Wedding in Babanakayama


May 10, 2013

Wedding of Kaoru and Kanae Chiba

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On April 30, we had the privilege of attending the outdoor wedding and reception of Kaoru and Kanae Chiba in Babanakayama, Minamisanriku town. Even though we were the only foreigners among the over 100 people at their wedding, we felt right at home! For one thing, almost everyone except the bride and groom were dressed casually.

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They began with professional pictures in front of the Babanakayama evacuation center. Then they held a short wedding ceremony--all Christian--on the "Road of Hope" that Kanae and her sister had cut through the brush after the tsunami. The small road leads up a hill away from the ocean, making an escape route from any future tsunami that might hit the town. 

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Then, back at the evacuation center, they held their wedding reception with fun, Japanese traditional dancing and free flowing drinks. Instead of cutting the cake, they made the first slice in a tuna that was donated from the famous Tsukiji fish market of Tokyo. (Kanae's brother works there.) The tuna sashimi was delicious!

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One local lady told us it was so good to meet Christians like ourselves who have helped with the recovery of the town. In good Japanese fashion, she tried to give us a gift to express her thanks and repay the debt she felt she owed. We shared with her that we were thankful we could show the love of Christ without expecting anything in return. Grace is a foreign concept in the Japanese mind.

At the end of the wedding reception, after most of the visitors had left, we had an opportunity to maneuver our van among the tables and tents so as to unload the large dish cupboard we were donating for the Chiba's cafe. We also gave them a quilt Ann had made for hanging on the wall of their new cafe.

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Then we drove to the nearby cafe site to see the progress. The cafe is scheduled to open some time in May. We plan to visit Kaoru and Kanae at their new cafe when we visit Babanakayama again in June. (dale little)