The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

As a girl from the Soviet garden became the only modern empress in the world



In April of this year, a unique event occurred in the history of Japan: Emperor Akihito abdicated the throne. The chrysanthemum throne was taken by his son Naruhito, and his wife Masako became the empress - perhaps the most controversial, but bright and interesting member of the ruling family. They admired her, loved her, were disappointed in her, were sympathetic and jealous of her, and now they watch her even more closely than her husband.

Photo: video frame YouTube / Financial Times could not pass by the only empress in the world, besides with a rich background, and really wanted to introduce you to her closer.

Masako was born in 1963 in the family of a diplomat. Her father, Hisashi Owad, at one time served as president of the International Court of Justice. Thanks to my father's profession, the future empress from childhood was used to traveling the world. When the girl was 2 of the year, her family moved to Moscow, where Masako graduated from kindergarten. She received her secondary education in the USA. Next was study at Harvard, Oxford and Tokyo.

The years spent in the West did their job: instead of the obedience that Japanese girls imparted to then, Masako was distinguished by ambition and individualism. The diplomat’s daughter planned to follow in her father’s footsteps and was preparing to enter the Foreign Ministry service, but in 1986 she came to a reception in honor of Spanish Infanta Helena, where Prince Naruhito had to choose a bride for herself.

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They say that the heir to the throne fell in love with Masako at first sight, but the couple married only 6 years later. The girl’s candidacy did not suit the prince. The fact is that her grandfather Yutaka Egasira was involved in a major environmental scandal. He headed the corporation Chisso, which was engaged in the production of polyvinyl chloride. The company discharged waste containing methyl mercury into the sea. As a result, 43 man died: they ate poisoned fish.

But Naruhito managed to insist on his. Now it was necessary only to achieve the consent of the beloved. However, Masako had just settled at the Foreign Ministry, her marriage plans were not included. Moreover, a girl who grew up in the West and was accustomed to his manners was hardly ready to enter the imperial family and take responsibility for becoming the wife of the heir to the throne.

Photo: video frame YouTube / runtuyo

The prince’s choice twice refused him a marriage proposal, but agreed a third time. There is an opinion that Masako simply could not build the career of a diplomat she had dreamed about, and Narukhito could convince her that being a princess is also diplomacy, only slightly different. The heir to the throne saw that the girl was afraid of becoming part of the imperial family, but promised to protect her all her life.

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In 1993, the wedding took place. The citizens happily greeted the new princess: she knew foreign languages, dressed in the European manner, was smiling and active. Many Japanese women equaled her and hoped that Masako would be able to shake up the conservative imperial court like Princess Diana shook the British royal family. But something went wrong.

Gradually, the stylish wardrobe of the princess was replaced by traditional costumes, the smile on her face was sad, and the girl herself began to appear less and less in public. She really had to become a diplomat and seek a compromise between her own love of freedom and the traditionalism of the imperial family.

Someone says that the crowned relatives simply broke the once-vivacious girl. After the wedding, they began to demand that the heir be born soon. According to rumors, the emperor was personally interested in the daughter-in-law, whether her menses were going, and the paparazzi were on duty at the clinic, where the princess was tested. But pregnancy did not occur. In 1999, Masako miscarried, and in 2001 she finally gave birth to a daughter, Aiko.

But according to the law, only the man can take the Chrysanthemum throne, so the pressure on Masako continued: now they were waiting for her son to be born. Constant talk about the heir - both at court and among the people - led to the fact that the princess was diagnosed with reduced adaptation syndrome (severe form of depression). Since 2003, she has rarely appeared in public. As a result, her husband was forced to declare that the health of his wife was more important for him than the birth of her second child, and asked to treat the state of Masako with understanding.

Photo: video frame YouTube / Mark 1333

It is believed that in fact the imperial court as much as possible went towards the princess, but she was not enough. The girl could visit her family, skipping official events, and on the day of civil marriage she was allowed to wear a European white dress instead of the traditional kimono.

As for childbearing, after the miscarriage, Masako was very supportive of the empress, and after the birth of her daughter, the rulers did not bother her again with the question of the appearance of the heir. For her, they even wanted to change the law of succession, which would allow Hayko to take the throne, but his brother Naruhito had a son, so the reform did not take place.

Anyway, in 2018, Masako honestly confessed to her subjects that she did not feel very comfortable in the role of future empress, but she would try to fulfill her well for the sake of the happiness of her people. 1 May 2019, Narukhito took the Chrysanthemum throne, and while Masako successfully fulfills his promise.

Journalists have noticed that at official meetings Masako literally shines after years of seclusion.

Photo: video frame YouTube / Financial Times

Do you think it is easy to be an emperor or an empress?

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