The recently released book, “Akishino no Miya” (Shogakukan), a record of interviews with Princess Akishino, has been slowly gaining traction. The author, Keiji Emori, worked as a Mainichi Shimbun reporter in charge of the Imperial Household Agency in the Social Affairs Department before leaving the newspaper in March of this year to go freelance.
Mr. Emori first met Princess Akishino in February 1991, the year after his marriage to Princess Noriko, so 31 years have already passed. In addition, for this book, Mr. Emori conducted 37 interviews over a period of four and a half years.
He said, “I think this was a labor of love that only Mr. Emori could have produced. I think it is a groundbreaking book in the sense that it reveals, albeit in a somewhat indirect way, the thoughts and feelings of the Crown Prince regarding his eldest daughter Mako’s marriage,” said a journalist from the Imperial Household.
The book describes Prince Akishino as follows.
He is a human being before he is a member of the Imperial Family. This kind of norm is consistently present in his life.
In this sentence, the author’s stance of trying to portray the sometimes human Prince Akishino as much as possible is evident. In an interview immediately after the news of Mako’s engagement broke, Akishino no Miya brought up Article 24 of the Constitution and said, ‘I must protect the Constitution because of my position. I feel that this answer shows that he is a human being.
Later, when Mr. Emori reported that an article concerned that Kei Komuro works as a paralegal at a law firm and earns about 3 million yen a year, Prince Akishino said, “Your current job is a regular job,” “You can remain a paralegal,” and “I think it would be fine if the two of you live a life that fits your means. She is said to have told him, “At this stage, I think it would be better if you two lived a life that suits yourselves.
At this stage, we believe that Prince Akishino was in favor of the marriage. Her wish that Mako would find happiness in her own way is evident between the lines of her speech.
However, the situation took a sudden turn when it was reported that Kei’s mother, Kayo, and her former fiancé were having a financial dispute over approximately 4 million yen.
As noted in the same book, it seems that Prince Akishino called Mr. Komuro’s mother and son to the palace and kept demanding explanations from the public. The public outcry was becoming quite strong,” said a source in the Imperial Household Agency.
However, the Komuro mother and son did not respond to this, and Kei left for the U.S. in August 2018.
We have heard that Prince Akishino finds it difficult to accept that Kei has gone abroad and that Mako has also left Japan. It is said that she strongly wanted to have the financial problems of the Komuro family cleared up first before moving on to the next phase.
On the other hand, there is this viewpoint.
On the other hand, there is a view that “even though she received an extremely favorable scholarship to study abroad and can expect to earn a high salary if she is admitted to the bar in the future, there still seems to be a question as to whether living in New York is in line with her personal stature.
Although it is not explicitly stated in the book, it seems that Prince Akishino regrets the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Komuro have set up their base of operations overseas more than anything else, and considers it something that is difficult to overlook.
This is a new problem for the Imperial Family that is brought to light by one important book. How will the public interpret and respond to this question?
Photo： Shinji Hasuo