Daughter finds long lost mom after 40-year separation

Judy Mintze, who contacted us in search of her long lost mother, is on cloud nine.

“I’m so pleased to inform you that I was reunited with my mother for the first time in over 40 years in early April at the Medical Corp. Okeikai Inuyama Hospital, Inuyama City (in Aichi Prefecture),” she writes.

Judy had to take a flight from Okinawa — where she lived with her mother until they were separated when Judy was 5 years old — to Nagoya Airport, then a train to Inuyama City and a taxi to the hospital. It was a long journey, and she was very nervous. But tears quickly turned to smiles.

“I had a lightness in my heart just touching her, kissing her, and telling her how much I love her. Also I met her niece and nephew.”

Judy now plans to visit once a year. “My mom is not well mentally, and I just hope that seeing me brought some happiness to her troubled soul. For myself, I finally have peace in my heart and can start to heal.”

Judy says that finding her mother is a dream come true, and she wants to thank all those involved from the bottom of her heart.

“You have changed our lives. I know I couldn’t have located my mother without your help, and the assistance of the Inuyama Hospital staff. Again, thank you so much for all the support.”

We print this because we receive many inquiries asking for assistance in finding lost relatives. More often than not, tracking them down proves just too difficult. But sometimes miracles do happen, and the photo Judy sent of her meeting her mother is the best kind of proof that Lifelines can and does make a difference.

Lost love

KH has lived abroad for more than 45 years and, coming back to Japan, has been astonished at the changes. “I’m so surprised that things are so different.”

KH grew up listening to the songs of Hibari Misora, Chiemi Eri and Chiyoko Shimakura.

“I’m wondering if there is an address where I can drop a line to Chiyoko Shimakura. She used to live next door to my sister and her husband in Tokyo.”

You are in luck!

Shimakura still performs, and, as well as being a famous enka singer, works as a TV presenter.

Shimakura — nicknamed the “Goddess of Enka” — has been singing for more than 50 years, and can count among her fans former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. She can be reached through her record company, Columbia Music Entertainment. The address is: 4-1-40 Toranomon, Minato Ward, Tokyo 105-8482. Or you can call and ask how to make contact at (03) 6895-9001. Their Web site is

High flier

A letter from our youngest reader yet: Jenny, 10, wants to fly kites — and the bigger the better.

“Do you know how I can learn? My mum and dad are hopeless.”

I’m sure they are not hopeless, Jenny. Most likely they just don’t know where to start finding information for you. Take pity, OK? It’s not easy living abroad.

Kite-flying has a long history in Japan, and as a result there are a number of wonderful festivals all over the country. The following site has a calendar and information, but make sure your parents know what you are doing and are on hand to help and advise: ~et3m-tkkw/h4.html.

Otherwise just go to your local park or beach with family and/or friends and start flying. Other kite enthusiasts are sure to gather around soon enough. Let us know how you get on.

Angela Jeffs is a freelance writer and writing guide ( Ken Joseph directs the Japan Helpline at and (0570) 000-911. Send queries, problems and posers to

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