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An international love story


An international love story

How I met my Japanese husband

Eternally Mimi

Eternally Mimi

Published on 26 Nov 2020, 12:00

Once upon a time, a few years ago, in a land far-far away from Japan, lived a girl with a slight interest in the country and a small dream to leave her own.

She was a first year Education student who had just found out that teaching English can lead to many, many possibilities outside of SA. Lucky for her, this was already her major.

She gained the motivation to finish her TEFL certification before the end of her first year. Then, during the summer holidays she started planning. She became more and more interested in the world outside and obsessively watched videos of Japan specifically.

She thought, one day, that having a type of pen-pal would make it easier to learn more about the country, having a friend would also make it more fun when the time came to move. She wouldn’t feel so alone, you see.

That’s how she discovered HelloTalk, the application that led her to meet her husband. Of course, it was never her intention to marry someone whom she’d met off the internet, she wasn’t even looking. It was this cute boy who found her, started talking to her and never stopped.

They shared stories of his travels, photos of their daily lives, what they were doing and got to know each other over videos and voice notes. It became obvious to the girl that she liked him. Why else would she stay up until after midnight just to talk to someone?

So, she asked him to start a relationship with her and to her great surprise, he accepted. This was the start of a very fast-paced, brand new life together.

They met in SA just a few months later and had the most wonderful trip together.

They even got lost, literally. They shared the typical African lion king type experience, having braais, trying to find animals, and wandering through the caves in the Cradle of Humankind. It was a week of insane nerves, laughs and wonder.

And after the week had passed, and it was time for the boy to return to his land. The farewell was when they realised that all they wanted was to be together.

Our first week together in SA [Photo by: Michelle Watanabe]
Our first week together in SA [Photo by: Michelle Watanabe]

When he got home, their relationship flourished. Online, they became inseparable. Calls were over two hours long, the texts never ended, short videos and voice notes made their days all the brighter. And soon, it was time for the girl to leave all she knew behind, for a week at least, and go to his far away land.

From this time on their relationship just became stronger, they were moving faster and faster.

She met his folk and he met hers. Soon enough they were engaged, married, honeymooning on tropical islands. Then, on one lucky day, the girl became pregnant. She permanently left her country without so much as a proper farewell (not intentionally, I might add).

They stayed together from there on, facing life’s trials and a lot of culture shock. Soon enough, they had bought their first house and their baby was growing bigger and stronger on each passing day.

Now we have reached present day – their house is a slight mess, their love stronger than ever and a baby whom they are impatiently waiting for to arrive.

My husband and I [Photo by: Michelle Watanabe]
My husband and I [Photo by: Michelle Watanabe]

This is not the end, but only the beginning.

Eternally Mimi

Eternally Mimi

Hi! I'm Michelle from South Africa and currently I live in Japan with my husband and baby boy. I hope to share with you our experiences of family life and travel in Japan!


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