Japan's Princess Mako Celebrates Her Last Birthday as Member of the Imperial Family

Princess Mako of Akishino

Japan's Princess Mako turns 30 today and this is the last time she will celebrate her birthday as an imperial princess and member of the Japanese royal family.

She will going to wed her college sweetheart, who is a commoner, Kei Kumoro, later this month and will move to New York City with him after the wedding. Kumoro works as a lawyer in New York.

Princess Mako

Following the wedding, Princess Mako will reduce to a status of a commoner, strip of her royal title and will be removed as member of the imperial family. 

Rules of the Imperial Household of Japan states that an imperial princess marrying a commoner will lose her royal status and will be removed from the imperial family. She would not also represent the Chrysanthemum throne in any public events in a capacity of a royal.

Princess Mako with her sister, Princess Mako

It's somewhat very unrealistic since Japan had abolished the aristocracy in the country after World War II and other than members of the imperial family, everybody there is considered a commoner.

Not unless the imperial children will look for a bride or groom in foreign aristocracy, there's no way they could find an aristocrat in the Japanese soil for marriage.

The last imperial princess who lost her royal status for marrying a commoner was Mako's paternal aunt, now known as Sayako Kuroda.

Daughter of future Japanese emperor

Princess Mako is the eldest child of the reigning Crown Prince, Fumihito, Prince Akishino, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito whose only daughter, Princess Aiko, was disinherited because Chrysanthemum throne could not possibly be inherited by a female. 

The Akishino family. 
Crown Prince Fumihito, Crown Princess Kiko and their three children, Mako, Kako and Hisahito

Princess Mako's father and younger brother, Prince Hisahito, are the only heirs of the reigning emperor. She has a younger sister, Princess Kako.

Marriage controversy

On October 26, 2021, Princess Mako will wed her college sweetheart, Kei Komuro. They both attended International Christian University in Japan. A commoner, he was raised alone by his single mother.

In May 2017, they announced their engagement and expected to be married in November 2018. However, Komuro and his mother were embroiled in a financial dispute with his mother's former fiance.

The man insisted that Kei Komuro's mother should pay him back the expenses he spent during their engagement ceremony and in the course of their relationship. However, it was alleged that the money was spent on Kei Komuro's tuition fees.

Following the controversy, the imperial family and the public expressed disapproval on the marriage and Princess Mako's father urged Komuro to issue a public statement.

The intense media scrutiny made Princess Mako to suffer from Post-traumatic stress disorder. It was later announced the marriage will proceed on October 26, 2021 in a simple ceremony without the pomp and pageantry of royalty.

Princess Mako refused to accept the financial settlement offered by the Japanese government as a one-time payment for giving up her status of imperial princess. 

After the marriage, she will move to New York City where Kei Komuro worked as a lawyer in the New York-based law firm, Lowenstein Sandler LLP

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