Kei Komuro, the husband of former Princess Mako of Japan, was spotted in New York City outside of the location of the New York State bar exam.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Mr Komuro sat down for his second attempt at the exam, which would give him the licence to operate as a lawyer in the State of New York in the US.
Mr Komuro looked almost unrecognisable, sporting a green puffer jacket over a casual denim shirt, faded navy trousers, colourful VANS trainers and, most surprisingly, long hair tied up in a messy ponytail.
As noted above, this is the second time Mr Komuro has attempted to get his licence, having failed his previous attempt in July of 2021.
The exam is only offered to candidates twice a year, in February and July. Moreover, the results take two to four months to process, meaning that Mr Komuro could be facing a very long wait before he knows whether his attempt was successful.
The exam was administered to candidates in July for his previous attempt, and results were made public in November. That is when Royal watchers managed to get the information that he had failed the exam, his name not being in the list of successful candidates.
Princess Mako met her husband in 2013, when they were both students at International Christian University, near Tokyo.
They first announced their engagement in 2017, with plans to wed in 2018. However, journalists quickly unearthed the fact that Kei Komuro’s mother had financed part of her son’s studies with a loan from a former fiancé that she never repaid.
Komuro was subsequently accused of wanting to marry a Japanese Princess only for money and fame, and the couple decided to postpone the wedding indefinitely.
Following Komuro’s publication of a 24-pages letter to explain in detail his and his family’s financial situation, with a promise to repay the loan himself, the couple decided to marry.
The wedding was initially set for 2020, but health safety restrictions forced the couple to postpone it to October 2021.
Following the announcement that the wedding would still move forward and that, according to Japanese imperial law, Mako would cease to be recognised as a Princess, Mr Komuro moved to New York, where he lived in a one-bedroom apartment while working for Lowenstein Sandler LLP, a law firm based in New Jersey.
Following the wedding, held in a small civil ceremony in a room of the Imperial Palace in Japan, Mako waved goodbye to her family and moved to New York to live with her husband.
For the first time, she was required to apply for a passport under the name Mako Komuro. Even in the event of a divorce, she will not be able to be admitted into the Imperial Family again.
This makes it even more important for Kei Komuro to pass his bar exam and kickstart his law career. One positive note is that the state of New York does not have a limit on the number of times a candidate can retake the exam, so Mr Komuro will be able to sit down for it as many times as he needs to pass it.