Was Princess Aiko of Japan a Victim of Bullying?
The next time your child comes home and complains of being bullied, you can say it happens to everyone. Even a real-life princess.
The BBC reports that 8-year-old Princess Aiko of Japan has been staying home from school because she was "treated harshly" by boys at Gakushuin Primary School in Tokyo, according to royal spokesperson Issei Nomura.
But Japan Today says the real story may be somewhat different from the fairy tale presented by the royal family. At a press conference, school director Motomasa Higashisono said the school was unaware of any "violent behavior targeted at Princess Aiko," adding that the princess "got scared Tuesday when she went by a boy who dashed out of a classroom."
What's so scary about that? "It must have reminded her of the rowdy behavior of several boys in the past ... and made her uneasy," Higashisono says.
Princess Aiko is the daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako, a "commoner." [That is, she became a royal by marriage.] This particular branch of Japan's royal family tree has been a source of controversy for many years: Princess Masako retreated from public life in 2004, citing exhaustion brought on in part by pressure to give birth to a male heir.
In Japan, only men may ascend to the Chrysanthemum Throne, but no males have been born into Japan's royal family in the past 40 years. In 2005, the BBC reported that a Japanese government committee was considering changing those rules so that Princess Aiko could one day become Empress, something that hasn't happened in Japan since the 18th century.
Related: What Parents Can Do to Help Their Bullying Child
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