Sunday, December 15, 2013


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This was taken in 1987. These beautiful, young people are (from left to right): Taka, myself, Taka's sister's fiance, Takashi, Taka's siter, Hitomi.

     It was 1987. I was working as a missionary in the church, Taka was a delivery man in one of the church's wholesale seafood businesses. I lived in Los Angeles and he - in a small town close to San Francisco. We never met and didn't know each other. 
     On March 26, the un-fianced or, as we say in my church, un-matched people received a news that we will go to New York, where Rev. Moon will match us to our future eternal spouses. To say that I was hardly prepared for it would be an understatement! Not because I didn't want it to happen, mind you, but because I felt unworthy and, therefore, not ready. In my church young and old members are taught that living a pure and dedicated life is of paramount importance, something that I believe even now. We valued our relationships between men and women as between brothers and sisters. It was very liberating, not to feel the anxiety of the gender interplay. Sometimes, of course, the feelings of another nature arose, and then we tried to squash them to be a pure daughter or son of God until we could find our own fiance, which was done then exclusively through Rev. Moon's matching.
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     Like I said, on March 26, 1987 we received the news. On march 27 we were already in New York, in the New Yorker Hotel (it belonged to the Unification Church), sitting on the floor of a ballroom, first listening to Rev. Moon's speech and then awaiting the matching ceremony.
     Rev. Moon's philosophy, largely, embraces people of different races and nationalities. We knew that our future spouse will, most likely, be of a different background. When Rev. Moon asked women in the audience, who of us were willing to be married to an Asian man, I sat on my hands, in lieu of showing that I would consider it a great misfortune for a poor man. My character is not very pliant or humble, and although I had a few good Japanese men-friends, I also drove some others crazy. 
     Seeing that not enough women raised their hands, Rev. Moon spoke some more, saying that our marriages were not made for ourselves. By creating a family centered on God (because that's what all of us strived to do) and building a good relationship with our spouses and relatives from different countries and races, we could restore the mistakes of the past and create a world of peace also centered on God.
     I firmly believed that, when you give a present to someone, you should think of that person and not yourself while choosing a present. I thought of that when I decided that, since I was going to marry someone not for myself but for the restoration of the humankind, I should be more flexible in accepting a Japanese man as a future husband. Should I have been more stubborn? Should I have had more faith in my own decision? I don't know. The fact is that, I finally raised my hand as a sign that I will take Rev. Moon's suggestion.
     As he started to walk in the aisle between men and women and look for their matches, I sat in the corner of the room, watching everything with great interest. A lot of the members whom I knew were matched. I was very caught up in the proceedings. Rev. Moon claimed to have an ability to see people's ancestors and detect the connections that needed to be made between certain families. Those whom he matched seemed to have a similar mien to them!
     As time passed, I became aware that I was getting very thirsty. We were told not to leave the room, if it wasn't something important, but I felt that I simply must go get a drink of water! 
     I went out to the bathroom and when I came back, the doors to the great ballroom were locked! "That's it," - I thought - "now I've really done it!" I went all around the ballroom and tried other doors, but - to no avail. Finally, when I was already almost crying in fear that I messed up the biggest opportunity of my life, the doors opened. 
     I slinked in and found myself in a different place than before. My friend Janine was there too. After a while, Rev. Moon asked all the non-Asian women to stand up. He still walked in the aisle between us and the men who stood opposite to us. Most of them were from Japan. 
     Almost right away, I felt Rev. Moon's fingers on the shoulder of my dress. He pulled me out of the line and threw me at a tall Japanese guy who was standing apart from others. I was only interested that he was taller than me, because I am very short. We bowed to Rev. Moon and Mrs. Moon, who was sitting on stage and smiling at us, and went to discuss the proposed marriage.
     I already made up my mind that I will accept whomever Rev. Moon chooses. Taka did too, because we just talked about where we were from and our families. We didn't have any obvious health problems to prevent us from quickly agreeing to become husband and wife. 

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