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Princess Masako Owada is the Crown Princess of Japan. She is best known for her independent nature before she joined the royal family.
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When her father accepted a teaching position at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the family moved to nearby Belmont. After the position ended, Masako stayed on to attend Harvard. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Economics. In 1986 she attended the University of Tokyo’s law department to study for the Diplomatic Service Examination. Princess Masako passed the notoriously difficult Foreign Ministry entrance exam after only one year of study (most people need at least two years, and even then only a small percentage pass), and joined the Foreign Ministry in 1987.
However, these hopes seem to have met with few encouraging signs from the Crown Princess. Seldom in the public eye outside of official engagements, Masako has led a largely quiet royal life, wearing the traditional clothes of her position, walking behind her husband, and addressing him in public as His Imperial Highness. The once ambitious Masako has been so seemingly stifled that tabloids began speculating that the princess was suffering from depression, stemming from her restricted lifestyle and the intense pressure to bear a son who would be heir to the throne. Friends of the princess and official statements from the Imperial Household dispute the rumors of her unhappiness and report that Masako leads a happy life with Naruhito, who shares her passion for literature, classical music, and sports.
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