After considerable delay, Lowenstein Sandler’s Kei Komuro has married Princess Mako of Japan.
The union, planned since 2017, never ceased to generate controversy, despite Japan being a 21st century industrialized nation that should have left this sort of medieval nonsense in the distant past. In this case, citizens with far too much time on their hands objected to the marriage to a commoner for removing another royal from an already depleted line. Mako’s father is presently the crown prince, presumed to take the throne after his older brother. Mako’s younger brother is presently the only male in a position to succeed his father.
The final unnecessary bout of hand-wringing came a few days ago as Fordham Law grad Komuro arrived in Japan for the wedding sporting a ponytail:
Tabloids ran photos of 30-year-old Komuro’s ponytail from every angle, with some comparing it to a samurai’s top knot. On social media, some tweeted support for his new look, while others said it was unsuitable for the groom of a royal bride.
A ponytail may not cause a stir in the West, but people in Japan are expected to reflect their status and role through their actions and words. People saw the ponytail as a sign Komuro wasn’t conforming to social expectations, according to Hitomi Tonomura, a women’s and gender studies professor at the University of Michigan.
People who care about royalty really are the lowest common denominators of any society. Nonetheless, Komuro cut off his ponytail while Mako forfeited a one million dollar royal family severance package as part of an ongoing effort to appease a public that feels it has the right to dictate how this woman lives her life. Hopefully that annual bonus can bridge the gap a bit.
As a final bid, the couple eschewed a traditional ceremony to simply file a marriage document. Just like I’m sure they dreamed. Hopefully, the couple can get away to New York quickly to leave this all behind and begin living like normal people billing 80 hours a week.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.