We really didn’t know what to expect, but came home so proud of our kids, thankful for some sweet friendships, and marveling at such an amazing wedding! Our dear friend Hide got married today… His whole family has been special to us during our eight years in Sanda. We got to know his mom Yayoi first when she was our post office delivery lady and brought us a series of packages, and it didn’t take long before our families were barbecuing and hanging out together and the three boys studying English with us. Several friends from the U.S. had great home stays with their family. And Eric climbed Mt. Fuji with their oldest son!
So it was a huge honor when they invited not just Eric and me, but all four of our children as well (mostly never done in Japan- weddings are usually just for adults). And Owen was asked to be the veil-carrier with Hide’s nephew, and Annie and Olivia to be flower girls. We were only allowed to take photos during the rehearsal. They both looked great!
Western-style weddings have become quite popular in Japan- many of our missionary friends help subsidize their income by doing wedding ceremonies. Hide’s wedding also had an American pastor overseeing the ceremony. We loved singing “What a Friend we have in Jesus”… there were only about three of us in the ceremony singing but Eric and I belted it out.
And look what Ian was doing during the rehearsal:
The kids clean up nice, don’t they? We were thankful for the friends who lent us some of the components’ of the boys’ outfits….We had found the dresses at Ross’s in Hawaii in January. You never really know how kids will be when it comes down to the pressure of lots of people watching you (and not really knowing what you are supposed to do) – but they all did a great job, smiled a lot, and I think made Hide and his family happy.
They certainly made us happy!
The reception was so wonderful! At Japanese weddings, the bride usually makes one or two dress changes, coming out at some point in an evening gown. We loved that the first change honored their career path — they are both Osaka police officers.
Hide this past year has been going up to the Tohoku region with other police forces to look for body remains. We blogged previously about when he came to our home to debrief the horrors that he wasn’t able to talk about with others. We are proud of both of them and the challenging jobs they do. Hide’s dad and brother are cops, as well, so he is carrying on a proud tradition. At one point the bride and groom went around and lit candles held by guests with guns that were lighters.
One of the fun things they did was to throw out a few plastic bananas into the audience. One of Hide’s friends caught one, and gave it to Olivia. She was thrilled!
Even more so than other weddings we have attended in Japan, we came home laden with gifts that the bride and groom and family gave to guests. But even more our hearts were so full and thankful for the dear friendship of this family.
At one point, Yayoi came over and we shared a few moments, and a few tears. She is such an amazing, strong woman who has raised three great sons. We are hoping our two families can have one last hurrah before we move up north. They have promised to come up to visit us this summer – we are going to hold them to it… and keep praying that they learn more and more what a friend they have in Jesus.