Skip to main content



Princess Mako: The woman who gave up royal status to marry

Princess Mako and Kei Komuro


Image caption,

The couple met at university in 2012

In 2017, when Mako, then a Japanese princess, announced her engagement to a former classmate, Kei Komuro, she said he had won over her heart with "his bright smiles like the sun".

Related post:

The two had met five years earlier when they were both university students, and shared their plans to wed the following year. It meant the princess would become an ordinary citizen as female imperial family members forfeit their royal status upon marriage to a commoner.

Their smiles won over a country where the imperial family is closely scrutinised and its members are expected to be a guardian of traditions. The intense media coverage was mostly positive.

Two months later, the first reports emerged about an alleged money dispute between Mr Komuro's mother and her former fiancé, who claimed mother and son had failed to repay a debt to him. Some questioned whether Mr Kumoro could struggle financially in the future.

Public perception soured. With the official explanation that the couple needed more time to arrange their ceremony, their wedding ended up postponed.

Princess Mako speaking with her father, mother and sister before leaving her home


Image caption,

Then-Princess Mako speaking with her father, mother and sister before leaving for her wedding

The former princess, who is now known as Mako Komuro, is the first child of the current emperor's younger brother, Prince Akishino, and his wife, Princess Kiko. Born on 23 October 1991, she initially followed royal tradition and attended the elite Gakushuin school, where members of the imperial family usually study.

But she broke with custom by leaving the institution for her university studies. Ms Mako attended Tokyo's International Christian University, where she studied art and cultural heritage, and spent a year at the University of Edinburgh. Later, she earned a master's degree at the University of Leicester, an experience she said was "wonderful".

People close to Ms Mako described her as an independent and friendly woman who had pursued a career while performing imperial duties, a profile by Japan's Kyodo news agency said.

She first met Mr Komuro, who was also born in 1991, at a meeting of students planning to go abroad in 2012. His humble origins meant that tabloids spent a long time digging dirt on his family. Amid the scandal in 2018, he moved to New York to study law at Fordham University, and the couple reportedly kept in touch through the internet.

He only came back to Japan last September, a return that was not without controversy. Mr Komuro was dressed casually and sporting a ponytail, which for many was another proof that he was not fit to marry the then-princess.

Finally, in October, the couple got married. Ms Mako skipped the usual rites associated with a royal wedding, and turned down a traditional payment of about $1.3m (£940,000) given to a female member of the imperial family upon their departure from the household.

It was another break from tradition, as Ms Mako became the first woman to do so.

Questions over Mr Komuro's finances remain, despite him saying that the money at the centre of the reports - about $35,000 - had been a gift not a loan but that he would pay a settlement. At least one protest was held at their wedding day, which included placards saying "Protect our household" and "The imperial family is the soul of Japan".

The excessive press coverage as well as the relentless attacks on social media have had an impact on Ms Mako's mental health, and she is now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

At a news conference alongside her new husband after their low-key wedding, Ms Mako said the "incorrect" reports about Mr Komuro had caused her "great fear, stress and sadness".

"Kei is irreplaceable for me," she said. "For us, marriage is a necessary choice to live while cherishing our hearts."

Mr Komuro, who cut off the ponytail before the wedding, vowed to protect and support his wife. "I love Mako," he said. "I want to spend the only life I have with the one I love."

The couple are expected to move to the US, where Mr Komuro works as a lawyer. The move has drawn comparisons with British royals Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, earning the newlyweds the nickname "Japan's Harry and Meghan".

Ms Mako is expected to remain in Tokyo for some time preparing for the move, according to Reuters news agency. This includes applying for the first passport of her life.


Popular posts from this blog


  Hackers steal nearly $100m in Japan crypto heist IMAGE SOURCE, Liquid has been hit by hackers, with almost $100m (£73m) estimated to have been stolen. Leading Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid has been hit by hackers, with almost $100m (£73m) estimated to have been stolen.  The company announced that some of its digital currency wallets have been "compromised." It is the second major theft of cryptocurrencies to take place in recent days.                 Last week, digital token platform Poly Network was at the centre of a $600m heist. "WE ARE SORRY TO ANNOUNCE THAT #LIQUIDGLOBAL WARM WALLETS WERE COMPROMISED, WE ARE MOVING ASSETS INTO THE COLD WALLET," THE COMPANY SAID ON TWITTER. So-called 'warm' or 'hot' digital wallets are usually based online and designed to allow users to access their cryptocurrencies more easily, while 'cold' wallets are offline and harder to access and therefore usually more secure.                            

Countries Accepting Nigerians Seeking Second Citizenship

  Countries Accepting Nigerians Seeking Second Citizenship Nigerians are able to access the following citizenship and immigration programs: The Caribbean Second Citizenship Programs, Caribbean nations like St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Grenada offer second citizenship through their respective Citizenship-by-Investment programs. A holder of one of these passports may travel visa free to about 135 countries, including all European Union countries, the UK, Russia, Turkey, Singapore and Hong Kong. Holding a citizenship from one of these respected countries may also make it easier to obtain residency status or study in other countries, and allows political security and makes it easier to open bank accounts in foreign jurisdictions. To qualify, an applicant needs to be of good reputation and make a government donation of at least $100,000 USD after approval of their citizenship application.  Approval of a Citizenship-by-Investment application normally takes about 3 months, and all de


    Sharia Court Sentences Kannywood Actress To Six Months In Islamic School The actress, Sadiya Haruna was handed the sentence on charges of “indecent social media postings.” Credit: Instagram | Sadiya Haruna The actress, Haruna, a resident of Kabuga Quarters was initially arrested on Friday by the Head of Surveillance Department of Kano State Hisbah Board, Malam Aliyu Usman. She was then detained in the custody of the Islamic police until early Monday when she was brought before the Sharia court sitting in Sharada area of the state. According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed against her, she was alleged to have consistently posted indecent videos in which she was dancing seductively and making sexual comments on her social media handles and YouTube channel. The accused person pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of obscenity and indecent act, which contradicts section 355 of Penal Code Law 2000. The presiding judge, Justice Ali Jibril Danzaki thereafter convicted her a