Nothing has been so tragic about Japan’s “plight” in the last decade than the fitful mental health of Princess Masako, the Harvard-educated beauty who so beautifully personified Japan’s possibilities — and potential openness to the outside world — until being afflicted by a series of undisclosed “disorders” that have largely kept her from public view.
I have long assumed that Masako-sama suffered some sort of emotional breakdown after being finding herself “trapped” inside the maze of secrecy run by the Imperial Household Agency. Instead of being a potentially influence senior diplomat, she is, instead, sidelined as a “silent spouse” to the Crown Prince.
So it is worth noting that Kyoto News agency reports that, on her 49th birthday, the princess says “she is making efforts to recover with support from doctors and the public.”
You can read the full report here:
Like the social isolated hikikomori who have been the focus of much of my past work, Masako is another “victim” of the deeply embedded confinement of Japanese society.