On 29th October, Japan’s Princess Ayako, youngest child - of Princess Hisako and the late Prince Takamodo, cousin of Emperor Akihito, married a ‘non-royal’ - Kei Moriya, an employee of shipping company Nippon Yusen KK.
More than the marriage, what truly held the imagination was the patriarchal and archaic laws which continue to dog the royal family. A woman of the royal family, if she marries a non-royal, no longer remains a ‘royal.’ Princess Ayako surrendered her royal status for love and gets a lump sum of $950,000 from the Japanese government for living expenses.
This has once again brought to fore the imperial laws of Japan. Emperor Akihito announced that he will abdicate on 30th April, 2019 and the king will be his son, Crown Prince Naruhito. The royalty rule in Japan is that the throne must be passed to male heirs. Another one, Princess Mako, granddaughter of Emperor Akihito is also marrying a commoner.
The question is truly what role do women play in Japan’s monarchy? Why cant the imperial law keep up with the times and change to allow women to inherit the throne? It is has worked in UK, surely it is workable in Japan too? And as times change, shouldn’t the royalty also keep up with the times?
Well, in India, thank God we don’t have emperor’s and kings any more. Or else, we too have the same laws as Japan….