Has The Media Hounded Ex-Princess Mako Into Hiding?

The media is aghast that the Komuros, Kei and Mako, have gone “missing.” But the press has no one to blame but itself.

Unseen Japan

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By Jay Allen

Komuro Kei and Mako missing?!

Reporters in Japan, the US, and the UK are distraught. According to them, Japanese lawyer Komuro Kei and his wife, Mako — a member of Japan’s imperial family — have “gone missing.” Looking back on how the press has treated the couple, who can blame them?

The hounding

Picture: 北村笑店 / PIXTA(ピクスタ)

Komuro Mako — a.k.a. former Royal Princess Akishinonomiya Mako — met Komuro Kei at college. At some point, the two developed a relationship and began dating. In 2018, they made waves in Japan when they held a press conference announcing their intention to get married.

The marriage immediately became a big to-do. First, because it meant that, thanks to current laws, Mako would have to leave the imperial family in order to marry someone outside of the royal bloodline. But second, a prying media discovered that an ex-fiancee of Kei’s mother claimed the family owed him tens of thousands of dollars. The man claimed he supported Kei through school and that he deserved that money back.

Upon leaving the royal family, Mako would receive a payout to help her “retain her station” in life. The media speculated that they might use this taxpayer-supplied money to wipe out the Komuro family’s private debt. The ensuing controversy delayed the couple’s marriage by several years.

The media circus didn’t end after the Komuros moved to New York City. Kei took a job there with a local law firm. Mako, who has a Masters in Art Museum and Gallery Studies, was considering either looking for work or finishing her doctorate.

But pursuing your ambitions is hard when the press is on your ass. Kei took several attempts to pass the NY State Bar Exam, with the press seemingly reveling in each failed attempt. Paparazzi regularly staked out the couple’s apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, despite both now being private citizens.

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