Friday, February 03, 2006

The Imperial Lineage


Let me clarify this post by saying that for all the craziness that goes on in this country, I kinda like living here. It's not a bad country, really.

And before we continue, there are some other things that need a little clarification.

Japan is in a bit of a imperial succession crisis right now. The current crown prince and his wife were childless for quite a while. When news came out that she was pregnant, the media frenzy and unnatural pressure that resulted from it caused Princess Masako to miscarriage. She became pregnant a second time, and then was sent into hiding (for all intents and purposes). Keep her away from the press and there might actually be an heir produced.

Luckily, there was! Congratulations! It's a...

...girl. Aiko.

Wow, did this ever open up a whole new can of worms.

The possible successor to the throne is a woman (well, to be more specific, a girl)?

Most of the people in Japan seem to be okay with that idea. A lot of the politicians, on the other hand, aren't.

More on this can be found here.

Of course, the move to make it legal for a female to ascend to the Imperial throne is meeting with opposition. Which leads to quotes like THIS:

"If Aiko becomes the reigning empress and gets involved with a blue-eyed foreigner while studying abroad and marries him, their child may become emperor. We should never let that happen."
This is an actual quote from former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma. (More here and here. Scroll down and read the comments, too.)

Well, now. What a mess.

First off, and I'll start with the easy stuff, not all foreigners have blue eyes. Sometimes I think this must come as a shock. So if the young buck has green eyes, it's not a problem?

Second, ummm, are you her father? No. THEN SHUT THE HELL UP!

Third, if there is this big fear about her meeting some strapping young lad overseas and ruining your preciously pure bloodline (again, not true), why send her overseas in the first place? Gosh, she might actually STUDY in a foreign university. God knows a lot of studying doesn't happen at universities over here.

Fourth, this attitude is not limited to idiotic right-wing chauvinists in the government. This is an attitude a lot of foreigners have to deal with. Not so much the whole bloodline thing. Fathers don't want their daughters running off to some strange land with some blue-eyed foreigner. Or green-eyed. Or black-skinned. Or (add condition here).

Not everyone is like that, mind you. But it can be a pretty damn big obstacle to relationships if you find yourself in the unlucky position of having to deal with a father like that. Yeesh.

I complain. And yet, I'm still here.

Ahh, yes, but I am also single.


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