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For Junko Hirose, her Australian husband, Richard Northcott, is pretty much Japanese when viewed from two aspects.

First, he is a Japan “otaku,” or nerd. He showed her his treasures — a photo of late pop idol Yukiko Okada, whose suicide in 1986 at the age of 18 made her a legend, and a gown with a huge embroidery of idol Noriko Sakai’s name written in kanji — on the first day they met in summer 2006.

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