Wednesday, September 06, 2006


It's a Boy!

No, our family is not expanding, however the Japanese Imperial Family welcomed a son into the world today. While others are breathing sighs of relief, I breathe a sigh of exasperation. The country was on the verge of changing its constitution to allow a female to ascend the throne. This would have meant an improvement in status for all women in Japan. It is no longer to be; a male heir has been produced.
It was exciting to be a part of the buzz. All the morning news programs centered on the topic. During a mid-morning phone conversation with a friend, she informed me that the baby was male and we shared our mutual disappointment. As I walked through the aquarium with Sam, we watched workers construct a display in honor of the new royal in a section dedicated to the present Emperor’s research. The mothers were discussing the topic as we waited to pick up our daughters from school and the focus of conversation was on Crown Princess Masako and the implications of the birth for her. Interestingly, the consensus seemed to be that it would increase pressure upon her to produce a male heir, whereas I had thought that it would relieve pressure since a male heir now exists. When we passed through the station, copies of a special edition extra that had been printed were being handed out, complete with one page reporting on the event in English.
It would have been so interesting to watch the nation evolve had she given birth to a girl. Now it will be business as usual until the next catalyst for change comes along. Who knows, maybe Mina or Sam will shake the nation up somehow. But I think I’ll put my money on Aiko-sama, the would-be Empress.

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