Empress Masako and the pressure of Japan's throne - BBC News

  • Published on Oct 22, 2019
  • Empress Masako is only the second woman to become empress of Japan, after her husband Naruhito took the Chrysanthemum Throne.
    The pressures of royal life took a considerable toll on her and she struggled publicly with mental health, but now seems to be getting to be getting a chance to put her extensive diplomacy skills to use.
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Comments • 290

  • Collective Consciousness

    Meanwhile, in the UK of once-Great Britain...

  • 焼酎甲類
    焼酎甲類 3 days ago +2

    In the past, there was friction between her and the Imperial Office.
    He publicly made a statement to protect her.
    The public was surprised.
    And we thought he was the best husband.

  • Isobell Mahree
    Isobell Mahree 5 days ago

    She would be a hero if she ran a nation wide massive campaign through all the prefectures towns and islands about why mental health care is something that you shouldn’t be ashamed of or feel bad about going. Everyone needs a little help sometimes.

  • Fritz Vila
    Fritz Vila 5 days ago

    She is beautiful

  • Vance L. Gilmore
    Vance L. Gilmore 5 days ago

    Mental health issues do not necessarily mean mental illness. I do wish i understood more of Japanese Imperial culture. The new Empress appears to be poised to fulfill Her destinies. She has beautifully shaped eyes.

    SHAWN MICHAEL Duncan 8 days ago +2

    How come we never about Japan's royal family. Its always about the dysfunctional British Royal family.

  • Doris Elsa Gama
    Doris Elsa Gama 9 days ago

    They are a lovely couple. I know my Princess Masako will be the best royal.

  • Doris Daumann
    Doris Daumann 9 days ago

    I always feel sorry for this nice woman - she got so much under pressure that she had got a depression , stopped talking and stayed behind the palaces walls for years ...
    Her husband always has been at her side - and I hope she is now strong and secure enough to fulfil her role ... Good luck and strength , Your Majesty !! 🌹
    With love from Germany !! 💟

  • zszs22334455
    zszs22334455 9 days ago

    Who is this shallow ignorant ugly asian reporter?Looks so stupid, hahaha.

  • C
    C 10 days ago +7

    If anything, the emperor really stood by her all these years and protected her from the pressures of the emperial household agency. She will do great and is already in her element.

  • Luke Sky
    Luke Sky 11 days ago

    Sit around, smile to the crowd, collect your huge welfare check, everything around you bought by the hard work of your citizens... yeah, life of royalty must be hard.
    The only time royal life is bad is when the citizens wake up and realize that they are being conned.

  • Nano Yoga
    Nano Yoga 11 days ago

    I feel very bad for her, she’s obviously very intelligent and has had to change her destiny to be with the man she loves. I hope she can get out of the shackles of the imperial system and regain some of her confidence!

  • Alex O
    Alex O 12 days ago

    Women marrying into Japanese royalty do not whinge about "pressures", unlike British royalty

    • Cam C
      Cam C 12 days ago

      yes they do. Did you watch the video?

  • Patchwork Girl
    Patchwork Girl 13 days ago

    My goodness. I had no idea the Japanese royals were quite so diminutive...Melania towers over both. Nevertheless the Emperor and Empress present themselves with great dignity and panache.

  • NotContinuum
    NotContinuum 13 days ago +1

    I would love to see her make it her mission, if possible, to combat the stigma surrounding mental illness in Japan. Mental illness has such a profound impact on society and must be faced like any other illness, less it lead to tragedy.

  • Shiao
    Shiao 13 days ago +3

    shame on this misogynist country for ruining such a wonderful woman!!!

  • Krento
    Krento 15 days ago +1

    SHUT UP FEMINIST ! Your shit ideology doesn't belong in Japan, nor anywhere else

  • Alex Lao
    Alex Lao 15 days ago


  • GADCL4
    GADCL4 15 days ago

    Must be rather chilly in the studio...

  • Synthcope Breakbeat
    Synthcope Breakbeat 15 days ago

    Hi, to relax from all this pressure, I just made a musical video about Japan:
    ..for those who love Japan and breakbeat! Thanks for the visit :)

  • gijsbertha61
    gijsbertha61 16 days ago +2

    Who would not get depressed if you vannot live the life you want to live. Great respect for Empress Masako. She was very happy visiting the Netherlands.

  • Maomao Lim
    Maomao Lim 16 days ago

    This reporter is just plain dumb. She obviously didn’t read up. Another Trumpian

  • ミゲルルイス
    ミゲルルイス 16 days ago

    Sorry BBC. Now I remember that a baby monkey new born in Takasakiyama Japan was named after Charlotte - the first daughter of William and Catherine - then it was criticised by the british media such as BBC, Telegraph and others. And the zoo apologised it but remarkable is that the british royal family announced they didn't mind the naming.

  • haneul ishika
    haneul ishika 16 days ago +1

    she is pretty until now and you can see her pretty now at her princess 🥰

  • Memek Junior
    Memek Junior 16 days ago +87

    The emperor loves his empress so much.

    • Avid Kafka
      Avid Kafka 15 days ago +10

      He does. It is so sweet.

  • LostMoon
    LostMoon 17 days ago +6

    The reporter says, "Japan" in neither British or American English correctly. So #weird

  • 日本人日本人
    日本人日本人 17 days ago


  • Hades Hades
    Hades Hades 17 days ago +3

    The Feminism is in fact attacking women, not all women want to be in the front of the battle that’s why the muscle men’s exist is to protect her to support her while he is fighting, and this forms change much these days.
    So it’s ok to have women in the power but is also ok to keep women protected from this ugly world. And women’s in fact knows it and use the men for it but then this feminism came saying women have the same muscle as men then OK then go there and fight agains this ugly world for your family then.
    Guys will now be at home cooking and washing ( oh my god I really want that to happen ...... any strong butch women want to marry me ? I cook I wash I clean with pleaure )

  • vinny4257
    vinny4257 17 days ago +23

    She is a wonderful woman and will make a incredible empress!!!

  • To Be Honest
    To Be Honest 18 days ago

    Life is so hard!
    What a load of 💩

  • Toshiharu Hira Sugioka
    Toshiharu Hira Sugioka 18 days ago +1

    Thank you.

  • Lydia Dani
    Lydia Dani 18 days ago +39

    I love empress Masako, she's the epitome of beauty, elegance, and intelligence.

  • Koko Davis
    Koko Davis 18 days ago +33

    It has been extremely tough on Masako Sama , but Emperor Naruhito stood by her all this time and now she is supporting him as new Emperor
    Just goes to shoe Love is very strong between them .

  • Ramon Lopez
    Ramon Lopez 18 days ago +4

    it's like meghan markle. Masako grew up in the states, she went to public high school, became student president and went to Harvard after. Then, you suddenly become a wife from royal family where, you have to live like a stone age where women can not say anything, and being bullied by the royal court for having a american personality.

    • Unan1mouz
      Unan1mouz 15 days ago

      @Ramon Lopez Very good response Ramon. Unlike all these idiots...

    • Ramon Lopez
      Ramon Lopez 15 days ago +3

      @Ana Marie Vivero
      Both admittedly suffering “adjustment disorder”, I mean it’s a fact. This is the problem, people like you connate on the prestige and traditional values and I’m pretty sure Masako is probably much more successful than MM, due to her extensive Harvard education. But you can’t ignore that they are still HUMAN BEING, these two MODERN WOMEN are being thrust into a Stone Age culture, and people like you, ignore the fact that these princesses are still human and prone to mental health, issues. Something has to change, and I am glad both women are talking about it.
      So, if your biggest issue is that Masako and MM are incomparable... Guess what. They are still human beings and prone to the same mental issue that every living person on earth experienced.

    • Ana Marie Vivero
      Ana Marie Vivero 16 days ago +1

      Ramon Lopez
      She is not like meghan at all!
      Empress Masako’s Father is a Diplomat!!!
      He’s been Japanese Ambassador to many country.
      Please don’t compare Masako Sama to meghan!!!!! PERIOD!!!!!

    • Ramon Lopez
      Ramon Lopez 16 days ago +2

      @Rain Y And Meghan Markel is uneducated? She went to North Western and worked at U.S embassy at Buenos Aries and she is also U.N ambassador. I think, Princess Masako is insulted in your intuition regarding other women. Masako holds very extensive educational and work background in the states, so she definitely knows first hand, how hard for women to be in a position of power. So going back, what you said.. I respect Masako, a lot, but your statement is literally nothing to do with the Princess but pure hatred for Meghan.

    • Rain Y
      Rain Y 16 days ago +2

      Pls don’t insult Empress Masako by comparing her with that American D-list actress. Empress Masako is Harvard and Oxford educated Japanese diplomat before marrying into the royal family. Empress Masako is also elegantly beautiful, well loved and respected by the Japanese people.

  • no name
    no name 18 days ago +15

    This reporter is always famous for including lies and Bad faith. Be careful not to be fooled.

    • Erika Inoue
      Erika Inoue 10 days ago

      How is this biased. Lol don’t just spit criticism and back up your opinions. Mr “no name”

  • no name
    no name 18 days ago +24

    BBC, CNN and NYT reports are biased.

  • no name
    no name 18 days ago +11

    Westerners may be indistinguishable, but I think this reporter is not Japanese.

  • Nerfponn3
    Nerfponn3 18 days ago +21

    Why is BBC always negative about Japanese culture . . .

    • Erika Inoue
      Erika Inoue 10 days ago


      It’s FACTUAL TRUTH that women in Japanese society are burdened with traditional, and often sexist expectations. As someone who was born and raised in Tokyo, I don’t see this as anything “negative” it’s just the “truth.” I’m sorry that the truth is so upsetting, maybe that’s something that can change in the coming generations.

    • Nerfponn3
      Nerfponn3 14 days ago

      NHK which is Japanese public broadcasting station is just like BBC in a scene...

    • Krento
      Krento 15 days ago +7

      Because they hate motherhood and children. They hate tradition and culture too! Leftist mind poison

    • Nerfponn3
      Nerfponn3 16 days ago +1


    • 8989とろろまま
      8989とろろまま 16 days ago


  • Камиль Хабибуллов

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    ОН дождем с неба растит вам пропитание.
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    не происходит без ЕГО дозволения. К БОГУ
    предстоит всем и прибытие. Бойтесь БОГА,

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    вам в вечность ничего кроме своих
    поступков, и там богатствами не откупиться
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    Пророку, доверяйте Свету. Пророк Камил.

  • Soham Sharma
    Soham Sharma 18 days ago +2

    She was a bright woman. She had an excellent diplomatic career ahead of her. But Naruhito fell in love with her, and she had to agree. Masako did not want to marry him. She knew her life would be ruined, serving only the people, not herself. And it is. Crippling depression, anxiety and various diseases haunted her as she served her tenure as the Crown Princess. And the unnecessary pressure by the Imperial Family to produce a male heir. I hope things will get better for her as the Empress Consort.

  • Denise Armstrong
    Denise Armstrong 18 days ago +3

    Japan is full of female sexism why can’t a female take over at least England has Queen Elizabeth

    • Soham Sharma
      Soham Sharma 18 days ago +3

      Well, it is tradition. Japan and England are worlds apart. Japan has a far more rich history and a much complex culture. There have been 126 Emperors of Japan to date, starting with the legendary Emperor Jimmu in 660 BC. But believe it or not, there have been 8 female Emperors or Empresses who have ruled Japan, upon the death of their Fathers or brothers. Such as Empress Suiko, who came to the throne in the year 593. For thousands of years, there was no law stating that females cannot ascend the throne. It was only in 1889 that this law was passed, under the wish of Emperor Meiji, who commanded immense power by defeating the shoguns and daimyos- lords who had divided Japan like a cake for themselves. Since the first 20 Emperors were all, obviously, males, it became kind of unusual for a female to ascend the throne. There was no law prohibiting a female, but like the U.S, who has never had a female president, it became an archaic tradition of sorts. And later a law which still exists. The Japanese Parliament had seriously thought about changing this law, but the birth of Prince Hisahito in 2006 came as a miracle to tradition upholders in the country. And the Parliament dropped the subject of female succession.

  • วิภาวรรณ ภูเกตุ

    สุดงดงามเรียบง่าย ทรงพระเจริญ

  • イケダヒロシ
    イケダヒロシ 18 days ago +3

    Since the Empress's marriage to the Emperor, he has had a tough daily life such as poor physical condition, but the smile of “Imperial Thanks” is refreshed and softened.🙌😄😌🎌👑

  • kohta yasuda
    kohta yasuda 19 days ago

    she said. Princess Masako had to give up her career, like many other Japanese women. but Since she was married to the Emperor family, I think it is natural to resign from public work. In addition, what she said sounds like in Japan that it is natural to stop working if married, but now there are women who continue working even after marriage and childbirth, and also quit their work on their own dicision. I think that the theory that Japanese women generally quit their work after marriage with the symbol of Princess Masako is different. I think that it depends on each couple's thoughts, economic situation, and occupation.

  • Hannah Gret
    Hannah Gret 19 days ago +1

    Liberal does not respect the empress' commitment to dignity to her country and long tradition. She left her personal career a long time ago and has a wonderful princess. Just appreciate history a bit.

  • capstar633
    capstar633 19 days ago +1

    She looks like a gilded, caged Bird, NOT a wife and mother. How terribly sad. She looks like she wants to run away!! They should send Princess Toshi to Europe or the U.S. to college so she can have a life.

    • ミゲルルイス
      ミゲルルイス 17 days ago +1

      You are a liar otherwise idiot. You don't know anything.

  • 子犬のポチ
    子犬のポチ 19 days ago +4

    日本には、「皇紀」という元号があります。 今年は、皇紀2679年です。

  • maomikimirai
    maomikimirai 19 days ago +2

    Masako's father is a real go-getter and she is extremely self-conscious. Crown Prince’s (now Emperor) marriage with her (a just yuppie) was, and still is a real nightmare. She is always fussy about official duties, she pays little respect to the rituals!

  • Rita Chen
    Rita Chen 19 days ago +3

    Very hard if a person cannot be herself like her mother in law.

  • Rita Chen
    Rita Chen 19 days ago +1

    She has refused to marry the Prince and her father was sad to see her enter Royal family as he already knew its tuff life. They don't have freedom and in the sight of the ministry of Arby.

  • Marvyn Cabantac
    Marvyn Cabantac 19 days ago +97

    She doesn't need an interpreter @bbc she finished her studies in the us and oxford. The reporter did not make a bsckgrounder first

    • Latefa nelum
      Latefa nelum 3 days ago

      I think they are saying traditionally, an interpreter should have been there, but now the empress is more free to use her skills

    • Reigen Lucilfer
      Reigen Lucilfer 16 days ago +3

      @YK SW omg empress masako is graceful! i love her so much

    • YK SW
      YK SW 16 days ago +9

      Empress masako sama speaks Russian and French too.

    • Goin Bulilit
      Goin Bulilit 17 days ago +13

      Oxford and Harvard

  • Adam Of Eve
    Adam Of Eve 19 days ago +1

    At this age and time, there is no more need to have an emperor or queen, prince and princess. It's taxpayers' money not spent properly.

  • Tayyab M
    Tayyab M 19 days ago +2

    Description says she was the second woman to be empress, I'm pretty sure all of the previous emperors wives were empresses, how is she second?

    • RADO
      RADO 17 days ago +1

      @Adi Abdillah I think the Imperial rules were updated or changed sometime ago to allow them to marry non-royals.

    • Adi Abdillah
      Adi Abdillah 17 days ago

      @RADO come to think about it. Did the Imperial rules allow the marriage of a royal blood to a commoner, or they are an exception?

    • RADO
      RADO 19 days ago +2

      2nd Empress who was a commoner. Not of royal blood.

  • C A
    C A 19 days ago +2

    Who was in line after Naruhito if the boy was never born and the girl was not allowed to succeed.

    • sun day
      sun day 9 days ago

      I want to see the daughter of Masako and new king become tbe Queen like Queen Elizabeth.
      They should change the Law.

    • Soham Sharma
      Soham Sharma 18 days ago +4

      Naruhito's younger brother, Prince Akishino is currently the first in line to the throne, that means, he is the Crown Prince. After Akishino comes his son, Prince Hisahito. And after him too, comes Naruhito's uncle, the very old Prince Hitachi.

  • un chi
    un chi 19 days ago +1


  • B Batjargal
    B Batjargal 20 days ago +3

    The second woman? All previous Japanese empresses were male or transgender? If BBC makes such a stupid mistake, it is natural that all other outlets lie and make up a fake news...

    • B Batjargal
      B Batjargal 18 days ago

      @Pom Pompom Look at the description under the BBC News: It is written: "Empress Masako is only the second woman to become empress of Japan, after her husband Naruhito took the Chrysanthemum Throne."

    • Pom Pompom
      Pom Pompom 18 days ago +1

      B Batjargal She said “the second commoner”.

  • damein noble
    damein noble 20 days ago +4

    It is a great hope of mine; to see the Empress truly come into her own. How great would it be if they did change the law if the question was put to the Princess Aiko, would you want to be Empress Regnant?

    • damein noble
      damein noble 17 days ago +1

      @Oriental Motion Dance Studios It is certainly time for the shackles of WWII to be broken. Many of us were not born during that world tragedy, so why are we still holding that against non allied nations. I hope this can happen for Japan.
      Kind Regards.

    • damein noble
      damein noble 17 days ago +1

      @Oriental Motion Dance Studios Thank you for your comment. :)
      From what I have seen through Japanese media, I can tell the people of Japan would support an Empress Regnant. The people seem to love The Imperial Family.
      The little Prince Hisahito looks a sweet boy and the Crown Prince and Princess Akishino seem lovely.
      I just feel so sad for Empress Masako and want to see her empowered as a woman and as a human. If Aiko were to be styled Crown Princess it would also be empowering for her as well.
      Princess Aiko should be free to marry whomever, but perhaps steps taken to protect relevant aspects of the Imperial system and do away with others that seem to be complicating it's future survival.
      Kind Regards.

    • Oriental Motion Dance Studios
      Oriental Motion Dance Studios 17 days ago +2

      Many Japanese do not mind Princess Aiko being Empress Regnant. It is not about gender. However, the issue is that GHQ dismantled many of the royal families that potentially she could've married. Other countries with King or queen do have other families they can marry. I believe that we are at the tipping point where whether we can truly be independent of US influence or not. My English isn't great so my apology in advance if I'm confusing.

  • sun day
    sun day 20 days ago +7

    Soo cute. Love Empress.

  • Xenolar
    Xenolar 20 days ago +16

    She has been embarrassed for many years because of the failure to give a birth to a son. Japan should change the law to allow a female heir to take the Chrysanthemum Throne. Without presence of a royal concubine, it is not realistic to limit a heir of it to only a male.
    I wont to see a future wife of the last male heir suffer from the same fate as hers.

    • Xenolar
      Xenolar 16 days ago

      Reigen Lucilfer The 1947 imperial household law was passed at he last session of Imperial diet. The law which defined that a male heir only can succeed the throne was passed relatively recently. The law was largely influenced by Prussian law system and assumes that there was an implicit agreement, which prioritize a paternal bloodline, in past successions.
      The fact is that Youro-Ritsuryo, an effective law before modernization just specifies a descendant of an emperor, who was not given a family name, can succeed it. So, a female heir was not prevented from succeeding it. There were actually many empress. One empress called Jingu-Kogo was not regarded as empress now. But she was apparently gave a birth to a male heir after her husband, the previous emperor was killed hundreds of days ago. The modern Japanese history denied her enthronement. But, her boy was not able to be called one in the paternal line. So, the early Japan did not prevent a female heir from taking the throne.

    • Reigen Lucilfer
      Reigen Lucilfer 16 days ago

      it is because of stupid us always interfere with other country's law and rule. waay back then, ancient times, there were head empress. but because us girl are not allowed to succeed anymore.

  • Miki Dewberry
    Miki Dewberry 20 days ago

    BBC the feminist Inquisition channel