How-tos | LIFELINES

In search of family and friends in Japan

by Louise George Kittaka

Contributing Writer

Here is another of our occasional columns featuring requests from readers who are hoping to reconnect with “long-lost” people in Japan.

  • Derrick Tron is hoping to connect with Chiho Nakamori. Chiho stayed with Derrick’s family while in Britain on a student visa in the early 1970s, and helped to take care of his children, Adrian and Julia. He recalls that she cooked Japanese dishes and folded origami cranes for them. They stayed in touch for some time, and he knows that Chiho went on to marry and have two children of her own, but he can’t recall her married name or other details.
  • American Christine Steele of California would love to find her Japanese pen pal, Iriko Honda (Iriko Yoshida before her marriage). The two corresponded regularly as teenagers and well into adulthood, exchanging letters from 1981 to 1996 before losing contact. Iriko went to Gakuen Women’s College, and lived in various places in Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures during the time Christine knew her. She worked for an insurance company at one point in her life. She married Matsushige Honda in 1987 and has two sons, who would now both be in their 20s. Christine adds that her name has not changed since then.
  • Next up is Maria Rizzo, who is hoping to find the Japanese relatives of her mother, Teruko Shirota. Teruko, who is now in her early 80s, was from Yaeyama-gun in Okinawa, but left to go to the United States after marrying an American Marine in 1964. Her late parents were Nobuari and Okiku Shirota and her sisters’ first names are Setsuko, Kimiko and Toshiko. Maria would like to get in touch with any family members in Japan.
  • Steve Naglic would like to find his old college friend, Ken Suzuki. The two attended Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1970 and 1971 before both transferring to other universities. They lost contact in 1975 and Steve has no clue where Ken might have gone to after that, or what path he pursued.

If anyone out there happens to have information that could help one of these readers, please contact us and we will pass on the information: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp