been overshadowed by a barrage of criticism since the tabloid press uncovered a financial scandal involving Kei’s mother in 2018, the year her wedding was scheduled to take place. The enormous pressure and public scrutiny that he has had to endure since then have ruined his health: as confirmed earlier this month by the Imperial Household Agency itself, Mako suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Her psychologist Tsuyoshi Akiyama, director of the NTT Tokyo medical center, has assured that the princess “is overwhelmed by pessimism and finds it difficult to be happy because of the constant fear that her life will be destroyed.”
But his case is not isolated. Even though they cannot occupy the Chrysanthemum Throne –and there is no indication that the Salic law is close to being abolished– It is precisely they who are most often in the spotlight of the Japanese media, which is why stress and depression have taken their toll on several ladies of the imperial family. Empress Emeritus Michiko was the first woman outside of royalty to marry an heir to the throne of Japan. His arrival at the royal house in 1959, as well as those of Kiko, in 1990, and Masako, in 1993, were received by most of the Japanese people as a breath of fresh air within an institution in which the emperor was revered as if it were a god until the end of the Second World War.
Michiko’s supposedly strong character and Masako’s inability to conceive a male child, however, would later occupy hundreds of headlines in markedly frivolous articles that affected both their mental health: the former suffers from severe symptoms of stress (in 1993 she reached lose her voice for a few months), while the second has been suffering from acute depression for years (before her husband ascended to the throne she was nicknamed the “sad princess”).
At today’s press conference, Kei has used language unusual for royalty, assuring that he will “love and protect” Mako and that he wishes “to spend the only life I have with the woman I love.” The Komuro couple are moving today to an apartment in Tokyo, waiting to start their new phase in New York, where Kei has resided since 2018. Mako’s husband started working at the Manhattan law firm Lowenstein Sandler after graduating in May. at Fordham University School of Law.
Graduated in Art and Cultural Heritage from Tokyo Christian University, where she met her better half in 2012, Mako also holds a Master’s degree in Museology and Art Galleries from the University of Leicester. In August, she resigned from her position as associate researcher at the Tokyo University Museum and put aside the doctorate she was studying at Tokyo Christian University. With this resume, the stakes are that the crown prince’s eldest daughter will continue her career in the Big Apple art world.
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Princess Mako of Japan Leaves Imperial Family After Saying “Yes, I Do” at Modest Wedding