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Princess Masako The Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne
By Ben Hills
Paperback, 2006 , 306 pages, very good condition

"There are two families in Japan which you can never leave - The Yakuza (crime gangs) and the royal family..." Diana, Princess of Wales, had it easy compared with another lonely princess, Crown Princess Masako of Japan. A thoroughly modern woman in collision with an ancient and unreformed system, Masako is a brilliant woman who sacrificed her career to marry a love-struck royal, Crown Prince Naruhito. Ben Hills' 'Princess Masako' steals a fascinating look behind the Chrysanthemum Curtain' into the arcane world of the Japanese royal family. This dramatic portrayal of a modern-day oriental fairytale turned on its head details how Masako Owada struggles with the daily pressures of life in Japan's imperial court. Despite an Oxford and Harvard education, she has been subjected to the superstitious rites of the Royal Household Agency in the hope that she will produce a male heir and prevent the world's oldest dynasty from dying out; must address her husband as 'Mr East Wing'; and bow at 60 degrees to her parents-in-law.With every move monitored closely by an overbearing bureaucracy behind the walls of a palace modelled on Versailles, where her few officially sanctioned pastimes include writing sonnets, Masako's figure radiates despair as she tries to forge a modern life within the tightly controlled realm of the palace. Japan's royal dynasty, the world's oldest with a 2600-year history faces an uncertain future if Masako and her Crown Prince Naruhito cannot produce a male child - but, after thirteen years of marriage, both are in their forties and have only a daughter, little Aiko, reportedly born with the help of IVF. Inevitably, the strain has had an enormous impact on Masako. She is plagued with illnesses of all kinds, although the royal palace will not admit it. There have also been whispers that the marriage is not 100 per cent happy, though no royal has ever divorced in Japan's history. Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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