Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne

Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne
    Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne held But most of all, this is a story about a love affair that went tragically wrong."/>
  • Kindle Edition
  • 306 pages
  • Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne
  • Ben Hills
  • English
  • 15 December 2019

Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne❮Download❯ ➼ Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne Author Ben Hills – Essayreview.co.uk It s the fantasy of many young women marry a handsome prince, move into a luxurious palace, and live happily ever after But that s not how it turned out for Masako Owada Ben Hills s fascinating portra It s Prisoner of PDF/EPUB Ä the fantasy of many young women marry a handsome prince, move into a luxurious palace, and live happily ever after But that s not how it turned out for Masako Owada Ben Hills Princess Masako: MOBI :Á s fascinating portrait of Princess Masako and the Chrysanthemum Throne draws on research in Tokyo and rural Japan, at Oxford and Harvard, and from than sixty interviews with Japanese, American, British, and Australian sources many of Masako: Prisoner of PDF/EPUB À whom have never spoken publicly before shedding light on the royal family s darkest secrets, secrets that can never be openly discussed in Japan because of the reverence in which the emperor and his family are held But most of all, this is a story about a love affair that went tragically wrong.


About the Author: Ben Hills

Ben Hills Prisoner of PDF/EPUB Ä is a Walkley Award winning Australian investigative journalist and author.


10 thoughts on “Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne

  1. says:

    Interesting, especially if you don t know much about Japan s imperial family Certainly, Masako has a sad story that is generally kept hush hush But I had a lot of problems with it First, the author presents a lot of his own assumptions as fact, saying things like, We can surely assume he was thinking xxx I also noted many factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations The author talks about the Harvard campus as if it is some sort of lawless crazy town with ALCOHOL , when really it s pret Interesting, especially if you don t know much about Japan s imperial family Certainly, Masako has a sad story that is generally kept hush hush But I had a lot of problems with it First, the author presents a lot of his own assumptions as fact, saying things like, We can surely assume he was thinking xxx I also noted many factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations The author talks about the Harvard campus as if it is some sort of lawless crazy town with ALCOHOL , when really it s pretty much like any campus anywhere He also quotes someone from Pennsylvania University, which does not exist Is it Penn State University or University of Pennsylvania I m not suggesting it matters, but I was disturbed to see this kind of sloppy fact checking I only noticed this instance because I m from Pennsylvania and know this first hand What other inaccuracies did he cite in the book that I don t know enough to pick up on Made me wonder An interesting enough story, but take it with a grain of salt

  2. says:

    I have nothing but sympathy for this woman I lived in Japan during the years she was refusing him, and I remember both the anxiety over his refusal to marry anyone else and the euphoria when his younger brother married a pretty young woman, though that marriage increased the pressure on the heir to marry God, who would be a royal It seems like a really shitty gig to me No wonder she so emphatically didn t want it But here she is, trapped and miserable in a life she never wanted In the deca I have nothing but sympathy for this woman I lived in Japan during the years she was refusing him, and I remember both the anxiety over his refusal to marry anyone else and the euphoria when his younger brother married a pretty young woman, though that marriage increased the pressure on the heir to marry God, who would be a royal It seems like a really shitty gig to me No wonder she so emphatically didn t want it But here she is, trapped and miserable in a life she never wanted In the decade since this book was published, her situation hasn t changed much, though the emperor s looming abdication means she knows she ll be empress soon and she can t be looking forward to that.I really didn t like the tone of this book sneery and condescending and tabloidy nor the author s determined framing of Japan as exotic and strange and sclerotically backward looking, a version of the rigid and mysterious East, with all its strange rituals and foreign attitudes to the world, far removed from the modern world the rest of us live in, that I m astonished to encounter in this century He certainly makes Japan, and most of the people in it, seem both unlikeable and unknowable, very unlike the place I lived in and have such warm feelings about

  3. says:

    To begin, I must admit that I have spent a great deal of my time soaking up Japanese culture which has little to do with my heritage I have read countless articles about the subject of Crown Princess Masako and the of the struggle to find the next in line for the throne That being said, I was looking forward to reading this book My hope was to gaininsight on the life of Princess Masako and life in the palace If that is what you re looking for, but have studied enough Japanese history a To begin, I must admit that I have spent a great deal of my time soaking up Japanese culture which has little to do with my heritage I have read countless articles about the subject of Crown Princess Masako and the of the struggle to find the next in line for the throne That being said, I was looking forward to reading this book My hope was to gaininsight on the life of Princess Masako and life in the palace If that is what you re looking for, but have studied enough Japanese history and keep up with current politics of the country, you might be disappointed I was.The book isn t just about Princess Masako and her life inside the palace and up to that point The reader learns that Princess Masako has been around the world, moving from place to place as her father s job changes She has learned multiple languages, been educated in multiple countries, and spent a good deal of time outside her home country We learn she was career minded and wanted nothing to do with marriage, especially to the Crown Prince.The author speaks a lot about the Crown Prince as well We learn a bit about his time away from home to attend college The Crown Prince seems good natured in the descriptions given and seems to have fallen in love with Princess Masako at first sight It is here that we find the beginning of the story, which is told in somewhat flowery language I mused to in fiction than in non fiction.The author continuously points out the fact that the kunaicho Imperial Household Agency is the cause of much of the problems in Princess Masako s life In fact, at times, it almost feels as though the book is just as much about them as the Princess herself The author also never received any real information from the agency as it is closed off to much of the press except for what they want the world to know about the palace life.In fact, the author references people who seem to have said nothing much at all and gives us glimpses of hearsay that he sometimes dismisses as such A picture is painted of two different Maasako s from These glimpses into her past Those interviewed from her school and college days all tend to say the same thing she was a hard worker and they couldn t believe she gave up her career to marry the Crown Prince The other Masako is treated as being spoilt and given advances in her career she didn t deserve Many of the latter inferences, the author notes, come from people who may hold a grudge against Masako and have no real founding As far as other references, I noted that two of the online sources are not something I would ve ever, as a student, been permitted to use on a paper and that my college professor would cringe at seeing in the reference list here Thenotable of the two Wikipedia site that can be edited by anyone and is often found to have no factual base or actual references in some of their entries I m not even sure where these references were used since the author made no mention of these sites in his work.Setting that aside, if you don t know much about the imperial family of Japan and are looking for some insight, this book could be for you It was an okay read for me, but I didn t leant muchthan I already knew

  4. says:

    While the title and focus is Princess Masako, the book is really an introduction to and an analysis of the Japanese royal family Author Ben Hills, describes its position in Japan and how it compares and contrasts with the remaining reigning monarchies in the world The author has done a lot of homework and has produced a highly readable book.Perhaps the closest comparison to Masako s situation would be Princess Diana, but as Hills points out, this is not even close Diana was able to choose her While the title and focus is Princess Masako, the book is really an introduction to and an analysis of the Japanese royal family Author Ben Hills, describes its position in Japan and how it compares and contrasts with the remaining reigning monarchies in the world The author has done a lot of homework and has produced a highly readable book.Perhaps the closest comparison to Masako s situation would be Princess Diana, but as Hills points out, this is not even close Diana was able to choose her staff, such as her famously loyal butler author of A Royal Duty that shows his full support of Diana Masako s staff is free, since they inherit their positions, to undermine her, start whispering campaigns, and plant negative stories in the press This is not likely to change Diana chose issues and charities that might have horrified her in laws, but, as a spouse or former spouse, they could not stop her Diana, as nature would have it, performed the duty, producing not one but two direct line male heirs Masako has none of these advantages Even seeing her parents is an ordeal.This royal family, stripped of its power and most of its wealth after WWII, is beholden to the political power of the agency that manages them and their household While the general public might want to see apopular monarch, the monarchy itself derives its political support from the extreme right wing of Japanese politics, which wants to conserve the traditional ways The monarchs who live under this yoke receive the respectful bows of the staff, but in reality it is the monarchs who must grovel to the system Hills never points to this directly, but it is the only conclusion that can be drawn The power of this agency and the politicians that support it is shown in how this book has been banned in Japan.If you know about and understand Japan s monarchical system, this will not be the book for you But for the vast majority of English language readers who are interested in Japan there will be lot that is new I highly recommend this book

  5. says:

    Fascinating subject matter but rather boring in its execution Part of the problem is that the author doesn t get a good handle of Masako s character I never get the sense of her as a real person in Hill s writing She is simply portrayed as a highly educated but aloof individual who may or may not have been in love when she married her prince I say this because the author repeatedly points out how much he was in love with her and made her all of these promises e.g shielding her from the med Fascinating subject matter but rather boring in its execution Part of the problem is that the author doesn t get a good handle of Masako s character I never get the sense of her as a real person in Hill s writing She is simply portrayed as a highly educated but aloof individual who may or may not have been in love when she married her prince I say this because the author repeatedly points out how much he was in love with her and made her all of these promises e.g shielding her from the media that he couldn t keep I probably missed it but I never got the sense of what attracted her to him I also think what would have helped this book might have been a chapter on the history of the Japanese royal family and how their media and culture portrays them I thought the most interesting bits were when the author discussed Emperor Akihito s parents, especially his mother, Nagako, who vehemently opposed her son s marriage to a commoner, and the requirements in a potential empress e.g she had to be virgin, of pure Japanese blood, etc The part about the possible constitutional amendment to allow Princes Aiko to ascend the throne would have been really interesting except by this point, I got too tired and just skimmed it This is a shame because the subject matter isinteresting than whether or not Kate or her sister Pippa are fashion icons

  6. says:

    This is not a great book by any imagination and it was full of the author s imagination with little fact to back it up It s true that no one can get close enough to the Japanese royalty to get any real facts and his guesses seemed reasonable, it still bothered me that the author esteemed his own opinion so highly A LOT of speculation and conjecture His writing is erratic and the timelines hard to follow I did enjoy reading about some of the royalty history and about Masako s youth and life This is not a great book by any imagination and it was full of the author s imagination with little fact to back it up It s true that no one can get close enough to the Japanese royalty to get any real facts and his guesses seemed reasonable, it still bothered me that the author esteemed his own opinion so highly A LOT of speculation and conjecture His writing is erratic and the timelines hard to follow I did enjoy reading about some of the royalty history and about Masako s youth and life before becoming the princess, but not enough to recommend the book

  7. says:

    While the author wrote Masako was stripped of all of her freedom and now lives like a bird trapped yes trapped in a gilded cage He is only presenting his side of the story and they may not even be based on facts, just his assumptions I would like the author to answer a few questions, these questions have been raised by many times by local Japanese people Princess Masako is a commoner, so is her sister in law and the wives of the cousins Why the other women did not lock themselves up While the author wrote Masako was stripped of all of her freedom and now lives like a bird trapped yes trapped in a gilded cage He is only presenting his side of the story and they may not even be based on facts, just his assumptions I would like the author to answer a few questions, these questions have been raised by many times by local Japanese people Princess Masako is a commoner, so is her sister in law and the wives of the cousins Why the other women did not lock themselves up and feel trapped as she does why they have no adjustment disorder rather, they carry on all the official duties and attended many events, I copy here 2 example, her sister in law and the wife of her cousin Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishino, besides the official duties and public activities alongside His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino, assumed the role of Patroness of the Japan Anti Tuberculosis Association JATA in April 1994 As the Patroness, Her Imperial Highness attends various ceremonial events such as the Anti Tuberculosis National Convention, the Central Training Seminar for branch leaders of the National Federation of Community Women s Organizations for TB Control, the presentation ceremony of citations to donors, and meetings with specialists who participate in the international training courses on TB control Also, Princess Akishino assumed the role of the President of the Imperial Gift Foundation Boshi Aiiku Kai in October 2010 Her Imperial Highness attends its annual national conventions and has visited various regions to encourage the activities of community volunteers of Aiiku Han groups, which promote community networking in such areas as parenting support, and support for the elderly living alone Her Imperial Highness also attends the Regional Meetings and ceremonies of the Japanese Red Cross Society in her capacity as Honorary Vice President of the organization.Her Imperial Highness continues her studies in between her official activities Her Imperial Highness has mastered sign language as an important means of communication with persons with speech and hearing impairments, and attends the ceremony of Praising Mothers Raising Children with Hearing Impairments every year In recent years, Her Imperial Highness attended the 50th Conference of the Japanese Deaf Education Association on the subject of Further Advancing and Sharing Expertise in Enhancing the Quality of Education for Persons with Hearing Impairments , and visited Working Group Sessions for Junior High School and Senior High School Advanced Course classes on the occasion in 2016.In March 1995, Her Imperial Highness received a Master s degree in psychology Her Imperial Highness cares about supporting female researchers who restart research activities after childbirth and childcare care, and attends presentations by researchers supported by Research Fellowship for Young Scientists Restarted Post Doctoral fellowship of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Her Imperial Highness carries out research in areas related to health care, and was nominated as the Honorary Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in February 2009 In March 2013, Her Imperial Highness was granted Ph.D in psychology at the Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences, Ochanomizu University, for her thesis titled Knowledge, perceptions, beliefs and behaviors related to tuberculosis A study based on questionnaire surveys with seminar participants of the National Federation of Community Women s Organizations for TB Control and female college students The imperial household agencyExample of cousin Since the passing of His Imperial Highness the late Prince Takamado, Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado has carried on His Imperial Highness wishes and has continued to make efforts to foster international goodwill.In addition to her duties as an Honorary Vice President of the Japanese Red Cross and other positions that she already held, Her Imperial Highness accepted all of the Honorary Patron or Honorary President positions that were held by the late Prince in the hope that she would be able to continue carrying out his wishes These include the Canada Japan Society, the Japan Football Association and the Japan Lifeboat Institution.In March 2004, Her Highness succeeded Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan as Honorary President of BirdLife International, a global alliance of non governmental conservation organisations working inthan 120 countries With the establishment of the International Kyudo Federation in May 2006, Her Highness agreed to become its Honorary Chairman Her Highness is also the Honorary President of the Prince Takamado Memorial Foundation for Japan Korea Exchange.In June 2015, Her Imperial Highness was privileged to attend the wedding of His Royal Highness Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, Duke of V rmland, and Miss Sofia Kristina Hellqvist Bernadotte in Stockholm, Sweden In October 2015, Her Highness travelled to Poland to be present at the Warsaw Film Festival Japan Night She also attended the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition, which is held every five years, and revisited the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, which was opened by His Imperial Highness Prince Takamado together with President Lech Walesa in 1994.In July 2017, Her Imperial Highness visited Ireland on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the commencement of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan Her Highness paid a call on President Michael D Higgins and later launched the exhibition Preserved in Partnership Treasures of Japanese Art at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.In June 2018, Her Imperial Highness visited Russia In her capacity as Honorary Patron of the Japan Football Association, Her Highness offered her support to the Japanese national team by attending FIFA World Cup matches in Saransk and Yekaterinburg, and visiting the Team Base Camp in Kazan In her capacity as Honorary Chairman of the International Kyudo Federation, Her Highness attended the Russia Japan Kyudo K ry Embu Kai and Seminar in Yekaterinburg The Imperial household agencyBut when it came to Princess Masako, it only has one sentence Her Imperial Highness is also a sports and music lover, in particular tennis and skiing The Imperial household agencyQuestions have been raised by many Japanese people, if Princess Masako is not well enough to attend any official functions, how can she go for skiing and ride a horse for 5 hours The author said she has no money of her own, yet she goes to expensive restaurants, go shopping in Ginza. She did not attend the state funeral of her grandfather in law, emperor Showa, given the reason that it is summer Yet she attended her own grandfather s funeral together with the crown prince This is not the duty of a princess only, it is her duty as a grand daughter in law.When the author blames it on the Imperial system, he should explained first why other women in similar position as her do not have the same issues, rather they can carry out all the official duties, and can even go on to get a Ph.D Blame it on the imperial system or blame it on the character of the person

  8. says:

    This is one of the strangest books Kudos to the author for all the research, travel and interviews which must have taken a lot of time and effort to obtain and which were very thorough He also can be, quite obviously, an excellent writer But the first 100 pages of this book was absolutely torture I found myself ending each reading session in a bad mood The problem, for me, was that the book bordered on sensationalism and the author put too much of his own bias into his prose He was critica This is one of the strangest books Kudos to the author for all the research, travel and interviews which must have taken a lot of time and effort to obtain and which were very thorough He also can be, quite obviously, an excellent writer But the first 100 pages of this book was absolutely torture I found myself ending each reading session in a bad mood The problem, for me, was that the book bordered on sensationalism and the author put too much of his own bias into his prose He was critical of everything about Masako her family, upbringing, schooling, etc without being in a position to fairly judge And why judge anyway The reader just wants to know the issues so they can decide for themselves In addition, the Japanese monarchy was often, unfairly, compared to the British monarchy as if the British system was better when in fact, they re two different monarchies and cultures, neither of which is better than the other There were two chapters The Last Emperor, p 84 and By Royal Appointment, p 156 in a completely different font than the rest of the book With no explanation To single out chapters like that for a separate font, you d think it would be noted somewhere why they were presented that way and where they came from But this book does have a happy ending not for Masako, but for the reader After around page 100, the book which up until now sounds like it was written by a jilted lover, ramps up and delivers exactly what you were hoping for The bias is suddenly gone from the writing, the author reports objectively, and the reader begins to be allowed to make their own conclusions If I were the publisher, I d find a new editor, put out an updated edition The Crown Princess is now Empress , give it a new title and cover, and reissue it It s such a shame that this book has not yet reached its potential Mottai nai Until then, if this edition is the only one available to you, rip out the first 100 pages and start reading from there

  9. says:

    I rate this book 2 stars for content, 3 stars for interest The book is about Crown Princess Masako, married to Crown Prince Naruhito Much of the information in this book was acquired second hand and at times has a somewhat loose tabloid feel to it This is understandable since it s virtually impossible to obtain info on the secretive life of the Japanese royalty The thing that bothers me about this book is the author s blatant prejudice against the life and culture of the Japanese royalty I I rate this book 2 stars for content, 3 stars for interest The book is about Crown Princess Masako, married to Crown Prince Naruhito Much of the information in this book was acquired second hand and at times has a somewhat loose tabloid feel to it This is understandable since it s virtually impossible to obtain info on the secretive life of the Japanese royalty The thing that bothers me about this book is the author s blatant prejudice against the life and culture of the Japanese royalty I do not recall reading one single positive thing But maybe there really isn t anything The book held my interest because it opened my eyes to a subject I had absolutely no knowledge about I was dismayed to see how Masako, who was beautiful, talented, intelligent, accomplished, a champion soft ball player and avid skier, was stripped of all of her freedom and now lives like a bird trapped yes trapped in a gilded cage She cannot even see her parents when she wants to, and in fact, the first 3 years of her marriage, she was allowed to see them only 5 times She has no computer, no telephone, is virtually cut off from the outside world, and has to get permission to go anywhere She even needs to make an appointment to see her in laws Naruhito s parents Once, when asked about her main interest, she wrote about finding a bug on a leaf and taking care of it for a year It s no wonder she is in depression Read this book just to see what kind of life not to choose Real princesses do not have fairy tale lives

  10. says:

    Many parts of this book read like a tabloid Yes, Masako doesn t have a very easy life She had already rejected a marriage proposal from Haruhito, but later on she capitulated, and as such, had to give up the free life she led as a diplomat It s hard to not feel bad for her when you think about her former lifestyle and the kind of life she leads now, especially with her breakdowns I do wish that the Diet would change the rules of succession so that primogeniture would be equal, rather than ma Many parts of this book read like a tabloid Yes, Masako doesn t have a very easy life She had already rejected a marriage proposal from Haruhito, but later on she capitulated, and as such, had to give up the free life she led as a diplomat It s hard to not feel bad for her when you think about her former lifestyle and the kind of life she leads now, especially with her breakdowns I do wish that the Diet would change the rules of succession so that primogeniture would be equal, rather than male based, because it s terrible that she s so stressed over the pressure of bearing an male heir Even though Japan has advanced well socially and technologically, women are still set back in many parts A Prince isn t penalized for marrying an commoner, but a Princess loses her rank and status if she does like Haruhito s sister As interesting as this book might be for some people, there s not really much that s new in this book Most of the information here can be freely accessed and found elsewhere, and is presented here with abiased feel If you re really interested in this book, you re better borrowing it from a library or a friend, or simply doing your own research online

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