First Meeting In 60 Years Between Lost Siblings

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Okinawa Times

Joyful Meet Up

The Okinawa Times covered our long lost family service.


Emotional first meeting of siblings living apart in Okinawa and the United States — after 60 years

February 8th, 2016 11:31 Okinawa Times

Etsuko Kaneshiro (61), who owns an eatery in Goya, Okinawa, met with her step-brother, Mark Danley (62), who lives in Oregon state in the United States, for the first time and is trying to develop a relationship. Mark found out about his sister in Okinawa in the will of his father, Donald Danley, who passed away last April. Mark found Etsuko’s whereabouts and arrived in Okinawa at the end of January. Etsuko knew about the existence of a brother, but “did not expect to ever meet him,” and is pleased by the encounter after 60 years.

His father, Danley, was stationed in Okinawa with the army for 1 year, beginning in March 1953, and subsequently returned to the United States. Etsuko learned of his address from her mother and invited her father to Okinawa in 1984. During this visit, she learned about her step-siblings, David (63), Mark, and a sister Dea (54).

They lost touch with each other after that, but with the passing of Danley last year, at the age of 84, from lung cancer, Mark learned about Etsuko for the first time, from the mention of her name in his will. He hired an investigator in Tokyo to find Etsuko’s whereabouts, and the siblings talked to each other for the first time last June on an internet phone service, Skype.

Mark remembers the moment as, “the most memorable moment of my life. We both cried.” Mark, who visited Okinawa at the end of January with his wife, Key (62), gave Etsuko an album filled with pictures of the siblings and other family members in the United States. He gave Rina (38), Etsuko’s eldest daughter, the Happi coat worn by David, his older brother when he was young. In return, Etsuko showed them pictures of their father while he was stationed in Okinawa, and told stories.

Mark is planning to stay until the 9th of this month. On the 3rd, Etsuko held a welcome party for Mark at her restaurant. Upon receiving a flower bouquet from her regular customer, Mark said, “there was a worry that she wouldn’t want to see me. I am truly touched.” Etsuko, with her arm linked with Mark’s, expressed happiness that “when I was young, I was hoping for a brother, and to link our arms together. My dream has come true. I am very happy to be recognized as a sibling.”

Email from Rina, the daughter of the subject

“Mr. Koyama, thanks to you, we were able to meet each other. Mark respects you most. \( •̀ω•́ )/Thank you very much.☆”
“You enthusiasm and diligence boar a fruit in this case. We could build a strong bond between siblings over the Pacific Ocean. I imagine how hard your work is. But be proud of yourself. Without your job, we had no chance to meet each other. ♡(´,,•ω•,,`)

Email from Mark, the client

I cannot tell you how pleased I am for your work. I doubt my testimony will give you any additional work, but if you would like a statement from me regarding how you conducted yourself, please let me know and I will do so.
I have been texting Etsuko’s family using LINE, and we’re making plans on a conversation directly with Etsuko (using an interpreter) this next weekend.

Perhaps we shall meet someday, but if not, I hope you know you have made a fundamental difference in my life and with several other people. In my culture, we have a word, mensch, which means a really good person, one whom you can trust and respect. You, sir, are a mensch. It is an honor to have worked with you.

How we locate her – Painstaking Efforts

Survey history – crystals of obsession and miracles
In the information of Mr. Mark of the United States, the address which moved 30 years ago, the surname of “Erabu” after his marriage, and the name of her husband “Tomio Erabu”, the address and telephone number 30 years ago There was only information. Another thing, 30 years ago, there was a record that the association named the Japan-US Exchange Association supported Etsuko – san ‘s face to face with Dad.

Were the previous address a rental property or in the register of the land building no clue was found at all.

The previous phone number was canceled, it did not hit even in the reverse of the phone book, and it did not become a clue.

The Japan-US exchange association disappeared more than 10 years ago, and it did not become a clue.
“Erabu” thought that it was a mistake of Irabu, I searched for “Ibarbe Tomio” first in the phone book. And I called “Irabu Tomio” in the phone book from one end, but there was the only place where I did not respond even if I called the phone, there was no progress on this line.

Next, I tried telephone interview by finding the names of neighbors from the residential map of the previous address, but unfortunately, it was not a telephone directory poster, phone interviewing was impossible, and deskwork-like survey method completely stalled.

I thought that I should not give up here, and decided to do a field survey at the resolution of the deficit. Every time, since we are making the best results without wasting expenses, we conducted a field survey while staying in bed with cheap airline tickets, car rental, and internet cafe.

In fact, the phone after the relocation of the principal’s ex-husband was in the telephone directory, I was putting out answering machine at the stage of the telephone interview, but in fact, the former husband just happened to be in a long-term hospital and could not contact I knew later that I did. Although I heard the answering machine even after discharge, I thought that it was a friend of a former wife or something, I thought that it did not bother to contact from here and he said he ignored it.

Well, we entered the site and listened to neighbors of the old address.
I asked a resident (the man about 40 years old) in the same premises the same address as the subject’s address and asked, “Do you not know that my family named Irabu lived here before?” It was answered to me as if I was “unaware”, it was repelled midway.

It is hopeless if it is told that people who were on the same site do not know.
I gave up and came home, and my older brother remembered that I remembered and chased after me.
“I remembered, a family named Irabu lived in before, children were a bit lower than me, my father was training the body with a dumbbell, you are a half-man.”
“Yes, I do not know where I live now?”
“I do not know, I thought that my father worked on waterworks, but I still do not know where I was because I was a child at that time, because I have an old man that I might know, let’s go there together.”

When told that the target person has the right to inherit heritage and searching for a person, the older brother became cooperative and took the trouble to show us the old man of the house a little.
The man taught me the approximate location of the worker at that time, who was the subject.

Although I did not know the name of the office, I found out that it was a waterworks contractor and that it was a local company and probably this.

I went there immediately. Just around 5 p.m. I hurriedly hoped that opening hours would end.
When I visited my former employee, a man from my office responded.

“I had known that Tomio Irabu had previously used, but I do not know the contact information because I ceased when I came.”
I heard that “Is there anyone else who seems to be familiar with old people?” However, “I do not have it.”
So I could not give up so I was staring in front of my workplace, there were several workers who came back to the office and asked the oldest man.
Luckily, the man knew Tomio about Tomio and taught him about the approximate area he lived about 10 years ago.

When I reconfirmed the survey record of the telephone directory and residential map again in that area, there was one person applicable.

“Wait, if it’s the same name as the same name on this phone book with the same first name, was not it where I called by earlier and answering machine?”, I told himself to tell the truth in the car. I thought that it may be wrong because I did not make a call, and I went to that address.
“Oh, I’m in trouble if this is a different person, so the clues are completely broken there.”
While I was thinking about it, I arrived at the place. It was like a small rented house. “Well, I wonder if I live with my family here,” but I have to worry a bit.
When I rang the door bell, a 60-something man came out.

Explaining the circumstances, “Oh, there was an answering machine in. What was it like an inheritance … No, I have already divorced from Etsuko. I do not know where I currently live but to my daughter, You can understand it by asking. Well, please go ahead. “
“Oh, good, I have connected with this.” I was deeply moved and the goosebumps stood.
Tomio told me thirty days ago Etsuko’s father Donald took a good pleasure when he came to Japan.
“Donald said that Japan liked and emigrated to Japan, I was really pleased.”

Then, I called on my daughter Rina and replace me. When I explained the circumstances, I taught Etsuko’s phone number.

Tomio was proud that Mr. Rina was active as a volleyball player when he was a high school student and said, “I was working as a sports recommendation at Tokyo University for a while.

It is somewhat lonely to have divorced Etsuko, but it can not be helped.

Before field survey, Tomio’s phone was confirmed, there was no response, but answering machine was put in. However, there was the possibility of the same first and last names the same name, I’m not sure, I did not tell the details, I was merely informing of our contacts. Because I had no reply, I was convinced that it would be completely separate.

As a result, it was the former husband’s phone, but it was about to enter the labyrinth unless field survey was done.

After leaving Tomio, after a while, I called Etsuko and the principal came out.
When I told that I would like to hand inheritance documents directly, I got an appointment the next morning.

On the next day, I met Mr. Erika Etsuko’s eldest daughter, Rina, who gave himself to Etsuko himself.
Needless to say that it was exciting with memories, Etsuko was not able to speak English, so I talked about what to do with the client ‘s communication.

I taught Etsuko that Skype is useful for international calls.
Also, when talking using Line’s automatic translation function, I taught that what I wrote in Japanese got into English quickly and what I could do in English was to be translated into Japanese soon.

And, Mr. Mark also had a line application with automatic translation function installed, arranged to exchange with Taka Rina with Line talk.

Thank you for reading to the end.

Protection of Personal Information In Japan where priority is given, people searching becomes more and more difficult, but we are always worried about what to do, but there were twists and turns, but I was able to finish the results luckily, This time it is a great success.

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