Visitors and a Baby Boy!
Reid and Karie came to visit me! They showed up mid-afternoon on Sunday and they just now took off for Takaoka; it was fun hanging out with them for a few days. When they showed up, all of us had grand schemes for what we wanted to do and accomplish while they were here and what ended up happening was a three day lazy-fest.
We spent the time sitting around the house and playing each other on our Nintendo DSs; I broke down a bought a black DS Lite. Man, if you are considering buying a DS Lite and have been hesitant because you have one of the old school DS's, the Lite is worth the upgrade. The difference in screen brightness alone makes the DS Lite a good deal. Anywho, we played a lot of multiplayer Mario Kart DS, watched a lot of movies, and listened to a lot of music. Basically, we didn't do much but it was fun.
One thing we did talk about a bit was the upcoming Thailand trip. We are definitely staying on the island of Phuket and we are definitely doing an elephant ride through the jungle. If everything goes right, we will be doing the elephant ride through the jungle while wearing Santa hats and listening to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" on our iPods. If you have never seen pictures of Phuket, you should Google it and take a look. The beaches there look amazing!
Now that they have left, I teach one class today in Miyazu and then head back here. Its pouring at the moment and is the coolest it has been here in months. I think Fall is finally trying to decide if it wants to boot Summer out of the driver's seat for a bit. The only downside to all of this rain is my total lack of a bike. If it keeps up like this, I may have to spring for one before Tokyo. I hate walking in the rain for miles.
In other news, Princess Kiko had a baby boy this morning! This new birth breaks the chain of ten female births in a row within the Imperial family and finally gives Japan a male heir to the Imperial throne. They have not released his intended name yet but have said that he weighed in at 5.6lbs and is doing well. If the family follows tradition, he will be named in a ceremony on the seventh day of his life. The reason this is such a big event is because in Japan, it is illegal for a female to ascend to the throne. The only time the Empress has controlled Japan has been in the event that there was no immediate male heir and she acted as a place filler until he was found. The last time a female sat on the Imperial throne was in 1763 so its not a very common event.
Now that a boy has been born, the debate as to whether or not Japan should revise the laws to make it legal for a female to take the throne will probably die down. Had Princess Kiko not had a boy, there was going to be a push to make it legal for the oldest prince's first daughter, Aiko who is almost five years old, to eventually succeed her grandfather, father, and then uncle to take the throne of Japan. Now this will probably not happen. When the current reigning emperor, Akihito either steps down or dies, his oldest son Naruhito will ascend to the throne. If something happens to Naruhito before his father dies or decides to hand over the reigns, the younger son, Prince Akishino will then take the throne. What will probably end up happening is Akihito will eventually hand over power to his oldest son, Naruhito and then once Naruhito decides to hand over the throne, depending on how old his dad is at the time and his health, the boy that was born this morning would then become Emperor if his father was not able to or did not want to ascend.
It will probably be a very strange life for this boy. He has two older sisters, Princess Mako who is 14 and Princess Kako who is 12. They will probably do the whole older sibling pecking order routine and boss him around like any older sister would do to their younger brother but in the end, he means more to Japan and will have more power than either of them when he gets older. Right now, that kid is less than three hours old and his entire life has pretty much been laid out for him. When he takes the throne, his birthday will become a national holiday and he will carrie on a tradition and bloodline that has lasted for more than 2000 years.
So here is my question to you: Would you like growing up knowing that you really don't have to make any major life decisions and you will want for nothing or would you feel trapped and suffocated by the life you were born into? This baby's mother has suffered hardcore depression because of the life of seclusion that has basically been wrapped around her. Will he be the same way? One thing is for certain, like it or not, he will lead a life very different than almost anyone else in the world. The Princes in England may be able to relate but their lives are much more public than what this boy's will be. The Imperial family of Japan is a very low-key and withdrawn one and usually the public doesn't hear too much about them unless they want to be seen or heard.
Good luck in your life, little guy; you will lead an interesting one for sure.