In mid-November, Kei Komuro and Mako Mako, the eldest daughter of the Akishino family, walked shoulder-to-shoulder through the streets of New York City, where they had moved. The Daily Mail and “Post Seven” captured the scene.
In some of the photos, Kei is pointing somewhere and saying something, and Mako seems to be laughing out loud at his words. What an amicable scene. I’m sure many people were surprised to see the two of them together in a way that would be absolutely unthinkable in Japan.
The Daily Mail also took photos of Mako shopping alone. On her way home, she seemed to have gotten lost and was seen pacing back and forth, asking people around her for directions.
She had what looked like a smartphone in her hand while she was shopping, but I wondered if she used a map app for navigation when she was outside. The fact that she solved the problem the old-fashioned way, by asking someone, made her seem like an innocent young lady.
As a former member of the royal family, she is probably the most ‘boxed-in’ girl in Japan. In Japan, even when she was on a date with Mr. Komuro, there would be security guards at a distance, and Mako would hardly ever walk alone.
In the U.S., it was thought that there would be security guards, but seeing that no one helped her, she may have really been shopping alone. She was afraid of public outcry and was extremely reluctant to use taxpayer money, so I guess Mako’s style is to ‘leave her alone.
Mako also withdrew the 140 million yen lump sum payment that accompanied her departure from the Imperial Family. This money was originally intended to be used to maintain the dignity of the royal family and to cover private security expenses. Without this money, and with Mako supporting the family finances because Komuro failed the bar exam, there is no room for private security.
The Imperial Household Agency is still concerned about Mako’s safety, and as part of that concern, they have decided to establish rules with the TV station.
One rule is that Mako and Komuro will not be interviewed. The other is that TV will not handle weekly magazine reports that infringe on their private lives. From now on, they will be seen less and less on TV and will fade out into real ordinary people.
On the other hand, the foreign media is closely following the couple and is ready to track them down thoroughly. If you say it’s an invasion of privacy, that’s all you have to say, but if you think that the paparazzi are watching them in case they are attacked by thugs, it might be safer than if no one is watching them.
Still, the Imperial Household Agency announced that Mako is suffering from complex PTSD due to the slander, but looking at that picture of her with a big smile on her face, it seems that she is gradually recovering from her happy newlywed life with Kei. But judging from the photo with the big smile on her face, she may be gradually recovering from her happy married life with Kei.
The fact that she is already self-reliant enough to go shopping alone in a strange place must be very encouraging for Kei. I am sure that Mako will support Komuro with her inner help as he prepares for the bar exam next February.