On May 29, a “worship ceremony” was held at the Chidorigafuchi War Cemetery (Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo).
Kako, 28, the second daughter of the Akishino family, was dressed in a dignified gray suit skirt and attended the ceremony with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, 65, and Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Katsunobu Kato, 67. Last year, Prince and Princess Akishino attended the ceremony, and this is the first time that Kako has participated.
In May alone, Kako attended the “Garden Party” on May 11, the “Thanksgiving Day for Greenery” on May 13, and on May 23, she made her first solo visit to Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, to offer flowers to the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The following day, on the 24th, he attended the “National Urban Greenery Festival” held in Sendai City. Naomichi Kudo, a journalist on the Imperial Household, described Kako’s devotion as follows.
She has taken over such official duties as president of the Japan Crafts Association and honorary president of the Japan Tennis Association from her sister Mako, 31. This may be a sign of her determination to support His Highness Prince Hisahito of Akishino and HIH Princess Hisahito of Akishino as a female member of the Imperial Family.
In fact, until a few years ago, she had been so passive in the activities of the Imperial Family that she was ridiculed as a “royal NEET,” but last year, she actually worked hard to perform more than 40 official duties. What changed her? According to Yuji Odabe, professor emeritus at Shizuoka University of Welfare, “There are three reasons.
First, to redeem herself from the criticism that she was a “royal neet”; second, to restore the image of the Akishino family, including providing support to reassure her sister Mako; and third, to prepare for her own marriage. Third, they are preparing for their own marriage, perhaps with the profound intention of receiving the public’s blessing for their marriage.
It has been about a year and a half since Mako came to the U.S. for her marriage. Will the day come when Kako, too, will take the plunge into “marriage”?
Kako has been involved in figure skating and dancing since she was a child, and she seems to have a strong capacity for self-expression. There is also a rift between Kako and her mother Noriko, who seeks the “feminine side of the royal family. Considering her personality, it is possible that the bondage of being a member of the royal family is causing her stress. If you respect her individuality, it may be easier to live abroad than in Japan, where she can be more spontaneous. If this is the case, the first step would be for her to marry someone who lives overseas, and then leave Japan after leaving the Imperial Family,” said Odabe.
A member of the Akishino family said, “Kako will probably marry Mako.
A member of the Akishino family said, “I hear that Kako often says that she would like to visit Mako. I think her yearning for a free married life abroad is quite strong.
It would be quite ironic if she is working hard at her official duties in order to shed her title of PRINCESS PRINCESS.
From the June 16 and 23, 2023 issues of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Shinji Hamasaki