I’ve never talked to a real princess before.
But tonight at the Australian Embassy’s Ancient Future reception for Patricia Piccinini’s “We Are Family” exhibit at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Shinagawa (how’s that for an introduction?), I had a conversation with Princess Takamado, the sister-in-law of the Japanese Emperor.
She gave an eloquent toast in Japanese and English (delivered with a lovely Cambridge accent) talking about her late husband’s definition of art—it must be beautiful, not merely freedom of expression as art was originally made as a gift to God.
It brought tears to my eyes. I had to say hello. But she was being monopolized by a guy wearing a backpack, and I have not learned the gentle art of butting in. So MJ’s embassy contact, Katherine, helped us out and sidled over. The backpacker vanished and then a woman slipped in with a bouquet of pink and yellow tulips (in December ?!) and had her photo taken. And then we talked with the Princess.
It wasn’t a very long conversation; perhaps six or seven minutes. First it was about the art exhibit, then we moved on to the Princess’ involvement in judging speech contests and how men usually won, even though 75% or more of the contestants are women. Why? Because women don’t deliver their speeches as well. She said that women trying to tell jokes made everyone slightly uncomfortable. (Interesting.)
Princess Takamado is gracious, graceful, and well-spoken. I’m very happy to have conversed briefly with her. Even though she’ll never know who I am, I’ll take her as a role model. I feel special for having spoken to a real, live princess.
Granted, this is all reflected glory…but…but…I talked to a princess! Not bad for a girl with hands perfectly shaped to use a plow.Posted by kuri at December 06, 2003 12:31 AM