Mako Komuro, Japan’s Ex-Princess, Is Now Interning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mako Komuro, Japan’s Ex-Princess, Is Now Interning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Mako Komuro, Japan’s Ex-Princess, Is Now Interning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Life goes on for the woman formerly known as Princess Mako of Japan. The ex-royal, who now goes by her married name of Mako Komuro, has reportedly dipped her toes into the world of employment, as any commoner must do. According to The Cut, she has been hired as an intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the iconic institution whose Costume Institute plays host to the annual Met Gala. Specifically, she is an “unpaid volunteer” helping to prepare an exhibition about a 13th-century monk—no doubt her degrees in art and cultural heritage from the International Christian University and art museums and gallery studies from the University of Leicester are coming in handy .

The 30-year-old has been living in New York City since her wedding to lawyer Kei Komuro last November. The marriage was postponed several times, after both the Japanese public and the media took offense to both Kei’s family ties (his mother owes a debt that is unpaid) and his hairstyle (a ponytail). At the time of their nuptials, they eschewed all the traditional wedding rites, even refusing the 152.5-million-yen payout usually given to royal brides leaving the family.

Mako Komuro in New York

Photo by STR/JAPAN POOL / JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images

As dictated by a decades-old law established in 1947, princesses in Japan’s imperial household must leave the royal family upon their marriage to a commoner, and with no Japanese princes to marry, this leaves them with few options. The law change meant that 11 branches of the Japanese royal family were suddenly given commoner status—totaling 51 members—and there have been eight members of the current royal line who have had to leave the family due to marriage. The law was also changed to forbid women from inheriting the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Indeed, it has been the source of much debate in Japan over the past few years, after a recent succession crisis was narrowly avoided by the birth of a long-awaited prince. In 2006, Princess Kiko, the wife of the current emperor’s youngest son, birth gave to a son, Prince Hisahito, who is second in line to the throne after his father, Crown Prince Akishino. He was the first male heir to be born into the family in 40 years. Even now, though, the dynasty rests on his shoulders: He has only one successor, his 86-year-old great-uncle, Prince Hitachi.

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