JAPAN: Honorable Dogwood

Emperor Hirohito was anxious to do everything in accordance with Japan's new democracy—or at least in compromise with it. Instead of arranging his second daughter's marriage through a go-between in the time-honored way, he sent his frock-coated vice chief chamberlain directly to the bridegroom-elect. "Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress," hissed the imperial emissary, bowing low, "would like to have their daughter married to Honorable Takatsukasa. What are his feelings on the subject?" "I accept," said 26-year-old Toshimichi Takatsukasa, a $20-a-month clerk in the Traffic Museum, bowing equally low.

"It's chudo—the middle way," explained a palace confidant, "neither love match...

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