+
upworthy
Joy

Korean war vet reunites with his long-lost love 70 years after first meeting in Japan

Love knows no time.

veteran find long lost japanese love
Photo by Nina Hill on Unsplash

You never forget that first love.

We swoon over romantic movies like “The Notebook” and “Before Sunrise” because they remind us of the enduring power of love. But sometimes, real life offers us a love story far more inspiring than any movie. This is one of those times.

Duane Mann thought he might have lost the love of his life forever. But after 70 years, he got his long-awaited reunion.

When Mann was just 22 years old, the farm boy from Iowa became a Navy soldier in the Korean War. While stationed in Japan, he fell in love with a young woman named Peggy Yamaguchi.

The two first met at the Air Force NCO Club, where Mann would fix the slot machines and Yamaguchi worked as the hat check girl. They shared a classic meet-cute—finding love on the dance floor.

“We could really dance together…I mean, to where the people would watch us,” Mann told KKTV, which originally covered their story.

Mann and Yamaguchi gradually fell in love, but fate apparently had other plans.


Not long after Yamaguchi became pregnant, Mann received word that the Navy would be shipping him back home. The father-to-be left his lover behind with the promise that he’d soon send for her, so that they could marry. He would soon tragically learn that his own father had fallen destitute, spending Mann’s life savings.

To make matters worse for Mann, Yamaguchi stopped writing to him … or so he thought. He discovered later that his mother had burned Yamaguchi’s letters, not wanting him to “marry a Japanese girl.” One final letter prevailed, however. In it Peggy disclosed that she had lost their baby, and had married someone else.

Struck with grief and guilt, Mann carried the fear that Yamaguchi felt abandoned by him. “It just wore me out,” he lamented. “That’s not the honorable thing to do.”

KKTV shared Mann’s heartbreaking story and it quickly spread on the internet. As is the way with social media, pretty soon people all over the world (even those in Japan) were invested in helping Mann with his lifelong search. As it turns out, Yamaguchi wasn’t exactly an ocean away anymore. More like across the river.

Yamaguchi lived only 650 miles away, across the Mississippi River in Michigan. She had built a life there with her second husband, with whom she shared three sons.

Had it not been for an article from a local newspaper in 1955 and a helpful history-savvy stranger, Yamaguchi’s whereabouts might have remained a mystery. Theresa Wong, a researcher for the TV channel HISTORY, found the old Daily Press article that had Yamaguchi’s picture, last name and address. Finally a solid clue. She knew she had to reach out.

“It just cut me right to my soul. I cannot imagine carrying around that kind of heartbreak for 70 years. I really hope this is that opportunity to get closure,” Wong told KKTV.

Mann seized that opportunity. And at age 91, he finally found his first love.

KKTV released a video of their touching reunion. In it they shared a long, sweet embrace. “You remember the dancing,” Yamaguchi asked, all smiles. “Oh yeah,” he replied with a warm chuckle.

As they reminisced about their time together, it was evident that no love was truly lost.

Duane got his wish after so many years. He told Yamaguchi that he didn’t abandon her … he just couldn’t find her. Yamaguchi gave him a kiss, whispering, “You must have loved me.”

He then showed her the glamorous black-and-white he had always kept close by in his wallet.

“It’s really been a freeing experience,” he told KKTV.

We don’t always get to choose the path that life takes us on. But if we’re patient, hopeful and maybe a little lucky, it puts us exactly where we need to be to find peace.

The grandmother was suspicious.

A grandmother always felt her middle granddaughter Lindsay, 15, looked slightly different from the rest of the family because she had blonde, curly hair, while the rest of her siblings’ hair was dark “I thought genetics was being weird and I love her,” she wrote on Reddit’s AITA forum.

But things became serious after Linday’s parents “banned” her from taking things a step further and getting a DNA test. If the family was sure their daughter was theirs, why would they forbid her from seeking clarity in the situation? After the parents laid down the law, the situation started to seem a little suspicious.

“I told my son and [daughter-in-law] that there was something fishy around her birth she needed to know. They denied it and told me to leave it alone,” the grandma wrote.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Follow Bill Nye’s lead and use science to quiet pro-lifers

“Be objective about this. We have other problems to solve, everybody.”

Bill Nye "The Science Guy"

With Donald Trump threatening to reverse Roe v. Wade upon taking office, the need to defend women's reproductive rights has never been more urgent. As other writers have pointed out, pro-life fanatics have the power of positive connotation on their side and use this advantage to demean the valid arguments of pro-choice advocates.

I mean, who would ever claim to be in opposition to life? Only, equating zygotes with adult human beings fails to recognize the science behind conception, as Bill Nye points out in an older video that has recently gained new relevancy.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tawny Platis's voice acting demonstration is blowing people's minds.

In the age of television, radio, and the internet, we hear voices all the time, pretty much everywhere we go. From advertisements to customer service prompts to video narrations, voiceovers have become so commonplace that we don't give them much thought.

That is, until we see someone actually doing those voices we're so accustomed to hearing.

Professional voice actor Tawny Platis shared a video to her Tiktok demonstrating 10 voices most of us will instantly recognize, and it's as uncanny as it is impressive. She seamlessly transitions from a text-to-speech voice to a "detached casual conversation" voice to a bright "We've got denim for the whole family!" department store voice and more.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Couple who visited all 63 US national parks names which one is the ‘best’

They also listed other awards, such as "most underrated," "most epic" and "most awe-inspiring."

Representative Image from Canva

There's a reason they call it "America The Beautiful."

Longing to visit one of America’s many national parks, and not sure where to start? One traveling couple just made deciding a whole heck of a lot easier.

Matt and Karen Smith have been to all of them. That’s right. All 63 of them. They even survived a plane crash to hit the milestone (more on that later).

In a short and sweet 30-second video posted to their Instagram account, Matt and Karen place certain parks into special categories, like “best wildlife sightings,” “most underrated,” and “most awe inspiring,” all before revealing which park, in their opinion, is “the best of everything.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Insiders share 'secrets' the average person doesn't know about their industries

From accessing paywalled studies to getting free upgrades, people in various industries are spilling the beans.

Canva

There's a lot of behind the scenes info most of us don't know.

One strange reality of life is that there's a lot that happens behind the scenes of…well, everything…that people simply never know about. I'm not talking about deep state conspiracies here or anything, just normal run-of-the-mill industry secrets that only people who work in those industries knows.

Some of these "secrets" are actual secrets meant to be kept sacred, like how certain magic tricks work. Some are things we don't really want to know, like how the sausage gets made. And some are simply things that industry folks know but don't bother to inform the rest of us about, like the fact that the average movie theater employee really doesn't give a hoot if you sneak in candy as long as you're not obvious about it.

We're all curious, though, about what goes on in the back room, behind the counter, under the radar, etc. So when someone on Reddit asked "What industry 'secret' do you know that most people don’t?" people flocked to answer—and to see what people said.

Keep ReadingShow less

Some of the HMP Couture sports models



This one's for the girls who know you don't have to chose between sparkles and sports.

For too long, girls have been sent the message that they have to be either/or. You're either a girly-girl or a tomboy. You're either into sparkly princesses or sports practices. From the early days of childhood, we're told in bold and subtle ways to squeeze ourselves into separate boxes.

But those boxes are bullspit, and most of us know it. Girls don't have to choose between feeling beautiful and being badass. We can be both at the same time.

Keep ReadingShow less