Royal Succession

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Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:54 pm

Chiaki-san

I recently read on Wikipedia that the current crown prince of Japan, Prince Naruhito, has a daughter (I think her name was Aiko). He has no sons. His younger brother, however, Prince Akishino, has a son (named Hisahito). So, the controversy is who is to succeed the throne after Crown Prince Naruhito dies? His daugter, Aiko, or his nephew, Hisahito. I read this on Wikipedia, so it's not the most reliable source. lol. It said that according to the The Imperial Household Law of 1947, the throne should go only to males. Some lawmakers in Japan want to change that, so that women could inherit the throne. I was just wondering what are your opinions on this. Would you support changing the law, so that women could inherit the throne, or would we just stick to old traditions? :)

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:54 pm

Iyolin

The debate was going on while I was there (2003-2006), and people were quite interested and willing to have a female "on the throne", so to speak. Some were disappointed when his younger brother had a son, as the government (as I understand it) was close to passing the law, and likely would have if Aiko didn't have a younger male cousin. I think their understanding was that there used to be Empresses, so it's not like it's a whole new thing for the country, in addition to the fact that the monarchs don't really do anything (sort of like the Queen of England). They're figureheads and make visits and build relations, but they're not ruling the country any longer and have little political influence.

I think it would have been very exciting.

I may have that opinion, though, as England has had kings and queens, so I'm not really partial to either. (I'm Canadian.)

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:55 pm

Red Robin

I think it's the business of the Japanese people. After all, in the UK, a woman can only sit on the throne if all male options have been exhausted. In other words, a female comes to the throne only to prevent a constitutional crisis, and until very recently in British history, the female would only retain control of the throne if she remained unmarried, as marriage would ensure her husband became the king and primary monarch, even if she remained ruler in name (ie, a regent for his powers, in effect).

The Japanese go one step further and ban females from the throne entirely - although that wasn't always the case (in times past, I believe women could come to the throne in a similar manner to the UK, ie, the female is basically the final solution, not the first choice and may be superceded by her husband's authority when she gets married).

Speaking as a subject to a monarchy that does not view the succession of males and females in an equal manner, I can hardly speak on the pros and cons of succession equality in other kingdoms and empires. After all, the same debate on equality of succession exists within Britain and, if we ever got a vote on the matter, while I assume I'd vote in favour of equal succession, I've honestly got no idea of how I'd vote until I saw the questions.

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:55 pm

Tentomushi

There's is the "who's next" problem. There is no aristocracy in modern Japan, like there is in England, no "prince of Edinburgh" for her to marry. If she married, she would have to choose among commoners and a commoner's son cannot become the next Emperor.

In my opinion, it was a blessing for Aiko-sama to have a male cousin born. Choosing next Empress won't probably be such a terrific business as choosing a crown prince would be. Remember that there is much more pressure on the royal family members in Japan than in western countries. Just think how hard it has been for Princess Masako and yet no scandal, no sobbing in interviews, no tabloid-befittong news. It would never have been allowed.

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:56 pm

Chiaki-san

Empress Michiko was the first commoner to be empress I think. I heard somewhere (don't remember where), that her mother-in-law didn't give her much of a break. I guess nobles like to stick with their own.

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:56 pm

Rahmenhandlung

Tentomushi wrote:
In my opinion, it was a blessing for Aiko-sama to have a male cousin born.

I thought quite to the contrary that it's a shame that the little guy is, well, a guy-- the bone-headed geezers at the Kunaichou REALLY need to get a grip on reality. Dude. Toshinomiya's mother was a commoner, so what should it matter if she marries a commoner and bears his children? When things reach the point where they start to suggest re-instating concubines (and that was the father of young prince Hisahito) so that the successor to the throne may have more shots at having a son, I see something wrong with the situation. And then, of course, there's the little comments passed off as "jokes" as soon as the public reacts with outrage: Toshinomiya might want to study abroad, what if she --gasp-- falls in love with and/or marries a foreigner? Because that could clearly nevaaaah happen to a virtuous prince to the crown. SIGH. Also, pressuring Masakosama to bear a boy child, wtf. Like it's her chromosomes that decides whether the kid turns out XX or XY.

Princess Takamatsu was in favour of a female successor. I think that HIH the Emperor and HIH the Empress wouldn't mind, and why should HIH the Crown Prince mind? Again, I think they're fighting windmills. At some point, they'll have to realise that there's no way of keeping things as they were, so why not start to work on a compromise now?

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:57 pm

Red Robin

Tentomushi wrote:
There's is the "who's next" problem. There is no aristocracy in modern Japan, like there is in England, no "prince of Edinburgh" for her to marry. If she married, she would have to choose among commoners and a commoner's son cannot become the next Emperor.


Well, England (just like Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) isn't a sovereign nation so it (technically) doesn't have any aristocracy, either - the UK, however, does. :)

The "Duke of Edinburgh" is an artificial title, not a genuine dukedom. It was created for reasons of aristocratic politics and is bestowed during such times when a very prominant member of the Royal Family requires a relevant title because they have none of their own at the time they need it. It's been used only three times in history, with Prince Philip being the fourth. After him, it'll merge back into the crown and be lost until the next time there's a consistitutional reason for a Royal to borrow it from the crown.

Quote:
Empress Michiko was the first commoner to be empress I think. I heard somewhere (don't remember where), that her mother-in-law didn't give her much of a break. I guess nobles like to stick with their own.


I've heard Empress Michiko was a commoner too.

I'm afraid it does seem to be the case that aristocrats stick with their own, and even within that, the Royal Family sticks with its own too. In the UK, Princess Diana was called a "commoner" by the media, because that's how she was regarded by the Royals. However, it's the same use of the word that applies in The Tale of Genji. The Royal Family regards everyone outside the family as "commoners", even if they're high-ranking aristocrats descended from kings. Princess Diana was never a commoner because she was from a high-ranking aristocratic family that was descended from kings, just like Genji "the commoner" was really a fourth-ranked aristocrat who was the son of an emperor.

I've read reports that the Japanese have been considering reinstating their aristocracy. They know the families that would be regarded as such, or the surviving ones at any rate, but I definitely remember news reports where the subject of reinstating the aristocracy has been considered.

Quote:
Also, pressuring Masakosama to bear a boy child, wtf. Like it's her chromosomes that decides whether the kid turns out XX or XY.


Traditionally, the pressure for bearing a son always falls onto the woman, sadly. Even though genetics has proven that the male chromosome has to come from the father, even now research in Europe and America is saying that a woman's diet and lifestyle can impact whether she gives birth to a son or daughter (wealthy, pampered lifestyle equals a higher chance of a son; poverty-stricken, hard lifestyle equals a higher chance of a daughter), which means even in this day and age of genetic knowledge, the woman is still being blamed for the sex of the child she gives birth to.

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:57 pm

Iyolin

As someone who studies genetics, I find the pressure on a woman ridiculous (given what we know now, of course; I see no reason why they should have thought it otherwise years and years ago, if the baby comes from the mom, the assumption could be made that she had something to do with it). Although putting pressure on a male isn't going to do anything, either - it's not like he can choose which sperm fertilizes the egg.

If it were that big of a deal, why not go for IVF and only implant the male zygotes? Or would using artificially fertilized eggs be against some rule or belief?

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:57 pm

Red Robin

Quote:
As someone who studies genetics, I find the pressure on a woman ridiculous


You're not the only one. What amuses me the most when considering these research conclusions regarding female lifestyles affecting the sex of the offspring and the Japanese succession in the same breath, there is one obvious conclusion: the amount of stress placed on a woman to bear a male heir is going to predispose her body to carry a female to term but not a male.

It's sort of like treating cows badly before killing them for meat, which results in a stressed cow and therefore tough, rather than tender, meat.

It's cutting off the nose to spite the face.

That's before getting into the subject of how accurate research like this really is in the first place, of course.

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:58 pm

American Taikomochi

No matter what the Imperial Agency tries to do times are changing. I think it is time for an Empress. I know that it is no one group of people business except for the Japanese but I still think that it is high time for a Japanese Empress. :] =D :) :kawaii:

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:58 pm

Murakami

When the current emporers daughter married, she was required by law to renounce her royal standing and became a commoner.

I believe the same would hold true if Aiko sama married, regardless of her position and wouldn't that create a constitutional crisis on its own.

The redoing of the laws in 1947 mandated a male heir, and did away with the other nobility that had formerly been the 'breeding ground' of royal spouses. It is a constitutional question to change those laws. Since there is currently a 'royal male
to stand in line, I think the question is no longer moot.

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:59 pm

Musashi

Hisahito will be the one after Naruhito.

Though, the whole issue is not over. There are so many "what if"s possible.

What if Hisahito pulls an Edward? "I'm going to marry this dancer! Bye folks!"

What if he's homosexual?

Which brings up an interesting scenario. Some people screamed at the "What if Aiko falls in love with a foreigner and then we'd get a foreigner on the throne?!"

What if Hisahito is homosexual and falls in love with an Afro-American?

Oh yeah, swallow that backwards-thinking "traditionalists".

There have been Japanese empresses who actually ruled.

But ultimately it's not important. The Imperial Family plays no role in the lives of most Japanese. Their status is even lower than the status of those useless "royals" in Europe. They're a tourist attraction, like a monkey in a zoo. Poor bastards actually.

Aiko can be glad. One day she's going to marry out of this nonsense.

It's a dying institution. And the emperor is NOT the symbol of Japan. There are more important things that symbolize Japan than a title based on one ancestor who was ruthless enough to claim being offspring of a goddess.


Note to self: do something like that as well.

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:59 pm

Red Robin

Quote:
It's a dying institution. And the emperor is NOT the symbol of Japan. There are more important things that symbolize Japan than a title based on one ancestor who was ruthless enough to claim being offspring of a goddess.


Sounds a bit like the UK's situation. Of course, the British monarch was forced to renounce its divine mandate a little earlier than the Japanese emperor (by a couple of centuries). It's not out for the count just yet, however.

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:00 pm

Musashi

Yup. The systems are very similar. Even when it comes to parliament and Prime Minister. Just that the Japanese emperor has even less power than any European equivalent. Most people I run into just don't care. Masako's problems, Aiko, that's yellow press fodder. Just like in Europe. I'm really waiting for the yellow press headline "Oh no! Princess Masako has to eat when she's hungry!"

Some of the "traditionalists" (I call them "forever in the past" people) argue that the emperor is the symbol of Japan. But ask people outside of Japan about the first thing that comes to their minds. It's not the emperor. It's usually Mount Fuji, geisha, samurai, robots, Toyota, Playstation, sushi and earth quakes. Personally I think if there's one symbol of Japan... it's Mount Fuji. It's so unique, you can recognize that mountain at once. Emperors come and go, they can even be replaced if they're annoying, as history proves. Mount Fuji has been there longer than any emperor. Longer than all Japanese emperors counted together.

And as I said, I have no respect for "royals". I'm fiercely democratic.

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Re: Royal Succession

Post by IG Team » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:00 pm

azusa

Sad to say, if Hisahito is homosexual, he will still be expected to marry a female and provide male heirs. This is a fairly common situation in "commoner" families in Japan, as well -- the son/daughter is still expected to marry and provide children.

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