US Soldier returns Japanese photo

16 Mar

Last Saturday (March 14), a U.S. World War II veteran who fought the Japanese Army on 硫黄島 (Iwo-Tou*) returned personal belongings of a Japanese soldier who died in the battle.

(*The Japanese island of 硫黄島 is often mistakenly called “Iwo-Jima”. The correct name is actually “Iwo-Tou” (or “Iwoto”)).

The American former soldier, 85 year old Frank Hobbs, took an envelope from the pocket of Matsuji Takekawa who died at the age of 37 in the famous “Battle Of Iwo-Jima“*.

The envelope contained a photo of Mr. Takekawa’s youngest daughter as an infant and a drawing done by his older daughter when she was about 7 years old.

Mr. Hobbs decided he should return the belongings to Mr. Takekawa’s relatives before he dies.

Through the Japan Consulate in America, he was able to locate Mr. Takekawa’s youngest daughter (who was an infant in the photo) who, ironically, is living in America now.

Frank Hobbs and Yoko Takekawa, 64, had a tearful meeting at Mr. Hobbs’ home in Boston where he handed her her father’s belongings.

Ms. Takekawa will be bringing the photo and drawing back to her family’s home in 新潟県 (Niigata Prefecture, Japan).

The photo that Mr. Hobbs returned to the Takeyama family.

The photo that Mr. Hobbs returned to the Takeyama family.

The drawing done by Chie Takegawa when she was about 7.

The drawing done by Chie Takegawa when she was about 7.

Frank Hobbs returning Matsuji Takegawa's belongings to his daughter Yuko.

Frank Hobbs returning Matsuji Takegawa's belongings to his daughter Yuko.

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8 Responses to “US Soldier returns Japanese photo”

  1. Janis September 24, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    I just saw this story on the national news on ABC. I live in California, USA. It touched my heart. War is a terrible thing and it is sad to think that these two girls were deprived of their father as they grew up. But it is bittersweet after all these years that the items were returned to them and they knew that their Dad had these mementos in his pocket as a reminder of how he loved them. Also, the soldier had these items all these years knew they were special and saved/framed them. He was emotional when he returned them to the daughter. It is a reminder that regardless of our politics and beliefs, that we we have so much in common. Peace.

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 25, 2009 at 12:12 am #

      This happened about six months ago…was it just now on American news?

      Like

  2. Keiichi Matsumura March 20, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    Hi, this story is about my mother and grandfather. It was a great reunion and I still find myself in disbelief.

    Here are some links of video footage (in Japanese only):

    http://www.47news.jp/movie/general/post_2028/
    http://news.tbs.co.jp/20090315/newseye/tbs_newseye4084273.html

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 21, 2009 at 12:12 am #

      >Hi, this story is about my mother and grandfather.

      Wow! Really?! I’m honored that you commented on my blog!

      >It was a great reunion

      Yes, I agree.

      >Here are some links of video footage

      I watched them. Thanks…as I wrote in a comment above, I wanted to see TV footage of the meeting!
      BTW, are you in the TBS video (second link)?

      (Also, I added two stills from the videos that you gave me the links to. (The bottom two photos on this post). Thanks.)

      Like

  3. Sir Pent March 17, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    That’s incredible.

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 17, 2009 at 9:27 am #

      Yeah, it’s a nice story.
      I would like to see their meeting on TV.

      Like

  4. cuteandcurls March 16, 2009 at 11:50 pm #

    I’m glad Mr Hobbs actually kept that photo & drawing and he did a good thing by returning it back to its rightful owner.. this is a very touching blog to read.

    Like

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