Kei Komuro, Husband of Princess Mako from Japan, Ordinary People Pursuing a Legal Career in the US

PROFILE Kei Komuro, Husband of Princess Mako from Japan, Ordinary People Pursuing a Legal Career in the US

Princess Mako from Japan, finally officially married her college friend, Kei Komuro, on Tuesday (26/10/2021). 

Ummatimes - Komuro, who is 30 years old as Princess Mako, will pursue a career in law in the United States after marriage.

According to Kyodo News, Komuro is a former paralegal from a Tokyo law firm.
He began working at a law firm in New York after graduating from Fordham University law school with a Juris Doctor in May 2021.

Komuro took the New York state bar exam in July and is expected to know the results in mid-December.

He recently won a writing competition sponsored by the New York State Bar Association for law school students.

Last September, Komuro returned to Japan from the United States for the first time in three years.

At that time he had caused a stir in the Japanese people because he appeared with a ponytail.

Tabloids highlight Komuro's ponytail from every angle, some comparing it to the top knot of a samurai.

On social media, some tweets support her new look, while others say the hairstyle doesn't suit a groom from the royal family.

Ponytails may not cause a stir in the West, but people in Japan are expected to reflect their status and role through their actions and words.

Japanese people see ponytails as a sign that Komuro doesn't live up to social expectations, according to Hitomi Tonomura, a professor of women's and gender studies at the University of Michigan.

"If he was a singer or an artist, that would be fine, but people think he's not 'like a lawyer' or looks fit for someone who is going to marry a royal woman," he added.

When he visited Princess Mako's parents a few weeks later, Komuro appeared in a dark suit and had his long hair shaved.

Born on October 5, 1991, Komuro studied at an international junior and senior high school.

He then continued his education at the International Christian University in Tokyo before heading to the United States.

While studying at the International Christian University, he met his daughter who was studying at the same university.

In 2010, Komuro was selected as the "Prince of the Sea" to lead the tourism campaign for the coastal city of Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, for a year.

He also works part time at a French restaurant and cram school.

Komuro reportedly proposed to the princess when the two were still students.

Komuro is the son of a single parent.

His father died when he was still in elementary school.

He was then raised alone by his mother, Kayo.

However, the mother was caught in a scandal.

Komuro's mother was rumored to have had an altercation with her ex-fiancé involving about 4 million yen.

The dispute was often covered in weekly tabloids and made Komuro and his mother a bad image in the eyes of the Japanese people.

However Komuro released a statement to clarify the matter and remains determined to marry the princess.

Misogyny in Japan

Kaori Hayashi, a media studies expert and executive vice president of the University of Tokyo, said royal couples are usually carefully selected from the traditional circle of socializing with the Imperial family.

In addition, in Japan, the perception that single mothers are unable to raise children properly still exists, says Hitomi Tonomura, a gender studies expert at the University of Michigan.

"In Japan, there is also misogyny, where a single mother is usually despised or despised morally and economically," added Tonomura.

"There is a kind of traditional gender-segregated role for men and women played not only in the royal family, but in many of the institutions here," said Nancy Snow, a professor of public diplomacy at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies.

"The alleged financial problems of Komuro's mother have tainted the royalist's ardent image of the royal house, which ideally should appear purely symbolic and exist for the spiritual well-being of the Japanese people," Tonomura said.