The Runaway Bride (w/Aya Shimada)


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By Ollie Horn and Bobby Judo. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Aya Shimada tells us what the fuss over Princess Mako's nuptials tells us about Japan's treatment of women, how the media affords privacy rights to the famous, and

Ollie remembered that he thinks wedding stuff is over-priced again.

Bobby knows which one of the two Rising Sun post-covid cruise options he wants to take.

Topics discussed on this episode range from:

  • Why Aya thinks Japan has what she calls a "purge" culture
  • How bullying is used in Japan to isolate and force out undesirable differences
  • Aya's experience in both Japan and the US and how she felt trying to integrate in both places
  • The community of Japanese people who've been abroad and come home AND the community of Japanese people who left Japan and never came back
  • How Aya found the strength to face Japanese societal pressure, especially as a woman
  • How that social pressure can contribute to a brain drain in Japan
  • Subtle ways in which Aya discovered sexism applied to Princess Mako in the media
  • More Coffee (and BBQ sauce) thank yous
  • What Aya identified as "cyberbullying" of Princess Mako
  • What press coverage of the marriage focused on and why
  • How much of the general public actually cares about Royals, and why in one sense Aya thinks they should care MORE
  • Does the media feel EXTRA ownership of Royals?
  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to Aya
  • Does the imperial family lead the culture, or represent the past?
  • How does the Japanese imperial family struggle when it tries to adopt progressive ideas?
  • Why all the fuss about Mako marrying a commoner?
  • What did Japan think of the British Megxit?
  • How the treatment of Mako in media infantilizes her and all women
  • Some possibilities about the relationship between Mako and Kei that we hadn't considered
  • Could she have married a non-commoner?
  • How the conversation around this gets carried out at Japanese schools among young people, and what Aya thought about the royal family when she was a child
  • The Heisei Emperor (whose name we totally now) and the things he did to KIND OF make statements about what they think/feel about world issues
  • What happened with that payment to Princess Mako and also WHO CARES?
  • The Debt thing with Komuro, and Japan being a bit hypocritical about it
  • Will things get better for the poor, poor royal family in the future?
  • What could be done to improve the situation and the role of the Royal family in the future?

As always, the extras are FANTASTIC, and they're like getting a whole extra show for free. Well, not for free.
For like 4 to 5 dollars a month.
You can get access to the extras by supporting the podcast for less than $1 an episode by becoming a member at

Topics discussed on the extras include:

  • Aya's company CultureLabs and how she helps Japanese companies with Design Thinking
  • Japan's attempts to diversify and how Aya navigates the need for diversification with ingrained resistance to it
  • Aya's article about the Tokyo Olympics and what she thinks about it looking back on it

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Content Links:
On Japan's 'Megxit,' We Need a Feminist and ... - Newsweek

As a Japanese citizen and a consultant, I know why the Tokyo ...

Social Media Links:

Aya Shimada: Linked-IN

Ollie Horn: Twitter | Instagram

Bobby Judo: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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125 episodes