The former princess of Japan leaves for the United States with a more ordinary husband

TOKYO – A Japanese princess who relinquished the throne to marry her maid of old age left for New York on Sunday as the couple sought happiness as newlyweds and left behind a nation that criticized their romance.

The departure of Mako Komuro, the former Princess Mako, and Kei Komuro, both 30, as they boarded their plane amid camera flashes at Haneda Airport in Tokyo was delivered by major Japanese broadcasters.

Kei Komuro, a graduate of Fordham University law school, has a job at a New York law firm. He has yet to pass his bar exam, another piece of news that local media used to attack him, although one is accustomed to passing after multiple attempts.

“I love Mako,” he told reporters last month after recording their wedding in Tokyo. They did this without a wedding banquet or any of the other usual festive rites.

“I want to live the only life I have with the man I love,” he said.

Although Japan is presented in a modern way, values ​​of family relations and the status of women remain somewhat outdated, rooted in feudal practices.

Such views were accentuated in the public’s reaction to the wedding. Some Japanese feel that they have a say in such matters because the money of taxpayers supports the imperial family system.

Other princesses married commoners and left the palace. But Mako is the first to have attracted such public outcry, including a crazy reaction on social media and in local tabloids.

Speculation ranged from whether the couple could afford to live in Manhattan to how much money Kei Komuro would earn and whether the former princess would end up financially supporting her husband.

Mako is the niece of Emperor Naruhito, who also married a villain, Masako. Masako often suffered mentally in the cloistered, regulated life of the imperial family. The negative media coverage surrounding Mako’s wedding has given her what palace doctors have described last month as a form of traumatic stress disorder.

Former Emperor Akihito, the father of the current emperor, was the first member of the imperial family to marry a villain. His father was the emperor under whom Japan fought and lost in World War II.

The family has no political power but serves as a symbol of the nation, participating in ceremonial events and visiting disaster areas, and remains relatively popular.

Only males inherit the Chrysanthemum Tone. Mako is the daughter of the emperor’s younger brother, and her 15-year-old brother is expected to later become emperor.

Making it difficult for the former princess ’wedding, announced in 2017, was a financial dispute involving Kei Komuro’s mother. That issue was recently resolved, according to Kyodo news service.

When Kei Komuro returned from the United States in September, the couple was reunited for the first time in three years. They met at the International Christian University of Tokyo a decade ago.

Announcing their wedding, the former princess, a museum curator, explained her choice.

“He’s someone I can’t do without,” she said. “Marriage is that decision necessary for us to live, remaining faithful to our hearts.”


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