Most Viennese children venerate Maria Theresa and hate me. It’s true! I’m the legendary spoiled empress who disdained the Viennese, abandoned her husband and children time after time, and took rest cures in warm climes as often as I could get away with it.
Guilty as charged!
It’s hard to be thought of in such a negative light, I must admit. That’s why I was thrilled when I found out how much they love me in Japan! Instead of judging me, calling me vain, spiteful and arrogant, the Japanese (particularly the women) find me positively cult-worthy.
You see, the Japanese women can relate to oppression. They know what it’s like to be forced to live for others, constantly putting your own needs on the back burner.
According to Yoko Yamato, a Europe-specific editor of Japanese-language guidebooks, “Many Japanese women who feel trapped in their families and isolated seem to empathize with the story of Empress Elizabeth. Sisi fans in Japan often have husbands like Franz Joseph, who work long hours and come home only late at night.”
I dare say the Japanese see me as a gilded cage sort of heroine. A woman who kept her sense of herself and found a way to tap into the freedoms of youth, albeit intermittently, so she wouldn’t fizzle like a trapped moth.
If I were around today, I should very much like to explore Tokyo and the other Japanese cities. I have a fondness for raw protein foods after all, and those kimonos are to die for!