Japanese princesses are traditionally demure and subservient. So it comes as a surprise that the shy Crown Prince Naruhito has chosen a thoroughly modern career woman as his bride.
His intended, Masako Owada, the daughter of a top Japanese diplomat, spent her childhood in the Soviet Union and the United States. Harvard-trained, she also studied economics at Oxford.
She is a career diplomat who is fluent in four languages. After the wedding, the new crown princess' diplomatic skills and language abilities should allow her to bring a new internationalism to Tokyo's royal household.
Although an increasing number of Japanese women work outside of the home, Owada will be the first woman with a career to become crown princess. Already she is being compared to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who will be the first professional woman to become First Lady. Both women shatter stereotypes.