I am really rooting for Princess Mako and Kei Komuro. Mako seems like a sweetheart and Kei seems like a very modern man. They had to wait ten years and countless melodramas before they could get married this week in Tokyo. Their wedding was not some glamorous affair – they simply went to some registrar’s office and had a very simple civil ceremony. Mako’s parents didn’t even go to it. Neither did her sister. No one is saying whether or not Kei’s family was there. It definitely feels like these two are all alone in the world, without much familial support in either direction. And now their grand adventure begins: they will move to New York shortly. And they will live in a one-bedroom apartment!
Princess Mako and her new husband are going to leave Japan and reportedly live together in a one-bedroom New York City apartment after she gave up her royal title and left her family’s imperial estate in Tokyo.
The couple are planning to move into an apartment together in Tokyo before moving to the U.S. and living in New York City where Komuro works as a lawyer at the New-Jersey based law firm Lowenstein Sandler LLP.
Mako, who previously lived in the imperial residence of Akasaka Estate in Tokyo, and her new husband are planning to rent a one-bedroom apartment which they would finance themselves, reports Japanese broadcaster NHK. The cost of rent for a single bedroom apartments in New York’s most sought after neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in lower Manhattan, ranges from $3,000 (£2,200) to $11,000 (£8,000) per month.
Mako declined the offer of 140million yen (£890,000) payment to which she was entitled for leaving the imperial family, palace officials said, and is expected to find a job in New York. She is the first imperial family member since the Second World War to not receive the payment and chose to do so because of criticism of the marriage.
Mako and Komuro’s ceremony, which was met with protests, was held behind closed doors on Tuesday without any of the pomp and pageantry of other Japanese royal weddings, which traditionally include a reception and banquet. Her aunt and uncle, the reigning Emperor and his wife, also enjoyed a parade through the streets of Tokyo on their wedding day. Mako’s nuptials were a far more solitary affair. The princess, simply dressed in a blue frock with a bunch of white flowers, bade farewell to her parents, Crown Prince Akishino and mother Crown Princess Kiko, with a bow outside their residence at Akasaka Estate early Tuesday, before sharing a hug with sister Princess Kako, 26.
I’m glad that she plans to look for a job too! I wonder if they’re going to put off starting a family for a year or two, just so they can get used to their new life together in New York. If I was in her place, it would have been hard to say no to that money, just as a nest egg and emergency fund to set up my new life. But maybe she – correctly – believed that if she took the money, her family and the Japanese people would still feel some ownership of her and her life. So she’s leaving Tokyo with little more than some suitcases full of clothes, I would imagine. My guess is that they’ll both be fine with moving into a one-bedroom apartment too. There will probably be some culture shock in general, but then they’ll begin to enjoy the grand adventure.
Photos courtesy of Getty.