The Japanese people are quietly preparing for the nuptials of Princess Mako, the much loved daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Keiko, with her classmate, Kei Komuro. Their wedding took place on Tuesday morning October 26.
Princess Mako, who is the eldest niece of Emperor Naruhito of Japan, turned 30 on Saturday, October 23. In accordance with the current rules of the Imperial Household of Japan, the princess renounces her royal status after marriage and becomes a common member of society.
Simple and sweet, with a short press conference to spread the news to as many Japanese as possible, it was a day of transition for the now Mako and Kei Komuro.
Marriage behind closed doors
Ahead of the wedding, Princess Mako was shown leaving her family’s home for the last time, as she prepared to start her new life with Kei Komuro.
The step was both literal and metaphorical, as from that point on, Mako would still have ties to her family, but she would no longer be officially part of the Imperial Household.
Local media captured Princess Mako as she exchanged a few words with her parents, Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko. There was a heartwarming moment when Mako’s younger sister, Princess Kako, hugged her older sister to say goodbye.
At around 10:30 a.m. JST, local media reported that the couple had handed over the marriage registration to be processed, officially making them a husband and wife. Interestingly, from that point on, Mako was referred to in media reports as “Mako-san” instead of “Mako-sama”, an appellation reserved for those who are officially part of the imperial family.
“I love Mako-san”: couple declares devotional message
The couple held a press conference the afternoon after the wedding, to address Japanese citizens.
Princess Mako is beloved in Japan, and the unanswered questions over Mr Komuro and his family regarding loans and finances have led to reservations about the marriage among the public. The format of the press conference was mainly prepared from statements read by the couple.
The two sent each other a strong message of devotion, as Mako said “Kei-san is indispensable to me.” And for us, [the marriage] was a necessary choice to listen and protect our hearts and feelings.
Kei Komuro also echoed the warm statement, stating, âI love Mako san. I think my wish is to live my life with someone I love.
The two, like any young couple about to embark on a new adventure, also spoke about their plans for the future, as Kei Komuro said:
âI would like to make a warm home with Mako-san. At the same time, I would like to do everything in my power to support her. During happy times and even those that aren’t, I would love to be by her side and be an invaluable part of her existence.
Mako was equally fervent in her commitment to her husband, as in the coming months they are preparing to live in the United States, where Komuro trained to be a lawyer.
âWe are going to start a new life. On our way, I am sure that we will encounter new difficulties. But as we have done so far, I want to keep joining forces and walking together [with him] side by side, âshe said.
The representative of the imperial house agency then announced to the 50 or so journalists present in the room that the answers to the pre-submitted questions received from the press club of the association of the imperial house, the association of publishers of Japanese magazines and the foreign correspondents’ club of Japan would be fired. in writing. The questions were not taken at the press conference itself.
The format of the press conference was chosen with the welfare of the Princess in mind, as she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following public criticism and concerns expressed about the wedding.
Kei Komuro briefly touched on this subject, expressing regret for the circumstances: which saddens me.
In fact, for Mako and Kei Komuro, the road to marriage had been a long one.
Princess Mako and Komuro first expressed their determination to get married in 2017. They reportedly met while attending the International Christian University (ICU).
The marriage between the college lovers has been delayed for two years, following financial issues apparently linked to the dispute between Komuro’s mother and his ex-fiancee. This issue has not yet been resolved.
At the October 26 press conference, Kei Komuro reiterated some of the points in the statement submitted to explain the matter, released in April 2021. He also said he plans to represent his mother as a lawyer at the ‘to come up.
âI received a positive response from my mother’s ex-fiancÃ© and his interlocutor, a weekly journalist. I would like to do whatever I can to resolve this issue, and there is no change in whether I want him to accept the compensation money, âKomuro said.
In 2018 and then 2020, Crown Prince Akishino spoke on the issue during press conferences on other subjects. In either case, he said his daughter would be allowed to make her own decision, but expressed hope that questions of concern to the public would be answered and the Japanese people would find the marriage to be celebrated. Otherwise, he suggested, the marriage would be allowed, but without the pomp and circumstances that would normally be accorded to a royal wedding in Japan.
Slowly but surely, however, Princess Mako and Kei Komuro’s wedding plans have moved forward.
Princess Mako paid a personal visit to greet Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako on October 22, instead of an official imperial ceremony known as “Choken no Gi”. The princess also paid an official visit to greet Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emeritus Michiko, her grandparents, on October 25.
Empress Emerita Michiko, who just turned 87 on October 20, previously expressed affection for Princess Mako, telling the Imperial Household Agency that she would miss her.
Princess Mako said early on that she would not accept the customary lump sum payment to women of the imperial household who marry commoners and live outside the royal family of Japan.
The couple are expected to move out of the Imperial Palace and live in an apartment in Tokyo to begin preparations for their life in New York City, where Komuro trained to become a lawyer. Mako should also start working.
Komuro returned to Japan on September 27 for the wedding. The bride-to-be wore a ponytail, which sparked various reactions in Japan, but his hairstyle was a more traditional cut at the time of the wedding ceremony.
Author: Arielle Busetto