CANADA: My first marriage

MY FIRST MARRIAGE, 1956 – 1984 I married Chieko Fukushima in 1957 and divorced her in 1988. I married Muriel Mellow in the same year. What happened? I still think that it is best to be left alone, untold. Pierre Trudeau wrote in his MEMOIRS 1993) “Anyone who has gone through the break-up of marriage ……….. will understand why I choose to write no more about the matter.” However, I also feel that it has to be dealt with to make me honest and complete.

An easiest way to explain what happened is, like St. Augustine, to make it all my fault and say, “I got tired of my faithful and good wife of 26 years, fell deeply in love with another person.” But this explanation is completely unacceptable on two accounts. I don’t feel that I was so irresponsible. It was not all my fault. Secondly, I am now married to an absolutely wonderful person. To make the whole affairs my fault will insult Muriel. I would never do that. I now have an incredibly good marriage. Also, it must be said that Chieko was a good person. It is not right to make her less than a good person. So like Trudeau, it is best not to analyze it nor mention it any further.

I chose to deal with it by quoting three poems. Chieko’s and my daughter Evelyn’s were written on our 25th Anniversary of my first marriage. The other one was by me at the time of separation.  I post my daughter’s first.

Happy Anniversary! by Evelyn Mitsui, 1981

                                                         A silver kiss for a

Silver Day

for two

silver people

Mommy and Daddy,

I love you.



It takes a whole life time

to find out what you are

…..all about..

Would life be easier together?

Let the tears run down

for the good time

and the bad

‘cause you can cry when

your happy like

when you are sad.

Laughter is rapturous.

Life is for you and me






A dove





Momma, will you come back

With an olive branch?

This land below is for you and me.


Daddy – Mother Gaea will never change

– Mother Gaea will never change

Stand high! Fight! Left! Right! Left! Right!

You took on the world.

(I think you won the war.)

But Mother Gaea will never change.

Daddy, your squirming worm grew to be a fine butterfly

and now knows how to fly.

This dove is up to fly.

But Daddy the skies are yours.

Threat no more, the war is won.

Papa, your world is our world

And the skies are but one.






By Chieko Fukushima, 1981


No, I’m not coming with you to Geneva.

You will enjoy your study leave

Five and twenty years of

accompanying, that

started with our honeymoon

to Osaka.

It was my first air trip, too.

Waiting and sitting,

A bit of you in between.

Accompanying you was my career

waiting, smiling and listening.

To Vancouver for a decade of

accompanying you

to teas, to suppers, conferences, ordination,

summer schools.

to weddings, to church meetings

on the trip to be interviewed to accompany you

to Paris’ winter,

to seven short years of Africa, then

four long years of Switzerland,

to Toronto,

to many countries in between.

Helped with Sunday Schools,

women’s groups, seniors, youths,

mothers and babies, young adults,

young immigrants.

Our long waited baby came!

Then, less accompanying but more

sewing, knitting, staying behind,

Then driving here, driving there,

east-end to west end

to dance lessons,

piano lessons

English lessons,

Northe to South, Camps & PTA’s.

Painted walls,

laid carpets,

potted plants,

bottled fruits,

made jams,

bought furniture,

got rid of furniture,

packed and unpacked,

Hobby courses of


cane chair weaving



study groups

English lessons

French lessons

Latin lessons

Doing those things filled my time.

We experienced coup d’etat,

police raid

met a king, a prime minister

espionage, refugees,

murderers, gamblers,

Saw suffering, saw joy

more suspense & poignant than

the war memories of my childhood.

Visitors came from East

” ” ” West

” ” ” North

” ” ” South,

Visitors passing through

each with fascinating stories.

I accompanied you,

trying to be proud of being supportive.

I even believed in it.

Our life was full, wasn’t it? Was it?


Yet, …..yet,

though it is not that it wasn’t enough,

but of different kind

As if it always belonged to

someone else.

I was a spectator,

“I was there”

But then,

I would have been a spectator

All my life, just watching, waiting.

Oh, yes, I did my bit in Africa.

But I was not the commissioned me.

They liked what I did

because it was unexpected.

And, I had to face it

during those long four years.

Yes, so that I can

really turn to face you and say

“Here I am, I’m your partner,

I want to be with you,

I want to share my life with you.”

Not a trip to Geneva accompanying you,

but your patience to watch

a middle age student struggle

and to wait for me to be really me

Is a biggest silver gift

to celebrate proudly our quarter of

a century together.





– I wrote these lines in 1984 just before Chieko and I separated.

We had the well,

that had given us clean, cool, and delicious water

for a quarter of a century.

We had to change the pump from time to time,

wait for murkey water to clear after heavy rains.

But good water it gave most of the time.


You wanted to find out what”s in it

on the bottom.

Why?  I said.  We had to, you said.

We emptied the whole thing.

What a mess!

Junk, dead animals, muck of all sorts.


I could no longer drink of it.

I could not bear the though of it.

I had to give it up.

So I did.



My last name, “Mitsui” stands for Japanese word for “three wells.”  The night before we separated, we went to hear a concert by Gordon Lightfoot.  We cried throughout.  I hardly remember what I heard.



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