The Surprising Background of the Gradual Increase in Distance between the Akishino Family and Gakushuin | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Surprising Background of the Gradual Increase in Distance between the Akishino Family and Gakushuin

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Mr. and Mrs. Akishino and Princess Kako see off Mako Komuro at their wedding press conference on October 26 (Representative photo, Kyodo News)

On October 26, the eldest daughter of the Akishino family, Mako (30), and Kei Komuro (30), successfully married and began their new lives together. while there are those who congratulate the couple on their marriage, it cannot be denied that there are those who distance themselves from the couple. Among them, the reaction of some Gakushuin officials who feel sympathy for the Imperial Family is cold.

Smart FLASH published a comment from one of His Majesty’s schoolmates from his Gakushuin days, saying that he was not in favor of the marriage. Smart FLASH also published a comment from another schoolmate, who said, “I don’t agree with the marriage.

“It seems that the Akishino family has a strong sense of resistance to the so-called Ancien Regime, the forces centering on Gakushuin. The Gakushuin has a large percentage of people who are sympathetic to the Imperial Family, so there is a good chance that they will meet someone with the same values and the same level of living. As a general rule of marriage, it would be easier for things to work out that way.”

If Mako had attended Gakushuin, there would have been less chance of her meeting Kei Komuro, and the series of problems that led to this marriage could have been avoided. And that would have been more desirable.

However, one Gakushuin alumnus, who read the comment, expressed his anger.

One Gakushuin alumnus who read this comment, however, expressed his anger: “Some Gakushuin alumnus, who regard themselves as part of the old regime and still have direct contact with the Imperial Family in the 21st century, think that they are ‘senior citizens’ just because of this. This is an anachronism of the highest order.

Behind the media’s claim that “the Akishino family seems to have a strong resistance to the Ancien Regime (the old regime, conservatives),” there is a “history” between the Akishino family and Gakushuin. When he was a student at Gakushuin, Prince Akishino tried to devote himself to the study of catfish, but Gakushuin University did not have a department to study this subject, so he ended up entering the Department of Political Science in the Faculty of Law. Noriko’s father, Professor Emeritus Tatsuhiko Kawashima, was mentioned as a candidate for the presidency of the university, but never got the chance, and passed away on November 4 at the age of 81.

“It seems that while at Gakushuin, Prince Akishino’s relationships with teachers and friends did not always go as planned. There is a possibility that this may have caused him to distance himself from Gakushuin.

It’s not hard to imagine that Mako and Kako went to school from kindergarten through high school with their parents having complicated feelings and circumstances. Both of them went to ICU (International Christian University) instead of Gakushuin University. Although Prince Eugene will enter junior high school from the elementary school attached to Ochanomizu University and will take the high school entrance exam next spring, Gakushuin High School is said to be not an option for him at present.

In April 2019, a suspicious person broke into the Ochanomizu University Junior High School and placed a knife on Princess Eugene’s desk. Some Gakushuin officials thought that the incident could have been prevented if it had occurred on the campus of Gakushuin in Mejiro, which is accustomed to security.

“There are some people who believe that the Gakushuin campus in Mejiro, which is used to security, could have prevented the incident, but there is no evidence to supportthis.At Gakushuin today, there are students with a variety of ideas. That is why they stimulate each other and improve themselves. Some students come from the countryside, while others work part-time to pursue their studies. If we demanded a specific set of values or standard of living, we would end up with a bunch of rich people’s children. Even security is not a matter of familiarity or unfamiliarity,” said another Gakushuin alumnus.

In April 2019, Prince and Princess Akishino and their eldest son, Prince Eugene, will attend the entrance ceremony of Ochanomizu University for Girls. His high school destination next spring is also attracting attention (Photo: Kyodo News)

There is a tug-of-war between the pragmatic faction, which is willing to change flexibly in response to the trends of the times, and the conservative faction, which wants to respect the good old Ancien Regime. In fact, a tug-of-war is said to be going on behind the scenes for the top position of running the Gakushuin.

In October last year, Eiichi Akaru was appointed as the president of Gakushuin. After working at Saitama Bank, he has served as Managing Director of Asahi Bank and Executive Director of Gakushuin Educational Corporation.

As he is a mild-mannered and reserved type of person, from the time of his appointment, people asked “Why Mr. Yoh?” and “Who is Akaru? According to a Gakushuin alumnus who has spoken directly with Mr. Yoh, his impression is that “it’s not that he dislikes conservatives, but he has an atmosphere that sets him apart from the old guard. Those who are nostalgic for the old days are concerned that without the “weight at the top” seen in the successive presidents of Gakushuin, such as Kigenori Nogi, who commanded the siege of Lushun during the Russo-Japanese War and served as an army general, and Noshige Abe, who served as Minister of Education after the war and is also a renowned philosopher, Gakushuin will lose its presence. …I am concerned about this.

In addition, Gakushuin has an alumni association called the Sakurayukai, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. The chairman is Motomasa, the head of the Tozono family, a former viscount. The Ancien Régime faction is increasingly calling for Mr. Tozono to be appointed president of the institute. “There are even some who say, “Mr. Yao’s term is three years and he has two years left, but he should be replaced.

In addition, the media has turned a harsh eye on the existence of “schoolmates.

“When talking about members of the Imperial Family, there is always a ‘friend of the Imperial Family’ who appears in the media and talks a lot, but the closer the friend is, the less likely they are to come out. His Majesty the Emperor had a friend, Mr. Fumio Matsuo, who opened his heart to him. According to nonfiction writer Masayasu Hosaka, he was his roommate in the dormitory when he was in high school. His grandfather was Colonel Denzo Matsuo, who was mistaken for then Prime Minister Keisuke Okada and shot dead in the 2.26 Incident.

After graduating from Gakushuin University, Mr. Matsuo joined Kyodo News and was a journalist who advocated flower offering diplomacy in which the Japanese Prime Minister would send flowers to Pearl Harbor and the U.S. President would send flowers to the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In February 2019, right after the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Emperor’s reign, he passed away in the U.S., and His Majesty was very saddened.

The emperor and his wife aimed to create an “open imperial family. The current emperor and empress have inherited this philosophy. However, some people who call themselves friends of the emperor and empress are trying to convey the intentions of the royal family to the mass media, but I wonder if this is true. If there is no proof, there is always the danger of misleading the public. Some university officials fear that an atmosphere in which alumni have a greater presence than necessary will result in a widening of the distance between Gakushuin and the Imperial Family.

“If we don’t make the university more open, we will not be able to attract excellent students. What should we do to survive in an era of declining birthrates? What we should do is not to turn back the hands of the clock, but to show students the future direction of the university.

If Prince Eugene, who is expected to become the future emperor of Japan, does not choose Gakushuin as his university of choice, it will surely damage the pride of the long-established institution, which was established since the Meiji era for the education of noble families.

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