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Japanese woman reunited with Taiwanese classmate after 76 years

2018/05/24 21:33:11

Wang Ching-chu (王青珠, front row, third left) and Tomoko Imada (front row, third right)/photo courtesy of Gangshan District Household Registration Office

Kaohsiung, May 24 (CNA) A Japanese woman who visited Taiwan mid-May to fulfill her deceased brother's last wish to visit their childhood town in Taiwan was reunited with a classmate she had not seen in 76 years.

Tomoko Imada came to Taiwan with her niece and sister-in-law and visited Gangshan District Household Registration Office in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City on May 15 to look for her birth records, according to the office's administrative director Lin Chien-chih (林建智).

Imada brought with her a photo of her brother so that he could posthumously visit his birthplace.

She showed staff at the office a map she drew of her old home and its surroundings. They helped her identify the area and then volunteered to take her there.

While some of the sites from Imada's childhood, including the old Gangshan train station, have long since disappeared, she remembered that a classmate's family owned the local hospital, which still exists though it is more of a clinic today.

While she was outside the clinic, her childhood classmate, Wang Ching-chu (王青珠), happened to just be exiting the building, the two woman without any need for reintroductions hugged each other and shed tears of joy.

Although it has been 76 years since the two women last saw each other, the memories came flooding back.

Imada repeatedly thanked God for such serendipity, allowing the women to meet again at 88 years of age.

According to Wang, the two of them reminisced about their childhood to the age of 12.

(By Wang Shwu-fen and Kuan-lin Liu)