Japan’s former Princess Mako is now working as an UNPAID volunteer at the Met in NYC

Japan’s former Princess Mako is now reportedly an unpaid volunteer at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art after giving up her titles – and a $1.3 million payout – to marry her “middle class” college sweetheart.

Mako Komuro, 30, works in the legendary museum’s Asian art collection and is helping to put together an exhibition of paintings inspired by the life of a 13th-century monk who introduced Buddhism to Japan, according to the Japan Times.

The Upper East Side Museum is a 10-minute drive from the luxurious one-bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen that she shares with her husband and aspiring attorney Kei Komuro, 30.

The couple were engaged for eight years before saying “I do” in a small civil ceremony in Tokyo last October.

Since only male members of Japan’s imperial family are allowed to marry non-kings, Mako’s decision to marry for love means she is no longer considered a princess and future sons are no longer in the line of succession.

Mako and Kei met in 2013 while they were both studying at the International Christian University outside of Tokyo, where she studied arts and heritage. She then worked as a special researcher at the University Museum of Tokyo.

Japan’s former Princess Mako, pictured above leaving on a trip to South America in July 2019, now works as an unpaid volunteer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

Mako, 30, gave up her royal titles after marrying her 'commoner' boyfriend Kei Komuro in Tokyo last October.  Above, the couple announces their engagement in 2017

Mako, 30, gave up her royal titles after marrying her ‘commoner’ boyfriend Kei Komuro in Tokyo last October. Above, the couple announces their engagement in 2017

Mako reportedly works in the museum's Asian art collection.  She studied arts and heritage at the International Christian University outside of Tokyo, where she met her husband

Mako reportedly works in the museum’s Asian art collection. She studied arts and heritage at the International Christian University outside of Tokyo, where she met her husband

She also studied art history at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and earned a Masters in Art Museum and Gallery Studies from the University of Leicester in England in 2016, People reports.

‘She’s qualified and probably handles pieces in the collection. In general, it’s a job that requires a lot of preparation and often involves spending a lot of time in the library,” a former Met curator told People magazine.

Museum officials did not immediately respond to questions from DailyMail.com.

Mako is the daughter of Crown Prince Fumihito and the niece of the reigning Japanese Emperor Naruhito.

The ex-princess and Kei Komuro got “unofficially” engaged in 2017 and planned to tie the knot in November 2018.

The news was initially greeted with joy in Japan, but scandal grew when it was discovered that Kei’s widowed mother, Kayo, had failed to repay a $35,000 loan from a former fiancé, part of which was intended to pay for her son’s college tuition .

This led critics to believe that Komuro only married the princess for money or fame.

Komuro issued a 24-page statement about the money – claiming it was a gift, not a loan. Eventually he said he would pay it back, although it is not known if the money was returned.

Despite the turmoil, Kei and Mako’s love endured. In 2020, she asked the Japanese public to support her decision to marry the commoner.

Princess Mako, above at Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony, relinquished her titles because only male members of Japan's imperial family are allowed to marry non-kings

Princess Mako, above at Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony, relinquished her titles because only male members of Japan’s imperial family are allowed to marry non-kings

Mako left her home at Tokyo's Akasaka Estate on October 26 (see above) and landed at JFK in New York City on November 14

Mako left her home at Tokyo’s Akasaka Estate on October 26 (see above) and landed at JFK in New York City on November 14

The former princess was spotted shopping for essentials for her luxury one-bedroom apartment, which she shares with her new husband in Hell's Kitchen

The former princess was spotted shopping for essentials for her luxury one-bedroom apartment, which she shares with her new husband in Hell’s Kitchen

Mako, above on November 20, declined the 140 million yen ($1.3 million) payment she was entitled to for leaving the imperial family, palace officials said

Mako, above on November 20, declined the 140 million yen ($1.3 million) payment she was entitled to for leaving the imperial family, palace officials said

“We are irreplaceable for each other — someone to rely on in both happy times and unhappy times,” she said, announcing the wedding would go ahead.

“Therefore, marriage is a necessary decision for us to live while cherishing and protecting our feelings.”

The couple married last October, with the Imperial Household Agency stating that the couple didn’t want a big wedding “because their wedding won’t be celebrated by many people”.

Before landing in the US on November 14, Mako refused to pay $1.3 million she was entitled to for leaving the imperial family, palace officials said.

The newlyweds live in an apartment in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan.

While the unit consists of one bedroom, the building is a luxury residential tower that features a fitness center equipped with Peloton bikes, a yoga studio, a screening room, an on-site spa, a golf simulator area, landscaped decks with grills and table tennis, one from the beach Book Store curated library and 24-hour lobby.

According to the building’s website, one-bedroom apartments can be rented for $4,809 per month. A two-bedroom apartment in the building would bring the renter $7,085 per month.

The couple married last October, with the Imperial Household Agency stating that the couple didn't want a big wedding

The couple married last October, with the Imperial Household Agency stating that the couple didn’t want a big wedding “because their wedding won’t be celebrated by many people”.

The couple's home -- near Mako's new appearance at the Met Museum -- has one-bedroom units available to rent for $4,809 a month

The couple’s home — near Mako’s new appearance at the Met Museum — has one-bedroom units available to rent for $4,809 a month

Mako’s husband Kei is now trying to pass the New York State bar exam to become a lawyer after failing it last summer.

He first took the test last July, three months before his marriage to Mako, but was found to have failed in November.

He took the test again in February, but the results were not released.

Komuro’s last attempt at the bar exam came less than a year after he first sat the exam last July, when he had the opportunity to sit the exam remotely.

This time, no remote option was available to applicants.

Kei Komuro, 30, is trying to become a lawyer and passed the New York State bar exam for the second time in February after failing the exam last year

Kei Komuro, 30, is trying to become a lawyer and passed the New York State bar exam for the second time in February after failing the exam last year

Like last year, Komuro now has to wait agonizingly for several months before learning whether his second attempt at the exam was successful or not.

Corresponding Japanese broadcaster NHK, Komuro called attorney Okuno Yoshihiko, the head of a law firm in Japan where he had previously worked, to tell him he had failed the first exam.

If he fails again, Komuro will have to wait until July to retake the exam, which is only offered twice a year.

He can take the test as many times as he likes until he passes – since New York State does not limit the number of attempts a candidate can take.

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