Japanese Princess Weds Commoner

She did it for love.

On Tuesday, October 26, former Japanese Princess Mako’s prolonged four-year engagement finally came to a rather understated end, with merely a “marriage document … submitted by a palace official” to mark her union to Kei Komuro, a commoner who works at the New York branch of law firm Lowenstein Sandler. 

Upon doing so, Emperor Naruhito’s eldest niece, in keeping with Japanese law, “[relinquished] her royal title”; neither will “any children she has … be in line to the throne.” She can never renege on this decision.

The law of “the world’s oldest monarchy” also prohibits commoners from staying in imperial residences. So, cameras caught the new Mrs. Mako Komuro bidding farewell to her parents and younger sister Kako before leaving Akasaka Estate in Tokyo, her home of 30 years.

The absence of pomp and circumstance comes as a result of a tempestuous few years for the newlyweds, who met while attending college at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. The media and Japanese public heavily censured Kei after finding a skeleton in his closet: His mother, Kayo Komuro, had been accused of fraud. Her former fiancé said the ¥4 million—upwards of $35,000—had been a loan; she insisted it was a gift, with some having been used to fund Kei’s education. Consequently, her son was “branded … a gold digger or a grifter,” and the royal wedding, set for November 2018, was put on hold.

This storm of disappointments, however, did not dampen the hopes of the young lovers. “Their feelings never wavered even once,” confirmed Mako’s parents, Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, in an official statement.

“Encouraged [by Mako] … to ‘establish a life overseas,’” Kei traveled stateside to attend Fordham University’s School of Law in New York City, from which he recently graduated this past May. As for the money in question, Kei drew up a lengthy document promising to pay a settlement to his mother’s ex.

Their recent nuptials produced a divided response. In view of the outcry, Mako “turned down a royal dowry worth about $1.4 million,” which would have been paid out of taxpayers’ pockets.

YOLO

The young couple furthermore rented out with their own money a conference room at a local hotel to hold a tightly controlled press conference, at which they each read statements and answered previously submitted questions from reporters.

“To me, Kei is irreplaceable. Our marriage is a necessary step for us to be able to protect our hearts,” Mako said.

“I love Mako. We only get one life, and I want us to spend it with the one we love,” said Kei.

Both condemned the negative press over the years as “one-sided [rumors]” and “false accusations.”

The rigid conditions of the press conference itself were brought about by Mako’s tenuous mental health. She “was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) earlier this year,” a result of the strained engagement process, and thus made very clear to the press, “What I would like is to just lead a peaceful life in my new environment.”

That “new environment” will be the life that Kei had, by her counsel, set up in New York. The erstwhile royal is currently awaiting the issuance of her very first passport while staying in a non-royal residence in Tokyo. With “a master’s degree in art museum and gallery studies” and even five years on the job at a museum, she should have adequate opportunity for a career in America.

The institution she leaves behind, however, isn’t looking as promising. News outlets have caught on to what appears to be the potential collapse of Japan’s monarchy. Strict adherence to the patrilineal throne has seen a rapid dwindling of successors. Unless a miracle happens or laws are changed, the future of the royal line rests squarely upon the shoulders of Mako’s brother, 15-year-old Prince Hisahito, and his ability to produce a male heir.

The Greatest Act of Love

Some have disparaged former royalty for choosing love over country, abandoning duty for romance. But for Christ it was His love for mankind that led to His sacrificial duty. He left His throne in the heavenly kingdom, “taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). He lived a life of poverty and persecution, “has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4), ultimately to die upon the cross for our sins. 

 

And for Christ His mission did not end there. What His sacrifice really did was to make us eligible members of the greatest royal family in the universe, the heavenly imperial line: He “has made us kings and priests to His God and Father” (Revelation 1:6). We did not drag Him down to our level; by His blood He elevates us into a position we least deserve, “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). Promises our God, “I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD” (Hosea 2:20).

For a deeper look at the demonstration of Christ’s love for us, we offer our free, online message, “Christ’s Death and the Law.”

Though He will forever wear the evidence of those nails in His hands and feet and the sword in His side, it is because of those scars, the scars of His sacrifice, that Christ will ultimately ascend to become “King of kings” (Revelation 17:14). “You are worthy …, for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood” (5:9) is the praise that will ring out in the heavenly courts.

It’s true that “you only live once.” But the real question is: What will you do with the gift of eternal life that Christ offers you?

Kris W. Sky
Kris W. Sky is a writer and editor for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.
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