Wed, Dec 31, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Japanese reunited with former nanny after over 60 years

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Kenji Okuzono, left, and his sister, right, pose with his former Taiwanese nanny, Lin Shui-juan, during their first meeting in 63 years. Changhua County Commissioner Cho Po-yuan, second left, arranged the reunion.

PHOTO: WU WEI-KUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

A Japanese man who had long been searching for his former nanny in Taiwan was finally reunited with her yesterday.

The 66-year-old man, Kenji Okuzono, met Lin Shui-juan (林水軟), 82, for the first time in more than 60 years at the office of the Changhua County Government, which helped arrange the meeting.

Okuzono expressed his heartfelt appreciation to Lin and her elder sister, who has since passed away, for taking care of him when he was a child.

He said that he was only three years old when he lived in Taiwan and he had no memory of Lin and her sister. But “at my mother's urging that I locate them and express my appreciation, I embarked on this journey,” he said.

Lin said that although Okuzono has changed a lot, she still experienced a sense of closeness when she saw him.

Okuzono said that when he returns to Japan, he will work hard to save enough money to treat Lin to a trip to Japan so she and his mother could see each other again.

As a child, Okuzono lived in Hemei Township (和美), Changhua County, where his father served as a policeman.

After his father's death, his mother often spoke about their life in Taiwan and how Lin took care of him, Okuzono said.

He therefore wanted to visit Taiwan to fulfill his mother's wishes, he added.

Armed with only an old photo and an old address, he first asked for assistance from the Osaka office of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council.

Through the council, he sought further help from the offices of land administration in Hemei, Yuanlin (員林) and Lukang (鹿港) to check the land administration documents and other data from the Japanese colonial era, which helped him to locate Lin.

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