Japanese Princess Ditches Her Title to Be a Housewife

ByABC News
November 15, 2005, 12:40 PM

Nov. 15, 2005— -- Japanese Princess Sayako just tied the knot with an old family friend -- thereby bidding farewell to her family and her royal title.

Sayako -- known informally as Nori -- enjoyed 36 years of pampered life at the royal palace, but she's still giving it all up for Yoshi Kuroda, a 40-year-old Tokyo city employee.

Out goes the privilege, in comes the housework.

Unlike her two brothers, the bird researcher had to give up her status and her generous royal allowance under a 1947 law that automatically strips female royals of all royal advantages when they get married.

I guess Sayako has answered New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd's new book, "Are Men Necessary?" with a resounding "yes."

Sayako's ditched her title, her allowance, her job and her palatial lifestyle all for her "common" hubbie.

It gets worse.

Her husband has been living with his mother until now, so Nori is going to have to dote on him in a major way.

For the record, her husband isn't exactly a blue-collar working stiff. He's got aristocratic ties, although all that noble stuff was banned in Japan after WWII, so let's just call him middle-class.

And now that she's a plebeian like the rest of us, Sayako will have to pay taxes.

This gal really wanted to live happily ever after even if the guy wasn't a prince.

What a culture shock.

The "It" girls Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton had it easy in the "Simple Life" compared to the new Mrs. Kuroda. The pampered duo's hit reality show had them rubbing elbows with the common folk for just three months at a time. Sayako's new role is for the long haul ("til death do us part").

Perhaps wisely, the princess-turned-commoner quit her part-time job to prepare for the transition. Call it a crash course on domesticity.

Besides fine-tuning her cooking skills, she learned the finer points of wheeling a cart around a grocery store and parallel parking in Tokyo. That's the soft side of homemaking; now comes cleaning out the refrigerator, picking up the dirty laundry and, yes, making the bed. (Go with the comforter, it takes much less effort.)