Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm Sortof Related to a Famous Japanese Movie Star

who unfortunately just found out that the grandfather we share was not, in fact, a Navajo from Kentucky.
So, you know that show about famous people finding out who they are related to?

Yea, my dad was totally on one of those.

In Japan.

From the time I was born, my paternal grandmother was married to the man I considered to be my grandfather.  He was actually a step father to my dad and uncle, but he was my Grandpa.  I am the only child on that side of the family, so I was basically spoiled. 

Apparently, however, before Grandpa married Grandma, he was stationed in Japan, where he had a wife and a daughter.  The daughter had two sons, one of whom is the Famous Japanese Movie Star mentioned above (he was also in Thor, so he's a movie star here too).

So we got a call from my uncle who was contacted by the producer trying to research the story for this show.  He had tracked my uncle down because he was the executor of my grandfather's estate.  He relayed this story to my uncle in an email, and my dad joined in the email conversation.

A Japanese film crew came to my parents house to film an interview with my dad and also to film the wallet my grandfather carried.  Until the day he died, he carried with him a picture of the daughter he left behind in Japan.

In July my dad went to London, where Tadanobu is filming a movie, to film the rest of the TV show.  The producers didn't tell Tadanobu or his mother, Junko, that my dad and uncle were coming.  The producers filmed them watching the interviews with my dad, and with some of my grandfather's other family.  Then they surprised them by bringing in my dad and my uncle.

Family history and family ties are very important in the Japanese culture, and they were very very pleased to meet my dad and my uncle.  I had supplied my dad with plenty of photos of the Wee One to take, and they thought she was very cute.  Junko, my father's step sister, sent gifts home for her.

We have a copy of the show they televised in Japan.  Much of what Tadanobu and his mother say is in Japanese, so we are getting that translated.  It's interesting to have family that you never knew about.  I'm glad that they were able to find the questions about my Grandpa that they were looking for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

fascinating. could you get it on youtube?