Author Topic: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan  (Read 24036 times)

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Offline Caleb

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Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« on: February 06, 2006, 09:21:06 PM »
My teacher brought a very simillar  article to my attention today in sociology. This article is a couple years old, but this is interesting.  Though Czarina Alexandra wasn't locked in the imperial palace for not producing a boy for Czar Nicholas, do you think the situation of having no male heir in the Japanese royal family & the considering of changing a rule, that has been in effect since 1945, was under consideration of changing the similar rule of not having any women succeeding to the throne? Here's the article: By Arata Yamamoto
Producer
NBC News
Updated: 3:30 p.m. ET May 27, 2004
TOKYO - The pressure to provide a male heir for a royal household steeped in centuries of tradition can take its toll on anyone. For Masako Owada, the Japanese crown princess, the pressure may have proved to be too much to take.

In 1993, the Harvard-educated Masako married into the imperial family, leaving behind a promising career as a diplomat at Japan's Foreign Ministry.

But the stress of her role as the sequestered crown princess has come spilling out of the normally reticent royal family after an unprecedented outburst from her husband.

Story continues below ↓
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On May 10, on the eve of his trip to attend the two weddings of the crown princes of Denmark and Spain, Crown Prince Naruhito held a customary pre-travel press conference, one of the few occasions when members of the royal family make themselves available to the media.

But what should have been a routine press conference turned extraordinary when the prince disclosed his growing frustration over the treatment of his wife, 40, who has taken an open-ended medical leave from her royal duties since December.

"Masako has worked hard to adapt to the environment of the imperial household for the past 10 years. But from what I can see, I think that she has completely exhausted herself," Naruhito said.

And he blasted unnamed culprits in the secretive household. "It is also true that actions were taken which dismissed Masako's previous career as well as her personality, which is based on that career.”

Although the crown prince refused to offer any further explanation or disclose the target of his anger, his remarks nonetheless sparked a national debate, including parliamentary hearings and a daily witch hunt on local talk shows to figure out who was responsible for the princess's affliction.

On his return from Europe this week, he again touched on the furor. "It is truly unfortunate the crown princess was unable to accompany me. I am grateful for the encouragement I received from the people I met from various countries and for their inquiries" into how Masako was doing, Naruhito said.

"I would be happy if the two of us could make the trip together some day."


Assurances, adoration
When the idea of marriage to the crown prince of Japan was initially presented, Masako, a multi-linguist with a budding diplomatic career, was said to be hesitant to abandon her work and enter the little-known world of Japanese royalty.  ENCARTA

• JAPAN: Maps, facts and figures


She agreed to the marriage after assurances from the crown prince that he would protect her and with the notion that she would be able to pursue her wishes of incorporating statecraft into her new role as a member of the imperial family.

The Japanese public welcomed the attractive, world-wise princess, who often drew comparisons to England's Princess Diana.

However, the similarity between the two princesses stopped at the fact that in Japan, the Imperial Household Agency controls practically every aspect of Japanese royalty, including matters related to the emperor and the empress.

The troubles began quickly for Masako when the agency's attention turned increasingly to the issue of preserving the royal lineage. Her much-desired travels abroad were denied.

In fact, during the past 10 years, she has made only five official trips overseas.

The implicit message was that she needed to produce a male heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne before delving into royal statesmanship.

Even after the much-anticipated birth of Princess Aiko two years ago, she has been allowed only one trip, covering Australia and New Zealand.

During a press conference in 2002, Masako herself admitted it took quite a bit of effort on her part to adjust to the reality that prevented her from visiting foreign countries.

But the burden of producing a male successor continued.

Toshio Yuasa, the head of the Imperial Household Agency, was heard saying last summer that "although it would be wrong to apply pressure ... as the grand steward of the imperial household, frankly, I would like them to have another baby."

Too much to take
Gradually toward the end of last year, the princess started to shy away from domestic functions. In December she was hospitalized for shingles, a skin rash that was linked to acute stress.

Only three days after the princess was released from the hospital, Yuasa made another controversial remark, suggesting that the crown prince's younger brother, who already has two daughters, produce another child.

That seemed to have been the last straw. At the recommendation of her doctors, Masako began her current seclusion.

At one point, in a very rare move, she took her daughter to her parents’ private summer home outside of Tokyo and stayed there for a month, away from her royal attendants.

The airing of all the royal dirty laundry has forced a public showdown. The crown prince is expected to meet with Yuasa to discuss the reasons for his public outburst, the emperor and the empress have expressed concern, while Yuasa also is expected to present a clarification to the public.

Meanwhile, outside the imperial palace, among the daily flock of tourists, housewife Hiroko Suzuki lamented the situation.

"It’s not just the imperial household," she said. "Japanese society itself needs to change so that women no longer have to choose between their careers and looking after their homes."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Caleb »

nelly

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2006, 09:53:45 PM »
The irony of it is that there were Empresses in their own right centuries ago.  Perhaps the movement to allow the daughters to inherit will accomplish its objective.

Even though I often do find Alexandra unsympathic, I do feel the pressure helped to make her age quickly, especially after 5 preganicies.  The fact that the boy, when she finally had a son, inherited hemophilia was the final straw.  :( :( :(

Offline Caleb

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2006, 06:21:58 PM »
It's funny when my teacher told us this story, because today I found out that the crown prince's brother's wife is now pregnant. It was just announced today.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2006, 11:32:29 AM »
I guess some things never change, although sometimes it has to be wished that they would.

Offline Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2006, 06:15:56 AM »
It's a shame that even today, the female still gets blamed.  The Crown Prince, in reality, should be the one humiliated in the media and pressured by the family.  After all, it's the male that determines the sex!  
Hindsight is 20/20.  When the myopic haze of of the present is lifted by the march of time we see it clearly as the past.  Sociology, psychology, anthropology.  They are all means of understanding that which came before.  History cannot stand alone.

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2006, 10:32:30 AM »
Quote
It's a shame that even today, the female still gets blamed.  The Crown Prince, in reality, should be the one humiliated in the media and pressured by the family.  After all, it's the male that determines the sex!  



That is SO true.

Throughout history women have been the ones who have had to suffer for their husband's inability to provide that magic letter X.

If only Henry VIII had known it was his fault...would he have beheaded himself?

I feel awful for the poor Crown Princess of Japan, and also for her daughter.  What sort of message does it send to the little girl when her mother is deemed worthless for not producing the 'right' child?

Rachel
xx
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Ra-Ra-Rasputin »
'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2006, 10:32:53 AM »
It is unlikely that this will ever change in some places ever, even in the modern age, when so much has changed since Alexandra was pressured for an heir for Russia. Some things are age old, and all the time in the world can't change them.

Offline Joy0318

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2006, 10:53:50 AM »
Quote

If only Henry VIII had known it was his fault...would he have beheaded himself?



;D

My high school history teacher said something a long the same lines.

There has been in history so much pressure to have boys to inherit thrones but I find it interesting that some of historys best and most well-known monarchs were women. (Catherine the Great,  Elizabeth I,  Queen Victoria.)
A horse is a horse of course of  course
And no one can talk to a horse of course
That is of course unless the horse
Is the famous Mr. Ed.

Offline Margarita Markovna

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2006, 11:25:04 AM »
Quote
There has been in history so much pressure to have boys to inherit thrones but I find it interesting that some of historys best and most well-known monarchs were women. (Catherine the Great,  Elizabeth I,  Queen Victoria.)  
 
 


Definitely. Exactly what I was thinking.

Offline Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2006, 05:29:32 PM »
Quote


That is SO true.

Throughout history women have been the ones who have had to suffer for their husband's inability to provide that magic letter X.

If only Henry VIII had known it was his fault...would he have beheaded himself?

I feel awful for the poor Crown Princess of Japan, and also for her daughter.  What sort of message does it send to the little girl when her mother is deemed worthless for not producing the 'right' child?

Rachel
xx


It's wierd, but I can totally imagine Henry VIII having split personalities (seriously, I can, especially in his later years).  But, not to make light of mental illness, I can totally also see his personalities yelling at each other and one demanding the other be beheaded.  And then him grabbing his own collar and throwing himself into a room in the Tower with all these baffled and terrified guards looking on.

Sigh.  Males... they never learn.  God forbid they blame their own little troops.  I guess that would be unmanly.    

More seriously, though, that little girl has to be seeing and taking in all of this.  She had, though, the unfortunate luck to be born into a royal family that places little to no value with females.  Thankfully her mother seems like a strong intelligent woman and I hope she will start becoming more outspoken and a more active political figure.
Hindsight is 20/20.  When the myopic haze of of the present is lifted by the march of time we see it clearly as the past.  Sociology, psychology, anthropology.  They are all means of understanding that which came before.  History cannot stand alone.

Offline Tania+

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2006, 07:06:49 PM »
Why is there a need to 'place blame on anyone' in regards to this particular issue ? In life many things need to be accepted. At times, this is not easily for people from any background, and nationalities to do. Yet, no matter where we are in the world, or who we are, it is more than important to make allowances, because many times it may be beyond our control.

History unaffordably has been most censuring and cruel to women. Yet, it would not at any time make it right to go after men either. Since we are more advanced in the sciences, etc. We must make sure we don't allow history to be repeated again, because of lack of knowledge, or understanding. I think the best way we should assist women, especially women of royal households, is to write articles, send letters to royal households and let them know, we love them in spite of these issues, and that they should be supported, loved and held in high esteem, always. Just my opinion...

Tatiana+

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David_Pritchard

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2006, 10:20:53 PM »
The current problem with the heirless Imperial House of Japan has its roots not with the Crown Princess or the Crown Prince but rather the rules that were introduced by General Douglas MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan that very narrowly defined who was a member of the Imperial Family. A number of cadet branches of the Imperial House were defined out of their status, thus removing many present day males dynasts from the succession.

Prior to World War Two, an Emperor without a male heir simply adopted one of his male cousins as his son. If the laws of the Imperial House were restored to their traditional  pre-1945 form there would be no problem with finding a male heir at all.

It seems that what the women of this forum do not comprehend, for one reason or another, is that the Imperial House gains most of its standing from the fact that it has descended in an unbroken male line for two thousand years. If a female would become the reigning Empress, the Imperial genetic line would be ended as a reigning Empress would not carry the Y chromosone that marks all males of the Imperial House, nor could she pass it on.

David

David_Pritchard

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2006, 11:27:11 PM »
What should be mentioned here is that Nikolai II did have many male heirs:

Mikahail Aleksandrovich
Kyril Vladimirovich
Boris Vladimirovich
Andrei Vladimirovich
Pavel Aleksandrovich
Dmitri Pavlovich
Nikolai Konstantinovich
Konstantin Konstantinovich
Ivan Konstantinovich
Konstantin Konstantinovich (younger)
Igor Konstantinovich
Dmitri Konstantinovich
Nikolai Nikolaevich (younger)
Petr Nikolaevich
Nikolai Mikhailovich
Mikhail Mikhailovich
Georgii Mikhailovich
Aleksander Mikhailovich
Dmitri Mikhailovich
Sergei Mikhailovich
and many others

What Nikolai II did not have is a male heir of the body, which in reality made absolutely no difference in the functioning of the Empire. There was no real reason to put the Empress Aleksandra under pressure other than the vanity of her husband.

David

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2006, 08:44:21 AM »
it's too bad that those laws were introduced for the women of the royal family of Japan. It would be easier to just adopt an heir from among cousins, and then not so much pressure. It is true that Nicholas had many male heirs, and it was more he wanted a son, his son, to be on throne, as most likely did Alexandra, given how she guarded Alexei's rights and all that. For various reasons male heirs have been desired throughout history, and in some places today, that still is true. Some reasons are more valid than others, but in every case, valid or not so much, anybody under this kind of pressure should be wished understanding from some people anyway.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by romanov_fan »

Offline Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Pressure for a boy; similar case in Japan
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2006, 11:38:38 AM »
Quote

It seems that what the women of this forum do not comprehend, for one reason or another, is that the Imperial House gains most of its standing from the fact that it has descended in an unbroken male line for two thousand years. If a female would become the reigning Empress, the Imperial genetic line would be ended as a reigning Empress would not carry the Y chromosone that marks all males of the Imperial House, nor could she pass it on.

David


Whoa there buddy.  You are way out of line with that women not comprehending comment.  I think most of us, myself included, are fully aware of the importance of the continued male line in imperial politics.

Believe me, there are plenty of stupid men out there on the boards who have trouble with comprehension.  Go pick on them.  Or better yet, do not single out one gender when you post a comment like the one above.  
Hindsight is 20/20.  When the myopic haze of of the present is lifted by the march of time we see it clearly as the past.  Sociology, psychology, anthropology.  They are all means of understanding that which came before.  History cannot stand alone.