Japan’s former princess Mako Komuro gets her first US job as museum volunteer after renouncing crown for love

Mako Komuro will work on exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York, though she is not joining the full-time staff

Sravasti Dasgupta
Wednesday 13 April 2022 16:34
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Related: Ex-Japanese princess Mako departs for New York with ‘commoner’ husband

Former Japanese princess Mako Komuro, who lost her royal status last year after she married commoner Kei Komuro, is reportedly working in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The 30-year-old princess married Mr Komuro at a Tokyo registry office on 26 October. She forfeited the usual customs of a royal wedding, and refused a ¥140m (£854,000) payment that she was entitled to as a royal female leaving the imperial family.

Ms Komuro is not a part of the staff at the Met and is only volunteering, according to The Japan Times.

She has worked on an exhibition of hanging-scroll paintings inspired by the life of Ippen (1239-1289), a monk who travelled around Japan during the Kamakura Period (1192-1333) introducing Buddhism to the masses by chanting prayers while dancing.

The former princess is reportedly using her background in art history in the curating work at the museum.

She has a degree in art and cultural heritage from the International Christian University in Tokyo. She also studied art history at the University of Edinburgh and has a master’s degree in art museum and gallery studies from the University of Leicester.

She also worked as a special researcher at the University of Tokyo’s museum while she was still a royal.

Following their marriage, the couple moved to the United States to live in New York, where Mr Komuro works as a lawyer. In November, just days after their wedding, some reports had said Mr Komuro failed his state bar exam.

The couple, who are the same age, met in 2012 as students at the International Christian University in Tokyo.

When they first announced their engagement in 2017, the princess and Komuro were portrayed as a perfect match. However, the atmosphere changed following a financial scandal and the couple found themselves in the eye of a media storm.

The princess was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the exhaustive media coverage of her life and relationship over the years.

After her marriage she defended her decision to walk away from the royal family at a press conference and said: “I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused and I am grateful for those… who have continued to support me. For me, Kei is irreplaceable – marriage was a necessary choice for us.”

She is the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Fumihito and the niece of reigning Emperor Naruhito. Japanese law dictates female imperial family members must give up their royal status upon marriage to a “commoner”. Male members, on the other hand, may maintain their royal standing.

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