After 69 years of marriage, Tomi and Yukichi finally get the wedding they were denied by parents’ opposition

After 69 years of marriage, Tomi and Yukichi finally get the wedding they were denied by parents’ opposition

Tomi and Yukichi as bride and groom on August 30 at the Shintokuen Elderly Nursing Health Facility in Nanjo City

September 21, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo
Yo Kakazu

(Nanjo) Clothed in a wedding dress, Tomi said, “at last.” On August 30, Tomi, 87, and Yukichi, 86, finally celebrated their matrimony as bride and groom after 69 years of marriage. At the time of their marriage, they were unable to celebrate for family reasons, but their wedding celebration was finally realized as part of Okinawa Watabe Wedding’s community service activities. The two gazed happily into each other’s eyes in their fine clothing, Tomi brimming with happiness as she stroked Yukichi’s cheeks and kissed his hands.

When Tomi was two years old, her mother died in childbirth, and her father died of malaria soon after. Left all alone, Tomi was taken in by relatives, but they did not send her to school, and she spent her childhood helping with household chores. “I was all alone in the world,” says Tomi. “It pained me to hear the rattling of a pen case. I was so lonely I could hardly bear it.” Tomi spoke with effort as she recalled her past.

Tomi was 18 years old when she married Yukichi, who lived in a neighboring town. Yukichi’s parents strongly opposed their marriage because they disapproved of Tomi’s upbringing. Because they married amidst such family opposition, the two were unable to celebrate their matrimony. Sixty-nine years later, on August 30, Okinawa Watabe Wedding made their dream come true.

Tomi, clothed in a pure white wedding dress, grasped tuxedo-clad Yukichi’s hand tightly and said, “I’m so happy. [I’m so happy] I could eat you,” and she made him laugh by pretending to gobble up his hand. “At last. It has been so long.” After this playful display, Tomi gazed at Yukichi with a smile on her face while the staff prepared for their photo session.
At the end, a commemorative photograph was taken of the two with their family, staff at their facility, and Okinawa Watabe Wedding staff. “Thank you!” Tomi called out buoyantly, her voice resonating.

(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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