Scrutinized by Japan, Husband of Former Princess Passes Bar

Tabloids from home have followed couple around New York
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 23, 2022 3:20 PM CDT
As Japan Watches, Husband of Former Princess Passes Bar
Kei Komuro, the husband of Japan's former Princess Mako, attends a press conference in October 2021.   (Nicolas Datiche/Pool Photo via AP, File)

The man who married a former Japanese princess has passed the New York bar exam, defying detractors back home who had criticized their romance. Kei Komuro's name is on the list of those who passed the July New York state bar exam, which was posted Friday on the New York State Board of Law Examiners website. Komuro's engagement to former Princess Mako, announced in 2017, prompted a widespread public outcry, mostly on social media and in tabloids. One reason was a financial problem of Komuro's mother, the AP reports, though that's since been resolved.

Komuro, 31, a graduate of Fordham University law school, has a job at a New York law firm, and has been living in New York with Mako, a museum curator. She gave up her royal status last year when she married Komuro. All Japanese princesses relinquish their royal status upon marriage, as there is only male succession in the Japanese imperial family. Speculation has now moved to how much money Komuro might be earning as a lawyer, instead of when he might be getting fired. Reports said Komuro's shaky standing will improve with the imperial family, the couple may move from Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan to a ritzier neighborhood, and Komuro's mother may move in with them.

The couple did without a fancy wedding, registered their marriage, and took off to New York last November. They met while attending Tokyo’s International Christian University a decade ago. The Japanese tabloids had stalked the couple in New York, taking photos and commenting snidely about Mako's casual clothes, which contrasted with the usual staid formal wear of Japan's imperial family. Other princesses have married commoners and left the palace. But the reaction to Komuro and Mako was especially frenzied, much of it focusing on whether he would be able to support her. Mako, 31, is the niece of Emperor Naruhito, who also married a commoner, Masako. The family holds no political power but serves as a symbol of the nation, attending ceremonial events and visiting disaster zones.

(More Japanese royals stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.