Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne: The Tragic True Story of Japan’s Crown Princess by Ben Hills [in San Francisco Chronicle]
What’s wrong with this picture?: An independent, cosmopolitan young woman, educated at Harvard and Oxford, proficient in six languages, who is on the fast track to becoming a diplomat in spite of a male-dominated society, gives up her career, her freedom and even her identity to marry the crown prince of Japan and enter the sequestered halls of a 2,600-year-old monarchy.
Happy princesses are for fairy tales. In today’s reality, a royal wedding seems to mean anything but a happy ending – maybe just an ending, period. Case in point: The ever-popular Diana makes the perfect poster-princess for “happily never after.”
In the latest royal expose, Princess Masako, Ben Hills chronicles another princess’ public misery. Often referred to as the “Japanese Princess Di” – more so now for the unfortunate parallels in their lives – Japan’s Princess Masako is indeed a trapped soul. Certainly royal watchers somewhere will care and want to know more, but this is not the book to read. … [click here for more]