Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Guess Imperial Men Like A Certain Kind Of Woman

I never noticed until now, but the announcement of the engagement of Princess Noriko to the heir to the chief priest at Izumo Taisha has highlighted a borderline manic sameness in the personal names of the women of the Imperial House, three of whom are commoners and whose naming was thus not bound by any rule overt or covert of the Imperial Household Agency:

Princess Yuriko (90)
Her Majesty Empress Michiko (79)
Princess Hanako (73)
Princess Hisako (60)
Princess Nobuko (59)
Crown Princess Masako (50)
Princes Kiko (47)
Princess Akiko (32)
Princess Yoko (30)
Princess Tsuguko (28)
Princess Noriko (25)
Princess Ayako (23)
Princess Mako (22)
Princess Kako (19)
Princess Aiko (12)

This seems to indicate that if you are a woman of a certain young age and your name does not end in ko (子 - "child")) -- which, given the naming preferences for girls nowadays, is virtually everyone (Link - J) -- relax, you are probably off the hook as a potential future bride for third-in-line-for-the-throne Prince Hisahito (7).*

As regards the wedding, with the Senge capturing a Yamato lineage female, liberating her of her noble rank and, if all goes as planned, producing future celebrants of the rites to Okuninushi no mikoto bearing the Senge surname, the persons much better to email than me would be Kenneth Ruoff (Link) as regards matters pertaining to the Imperial Household and Sarah Thal (Link) as regards the Senge and their efforts to boost their side's version of Japan's originating myths to symbolic equality with those of Ise Shrine and the Yamato Line.

By the way, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has been spending a lot of time talking about Womenomics and increasing opportunities for women in government and the workplace. Has anyone asked him his feelings these days about eliminating the sexism in the imperial succession rules, making it possible for women to reign as emperors?

* Then again, who am I am to point out the name obsessions of others? The eldest male child in my maternal grandfather's line had been named "John" for as far back as church records go until my mother, named "Joan" in an hopeful attempt keep the tradition alive despite a first born's inexplicable decision to be female -- emphatically ended centuries of practice by naming me Michael.

No comments: