Japan's Latest Craze

Tsugufumi Matsumoto/AP.

Japan's Princess Masako and Crown Prince Naruhito have been married for eight years.

For families in trouble, babies often represent a last chance at salvation, a belief that somehow their innocence and purity can breathe new life into something gone dull or awry. In the giant, dysfunctional family that is modern Japan, then, the birth of a baby princess on Saturday offers, at long last, a glimmer of hope, some feel-good news to lift the collective spirit and hold out the promise of a national rejuvenation. And maybe even boost the stock market. An absurd notion, sure, but there hasn't been much of anything to cheer about in Japan for, oh, the better part...

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