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No Regrets

The old cliché is true, love is blind. If it weren't, we probably would have thought of a thousand reasons not to marry. Thirty-six years later we are still glad we threw caution to the wind.

I met Hiro soon after I arrived in Japan in 1960 to work as a civilian on a military base near Tokyo. Communication was not a problem. He had mastered English, and I learned enough Japanese to fumble along.

When my two-year assignment in Japan was nearly over, we were inseparable. After a six-month extension and then another I felt the only solution was marriage and broached the subject. Hiro agreed.

Hiro and I

All of our friends and fellow workers supported our decision, but we didn't know what to expect from our families. I had not met his family who lived several hours by train from Tokyo.

His father and teen-age sister rushed to Tokyo after they received Hiro's letter informing them of our plans. We spent several pleasant hours together then they returned home. The message came later. The family approved only if we would agree to a Japanese wedding and would remain in Japan. We agreed for I loved not only Hiro but also Japan.

My side was another story however. I wrote the happy news to my widowed mother and was shocked when I received a violently negative response. Letters flew back and forth across the Pacific until I finally convinced her the marriage would take place with or without her approval.

Mother was afraid of being ostracized if a Japanese were introduced into the family. To her surprise and relief family and friends were delighted. Letters of congratulations and support from America quickly filled my mailbox. Mother did a complete turnaround and gave us her full support.

After a Japanese ceremony in his hometown and a Christian wedding in the base chapel we settled in an apartment in Tokyo. A few years later circumstances brought us to America where we remain to this day.

Japanese and American culture and customs are truly worlds apart. Even though I had lived in Japan and Hiro has lived in America, we still experienced difficulties due to these differences. As we have grown through the years, we have adjusted and have no regrets. The one disappointment is that we never had children. I grew to love Hiro's family very much and regret there are no blood ties between our two families.





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