Japan’s ex-Princess Mako lands new job in NYC after giving up title to marry ‘commoner’

After foregoing her titles and a $1.3 million compensation to marry her ‘commoner’ college love, Japan’s former Princess Mako is now allegedly an unpaid volunteer at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mako Komuro, 30, works in the famed museum’s Asian art collection, assisting in the creation of a display of paintings inspired by the life of a 13th century monk who introduced Buddhism to Japan. 

The Upper East Side museum is a 10-minute drive from her fancy one-bedroom Hell’s Kitchen apartment, where she lives with her husband, aspiring lawyer Kei Komuro, 30. The pair had been engaged for eight years before marrying in an intimate civil ceremony in Tokyo last October. Since only male individuals of the Japanese imperial dynasty are permitted to marry non-royals, Mako’s choice to marry for love implies she is no longer a princess, and any future children will not be in line for the emperorship.

Mako and Kei met in 2013 while both were students at the International Christian University outside of Tokyo, where she studied art and cultural heritage and he studied business. She went on to work as a special education teacher at Tokyo’s University Museum. 

She additionally concentrated on craftsmanship history at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and got an expert’s in workmanship exhibition hall and display studies at the University of Leicester in England in 2016. A previous Met keeper stated that ‘She’s competent and will most likely be handling things from the collection.’ ‘In general, it’s work that needs a lot of planning and frequently involves a lot of time spent in the library. 

Mako is Crown Prince Fumihito’s daughter and the niece of the ruling Japanese Emperor Naruhito. The former princess and Kei Komuro became ‘informally engaged’ in 2017 and intended to marry in November 2018. The announcement was first met with joy in Japan, however a scandal erupted when it was revealed that Kei’s widowed mother, Kayo, had not reimbursed a $35,000 loan from a previous fiancé, which was partially intended to support her son’s tuition. 

As a result, several people speculated that Komuro was only marrying the princess for money or fame. Komuro released a 24-page clarification for the money, saying it was a gift rather than a loan. He eventually declared he would refund it, although it is unknown if the money was repaid. Despite the difficulties, Kei and Mako’s love persevered. In 2020, she pleaded with the Japanese people to support her plan to marry an ordinary person. 

She explained while reporting the wedding would go on that they are indispensable to one another – somebody to depend on during both cheerful and despondent times. So a marriage is a fundamental decision for them to live while esteeming and safeguarding their sentiments.

The couple wedded last October, with the Imperial Household Agency making sense that the couple didn’t need a major wedding ‘in light of the fact that their marriage isn’t praised by many individuals.’ Prior to arriving in the US on November 14, Mako declined the $1.3 million installment she was qualified for leaving the magnificent family, royal residence authorities said. 

The lovebirds had been residing in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen area. While the unit is a one-bedroom, the building is a extravagance residential tower with a fitness centre outfitted with Peloton bikes, a yoga studio, a screening room, an in-house spa, a golf simulator section, landscaped decks with barbecues and table tennis, a Strand Book Store-curated library, and a 24-hour attended lobby. One-bedroom apartments in the building are available for rent for $4,809 a month, according to the property’s website. The rent for a two-bedroom unit in the building is $7,085 per month. 

Mako’s husband, Kei, is attempting to retake the New York State bar exam after failing it last summer. He took the test for the first time in July, three months before his wedding to Mako, but it was reported in November that he failed. He retook the exam in February, but the results have yet to be disclosed. Komuro’s most recent try at the bar exam occurred less than a year after he initially sat for it in July of last year, when he had the choice of taking it remotely. Candidates did not have the option of applying remotely this time. 

Komuro will now have to wait many months, like he did last year, to find out whether his second attempt at the exam was fruitful. According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, Komuro called lawyer Okuno Yoshihiko, the CEO of a business where he had worked in Japan, to inform him that he had failed the first exam. If he fails the exam again, Komuro will have to wait until July to retake it, as it is only given twice a year. He can take the test as many times as he wants until he passes since New York State does not limit the number of tries an applicant can make. 

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