A Pioneer of Working Women…The Legacy of Midori Watanabe, Imperial Household Journalist
Midori Watanabe, a journalist on the Imperial Household, passed away. She was found collapsed in the apartment where she lived alone in Kojimachi, Tokyo. In recent years, she had been suffering from pain in her back and legs and had made fewer public appearances, but as a journalist, she had made lucid statements on the topic of the Imperial Family based on her more than 60 years of reporting experience and extensive knowledge. This summer, when he returned home from the hospital where he had been hospitalized, he said
I won’t get to see the next emperor, but I’m sure Japan will be fine,” he said with a smile.
But I am sure that Japan will be fine.
He consistently supported Mako’s marriage.
The marriage of Mako, the eldest daughter of the Akishino family, received a great deal of bashing from “the public. In the midst of this, Mr. Watanabe consistently affirmed that “it is the life of two young people.
Michiko has always said that marriage is a decision that one makes on one’s own volition. Mako really loves him now, and I think that feeling is important. However, there is one condition. The money that will be provided for your marriage is not a small amount. If you are prepared to work together to make a living, then you have nothing to fear.
In this way, he showed his understanding. And to Mako, he said.
I want to tell her that she did her best. She endured so much bashing and confrontation with her parents, and yet she persevered. Mako’s single-mindedness is considerable. In a sense, I feel the strength of will that is indeed a member of the royal family. And you know, this single-mindedness and stubbornness is just like her father’s.
Mako and Kei are both 30 years old and starting a new life. I am not anxious. I only pray that they will be happy. Truly, congratulations.”
I sent my encouragement and blessings to them.
Starting out in her career as a “chore
In 1959, she covered the marriage of the then Crown Prince and Princess Michiko. She was the chief producer of the broadcast when the Showa Emperor passed away in 1989. After retiring from the company, he also served as a visiting professor at Bunka Gakuen University for a long time.
During his time at the TV station, he was told that sexual harassment was commonplace in the workplace and that “no woman can do the job,” so he began “mastering the chores” to win the approval of those around him.
He was told that the lunches Watanabe arranged were cheap and delicious (laughs). (Laughs.) I worked very hard, no matter what the chore was. That’s how I made a place for myself. But that didn’t mean I had to give up on women or be a manly man. I just kept working. If you don’t give up, there are always opportunities.
She lives alone in an apartment in central Tokyo. She lived alone in an apartment in central Tokyo, surrounded by her favorite things, including many books and materials, as well as furniture and tableware she found in Japan and other countries where she did interviews. She also carefully wore old clothes and hats. Her lifestyle may seem to be the opposite of that of Michiko of her generation, but at the core, there was an underlying sense of sincerity, elegance, and strength that she shared.
Whenever there was news about the Imperial Family, she would explain the background of the history. He had a wealth of knowledge about the classics and art, and above all, he cherished the “existence of the Imperial Family.
I have something to tell you,” he said.
He was a journalist with a strong sense of curiosity and a clear “opinion of his own” right up to the end. He passed away at the age of 88, and we pray for his soulful rest in peace.