Thursday, February 02, 2006


Dinosaurs may be extinct in the immediate sense, but their saurian reflections live on in the blood of many politicians of today, as evidenced here in the prehistoric thinking of former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma:

"If Aiko [daughter of the Crown Prince] becomes the reigning empress and gets involved with a blue-eyed foreigner while studying abroad and marries him, their child may be the emperor." We should never let that happen."

(Whereas if a male becomes the reigning emperor... there would be no such problem? I don't get the logic of that... Maybe imperial males are innately less attracted to foreigners, or more easily conditioned?)

As a blue-eyed, full-blooded foreigner I take offense, of course - what an insulting thing to say - but my worldly blood gives me strength. I have a far more important question: where do they find these people? How do these people attain high office? Seems to be happening all over the world; surely the Japanese, fully intermingled members of the human race and with full access to its wisdom, can come up with something better than pretensions to sanguine sanitation?

I must add the disclaimer that, even though I am a member of the blue-eyed club, and a bona fide mongrel foreigner (here in Japan, 98% of the world is foreign), I have no designs on the daughter of the Crown Prince; she's way too young for me, though no doubt there is a blue-eyed four-year old mongrel earthling boy somewhere who would catch her eye...

And what would be lost to such a future union but the yammering of pureblood wannabes like Hiranuma? I say go for it, Aiko: live your own life, marry whoever calls to your heart, and ignore the dinosaurs. I'd say the same thing if you were male. Welcome to the whole world.


Joy Des Jardins said...

Great piece always make me laugh.

alfred said...

Hear here!

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

I don't really get the "tradition" part of it. If (as it says in the article) women have been barred from the throne only since the Meiji era and further restrictions imposed since 1947, wasn't it those damn foreigners (specifically those red-blooded, red-necked American white boys) who brought in these ideas.

I wonder if it is the difference in our gender that makes you bristle over the "pureblood" issue and me bristle over "sexism" issue.

As for the weird logic, I wonder why they think a princess is more likely to fall for a foreigner than a prince.

Maethelwine said...

And women have been barred from the throne by virtue of ascension rules imported from Prussia.

This made me almost insanely angry when I finally realized it wasn't a joke. I sat looking at my beautiful little 'mudblood' girl drawing pictures and just about despaired of her ever feeling at ease anywhere.

The seamless, and profoundly thoughtless, racism and sexism that are bound together in this remark are breathtaking. I know why I'm angry, but I don't get why I'm not hearing more of a reaction from Japanese, particularly women.

Robert Brady said...

Intracultural children like yours and mine are taking and will take the world to a new place. No need to worry about their fitting in; they're tomorrow in the flesh. The strength they gain from being who they are will supercede local emperors and such.