Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Western Press Vilifies Princess' Decision to Marry

I was looking at this story about a Japanese Princess who gave up her royal status to be married to a "common" man.

Here's what we found interesting:
If you read the Japanese report, it is very honoring and respectful. The writer actually wishes them well.

Yet, the western reporters sneer at the happy event.
If you look at anything western - be it BBC or ABC, the tone is sarcastic.

There is something to be said for manners - and the Japanese have some old traditionalist ways that are beautiful compared to the modern "progressive" mindset. Respect and good will just seem to permeate their every word. A very graceful people compared to the media over here.

First look at the Japanese Editorial and link:

Note especially the concluding paragraph, calling for decorum on behalf of the writer's fellow citizens.
EDITORIALS/ Princess Sayako weds
Princess Sayako, the only daughter of the emperor and the empress, was to marry Yoshiki Kuroda, an employee of the Tokyo metropolitan government, on Tuesday.

The princess and Kuroda, who first met in their childhood, met again two and half years ago and have cherished their love ever since. We want to congratulate them on this occasion.

The marriage is the first for a female member of the imperial family since Princess Takako, the fifth daughter of Emperor Showa, wed 45 years ago.

According to imperial household tradition, formal ceremonies were held for Princess Sayako to exchange betrothal gifts and announce the date of the wedding.

But many things broke from tradition. Up until the marriage of Princess Takako, the emperor's daughters used to marry former members of the imperial family or men who had previously held titles of peerage. But Kuroda is neither of them, even though his distant relative is a former nobleman.

This is the first time for an emperor's daughter to marry an ordinary citizen.
When Princess Takako was married nearly half a century ago, Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun attended the wedding ceremony but did not attend the wedding reception. However, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko were to attend both the ceremony and reception this time around.

Reportedly, Princess Sayako and Kuroda decided on their own the scale of the wedding reception and the people to invite. Their wedding ceremony plans were similar to those of ordinary citizens, by which the bride and bridegroom make a fresh start in their lives in front of close friends and family members.

Although the tradition in the imperial household is largely being followed, many among the public will welcome the wedding ceremony in which the princess's friendship with people close to her and the affection of her family members are valued.

In a ceremony to formally say farewell to the emperor and the empress, Princess Sayako said, "I am immensely grateful for being nurtured with profound love."

In response, the emperor and the empress told her to "build a happy family jointly" and wished her good health and fortune. Such words are normal expressions of affection between parents and their children in any family.

We hope Princess Sayako will be able to visit the Imperial Palace together with her family freely and have enough time to enjoy pleasant conversation with her parents, in the same way she has so far done. And no doubt the emperor and the empress will be overjoyed to frequently see their married daughter.

After Michiko was married to then Crown Prince Akihito, it was not easy for her to meet her parents. Only on certain days, such as Michiko's birthday, could her parents, Hidesaburo and Fumiko Shoda, visit the crown prince's residence.

After the acceptance by the ward office of the notification of her marriage, the princess was to officially part with her status of an imperial family member. She will become Sayako Kuroda, gaining a surname for the first time. She will have the right to vote and will be eligible for the pension program.

Although her life will undergo radical change from that of a princess to a homemaker, we hope she will take advantage of her experience working at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology.
If a female emperor is authorized through a revision of the Imperial House Law, which is currently under study, the emperor's daughters are likely to retain the status of imperial family members, even after their marriage.

Princess Sayako may become the last daughter of an emperor to leave the imperial family because of marriage. That is all the more reason the princess and Kuroda will be watched over closely by the public.

But the fact that Princess Sayako becomes Sayako Kuroda means that she will become a private citizen, and not a public figure. We should watch her and her spouse with moderation as they build their lives as ordinary citizens.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 15(IHT/Asahi: November 16,2005)

Now look at this one from ABC (Typical of others.)

I just can't believe that this lady would be so reviled for getting married! That woman who wrote the ABC artcle sure was bitter. The BBC thing was just as bad- they had a broadcast where they turned the former princess into a cartoon and danced her across the screen while proclaiming that she wouldn't have maids waiting on her hand and foot. I think the princess looks very sweet and happy with her decision. I was interested in all this because I didn't even know that japan still had a royal family. Here is some other video footage, under "princess no longer". I dont' know what commentary they have added, when we watched earlier it there wasn't any on there yet.

In view of what we all know about feminism, could these authors possibly be women? Or is it men who despise marriage because they might have to take care of families....I don't know. It is a mindset that is destroying our nation.


Anonymous said...

How completely depressing! This attitude towards that lovely young woman's marriage seems to represent the view held in the US that marriage and home-making are lesser choices for women. It can make it a bit lonely to be a wife and mother who is a keeper at home.

I must also tell you that I love your blog. I check it every day and I always find it inspirational and refreshing. Thank you!


Anonymous said...

I have studied Japanese culture to a moderate extent, and I admire the strength of the people of the Rising Sun.

No other culture has portrayed such an extent of open mindedness. They learnt the Buddhist and Taoist traditions of India and China and melded it into their own Shinto philosophy to obtain Bushido, which is in my opinion, the most powerful words I have seen written about how a man should live. The movie "The Last Samurai" offers a glancing insight into this complex culture.

It is therefore, hurtful to see a certain segment of people, from within the Japanese lands and without, reject such ideas in favour of a material and consumerist existence.

PS. Do note however, that as spiritual as their beliefs were, there were enough deviants within their society that probably contributed to what might be the demise of the Samurai tradtions. Pardon me if I do not speak of the deviations here - some of them are truly disgusting to speak of in such a place.

MrsSM said...

Dear Mrs. Sherman,

I happened to notice this in the newspaper yesterday as well, and while our newspaper wasn't openly disparaging, the article seemed to carry with it a tone of...speculation, maybe? That maybe this decision was so huge that she (the former Princess) would live to regret it. However, the article did include that the Emperor and Empress gave her their blessing and the picture included showed happy smiles on their (the bride's parents) faces. I thought the whole thing was interesting. It also said that she took instruction in grocery shopping among other domestic things so that she could know how to keep a home. I hope she is tremendously blessed by this union!!


Lydia said...

Some credit has to be given the lady for being smart enough to catch that guy and motivate him to marry her.

I haven't met any girls smart enough to catch my two unmarried sons, yet.

Lydia said...

I will promote any college that has a course that will teach women how to get a man to marry her. I still think the MRS is the best initials to have added to a woman's name. I actually admire the girls who go to college to find a husband, more than the ones who go to find a career in electronics.

Lydia said...

I was visiting someone recently whose husband was listening to a radio talk show. The commentator was going on and on about feminism, and saying that the journalists were a group of "clipped-haired, mean-spirited women who couldn't find husbands." Don't know if it is true, but was amused by his comment.

Lydia said...

Well the thing that bothers me the most is the idea -- an old one, really-- that the woman who goes to college and then gets a career is somehow going to be a better companion for a man. Let us suppose that he is studying to work for the highway department, and he meets an attractive woman in class. He marries her because they have highway construction interests in common, and she understands his profession.

She goes home to be his wife, but discovers interesting things about life outside of the highway engineering profession. She may want to decorate or room, or landscape their property and make an English garden, or take courses in gourmet cooking. Will she still be interesting to him? Or will their common bond of engineering carry them through?

What if she gets ill, and spends a lot of time in recovery, and cannot satisfy him intellectually? That is why I say they should learn about love, which will sustain them through life's ups and downs.

Having common interests, in my opinion, and from my observation, are not as necessary as knowing how to love. What do you think? My husband likes to listen to conservative talk shows in the car, in his home office, etc. I like to listen to classical guitar, like the one on the slideshow, and do some needlework. Does this make us not fit companions for each other? My husband has a PHd in something or other and lots of other awards and degrees. I just read a lot and went to a modelling school for awhile. By this reasoning, modernists would say we wouldn't make it as companions for each other.

That film, Love Comes Softly, would help a number of these people. The companion book that came with it said, "People change, but commitment never does."

Shortly after I married, I became ill, and could not even be a companion for my husband. He looked after me for half a year and helped me in the most elementary things--even walking to the bathroom was a problem for me. He could have said, "You aren't the same as when I married you. You don't talk about things that used to interest us. You don't even like the same kind of radio shows that I like." Instead, we both grew from the experience, because love covers all things.

I think some kinds of education can dull the mind or burn you out, in some subjects. Many of the former college students I know do not like to read, and aren't curious. They read what was required of them, and after that, closed the books and their minds.

I'm not saying education is invalid, but that we need to observe what is good and what is necessary and what works, rather than look up to it like it was an idol that had unquestionable authority.

Also, even a man's education can become obsolete by the time he graduates. Look at secretarial work--myb own education didn't prepare me for the advances in technology that would take place. By the time I got out of school, typewriters were being replaced.

Another thing I've noticed is that the housewives are better on computers than the educated people, ha ha ha.

Anonymous said...

True. Why is it that homemakers have so much more wisdom than career women? Maybe, just maybe, it's because the homemakers learn their knowledge from age-old scriptures, while the career-minded women glean their information from the latest issue of the Cosmopolitan.

Lydia said...

After some years have elapsed from the University era of a person's life, they often settle down to a more conservative and realistic way of life. I assume everyone is talking about liberal arts colleges that often lead young minds away from traditional and spiritual values. There are some very good technical institutes that get down to business.

Anonymous said...

Things are getting so bad here in India, that a friend of mine lamented, "There are no girls here. Only she-males"

Miss Elisabeth said...

Good for her! May she be blessed in following her convictions, however "un-christian" they may be.

That news article - Oh, how awful! I really don't like ABC...some of their "news" is more like a liberal political commentary.

However, I intend to go to a very conservative, Christian college. My family, as well as many of our acquaintances, believes that a college education is a worthwhile thing. I plan to learn, learn, learn, but not have my beliefs changed for the worse. (I'm looking at Patrick Henry) In my opinion, I do want to get an higher education, so that I can teach my own children through highschool. I'm not looking for a career, but an education in general studies...for the benifit of my future children. (By the way, I want to major in history, with side studies in English and Literature) My children deserve as much.


Anonymous said...

I found the article at ABC sad and deplorable, but not surprising. It seems to be completely in keeping with the ideology and editorialism put forth in all of their newscasts/articles.

On another note, having read through the comments section, I ask, "why spend 4 years of your life and $30,000 (or more) on an education that you can get at your local library and bookstore for $100?" Anyone who has a desire to learn will seek out knowledge, and those of us who choose family and home over an outside career actually have the time and energy to pursue it. That piece of paper, when looking for a career outside the home, does have a nominal value. However, if your goal and desire is for home and family, I question whether it would have any value beyond increasing pride and stroking egos. Furthermore, unless you tell them, how will anyone know you have a degree?

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Elisabeth!

I think there ARE young adults who are able to choose a college carefully (with their parents help) and remain true to their beliefs. I think it all depends on the maturity of the person, the teachings of their parents and above all, whether they have made Christianity truly THEIR OWN.

Lydia said...

To the lady who wrote about getting education in a variety of ways, sometimes much cheaper. I think there was an article on Vision Forum about that. It showed how many people were finding alternative ways of getting the information they needed, so that they could still work, or stay home, and it wouldn't absorb so much of their lives and their money. I find many colleges and Universities very non-family friendly, and not very financially friendly either. If you can find the article I mentioned, I'd appreciate the address being posted here.

Anonymous said...

The abc news article made me very angry! That is why I do not watch american news, it is no longer about reporting the facts but reporting their beliefs which is biased and that isnt what the news is about. Although you grouped western culture together and CTV news here in Canada did not report it in a way like the others. It gave facts on their beautiful wedding and their plans for afterwards, without any sarcasm. Although it does have a little bit of feminist sentiment at the end.

Lydia said...

Thanks for posting the link to the beautifully reported event from Canadian press. Yes, the US press does give us a bad name. It doesn't represent all of us. I think many of them are running scared, as more and more people go to alternative sources for news. We get tired of the hopelessness that is constantly presented no matter how wonderful the event. No wonder the ads supporting the news are often for anti-depressants--you need them after listening to them!!