Thursday, October 15, 2009

Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne

Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne is a controversial 2006 book by Ben Hills. The book drew criticism from the Men in Black (Imperial Household Agency) and Government of Japan. It is criticized because of its supposed inaccuracies of Princess Aiko as a test-tube baby, Crown Princess Masako is suffer from depression, and that the relationship of the Emperor and the Crown Prince is strained.

The Book is focused around the life of Crown Princess Masako of Japan. The Book begins by describing Princess Masako & Prince Naruhito wedding and how Masako is now part of the Imperial Family. Next the introduce the humble beginnings of the Masako Odawa & the Restricted life of Prince Naruhito. Third, it shows the brief courtship of Prince Naruhito and his future wife, Masako Odawa. After, It shows the married life of Masako and her husband before the birth of Princess Aiko. A chapter is devoted the Princess' problem of not producing an heir. In the book, Ben Hill implies that Princess Aiko is a test-tube baby. The Book ends with Masako's life filled with stress and how she is suffering from depression.

I give this book a 4/5. I thought the book was ok but it was indeed offensive. I know that the stress of being a royal bound by tradition is indeed tiring and thought Hills ranting on that wasn't that bad but I found his claims that Princess Aiko was a test-tube baby was just too outrageous and I don't think that the Japanese Government was overreacting. The book does get a bit boring about 5/8 into the book. I suggest that if you like Japanese History you should check this book out but I would not suggest it for any other History fan.

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