Opinions

A classy Japanese imperial gesture


There are more royal sacrifices, Horatio, than mentioned in the annals of Buckingham Palace and Janpath. Take Mako Akishino, niece of Naruhito, emperor of Japan. The princess has gone one up on those tabloid acts of riches-to-rich rags from other parts of the world, and has really given up penny royalty for love. Mako has said thanks but no thanks to the ‘compensation gift’ given to members of the Japanese royal family who choose to marry outside the imperial gene pool – a pay cheque (read: dowry) worth ¥152.5 million. That’s about $1.4 million, or ₹10.2 crore – good drapes money.

The wedding, postponed in 2017 because of some pre-pandemic aristocratic snafu, is slated to be sometime end of the year and will be a quiet affair. The prospective groom is an aam aadmi called Kei Komuro, who plans to practise law in the US with to-be-commoner Mako by his side. Even the forfeiture of both title and send-off money that Mako was entitled to as she journeys into the big, bad salaried-class world is not a big splash in Japan, never mind elsewhere. Mako joins Catharina-Amalia of the Dutch royal family, who also rejected a dahej, of ₹14 crore, even though she’s kept the princess title. Wonder whether the Duke of Sussex and his missus will ever learn something from these noble houses about being truly class-mobile.



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