Japanese Adoptee Finds Birth Mother

Thanks to K@W for the heads up on this article.

Search for birth mother has Hollywood ending
Posted 7/27/2006 9:16 PM ET
By Emily Bazar, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — When crushing chest pains knocked Air Force Col. Bruce Hollywood to his knees, his first thought was that if he were dying, he wanted to say goodbye to his family. As he wrote a farewell letter at his desk at the Pentagon, the highlights of his life flashed through his mind.
His adoptive mother’s advice rang in his ears: “You should find your Japanese mother,” she often told him before she died.

After Hollywood, 46, survived the May 2005 scare — doctors opened a clogged artery with a stent — he decided it was time to take that advice.

And when Japan’s ambassador to the United States took an interest, quick action brought mother and son together.

On Thursday, Hollywood and his birth mother celebrated their recent reunion at lunch with the people who helped bring them together, including Ambassador Ryozo Kato.

“Col. Hollywood has found his real mother,” Kato said. “Together with other relatives, it’s a significant addition to the already fruitful life he’s been enjoying.”

According to Hollywood and his mother, Nobue Ouchi, who was interviewed through an interpreter, their story is about a dream fulfilled and a rich life made richer.

Ouchi, 65, met Hollywood’s biological father — also in the U.S. Air Force — in Shizuoka, Japan. When he left the country, Ouchi says, she didn’t realize she was pregnant.

Concerned that a mixed-race child would face prejudice in Japan, Ouchi allowed an Air Force couple in Japan at the time to adopt her son when he was about 2 months old.

A year later, the new family moved back to the USA.

Hollywood, of Stafford, Va., says he has lived a “fairy tale” life. He played high school football and was president of the student body, married and has two children. He does strategic planning for the Defense Department.

Even though his adoptive mother often urged him to find his biological mother, he didn’t feel the need until that day that he thought he was dying. At that moment, he wanted to thank her for making his good life possible.

Ouchi, though, says she always knew she and her son would be reunited someday. She has cherished a letter and picture that Hollywood’s adoptive mother sent to her several months after the adoption.

Ouchi, who never married or had other children, opened a restaurant and named it after her son. “I thought about him every day,” she says.

To find her, Hollywood contacted a friend who knew the director of the Japanese studies center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and the information from Hollywood’s Japanese passport was forwarded to the Japanese Embassy in March.

In two weeks, the embassy had located his mother.

Mother and son met for the first time when Hollywood traveled to Japan in April. This week, Ouchi is visiting him.

Her dream came true. His heart grew fuller.

“At that moment when I looked back at my life, I really thought that in the game of life, I won,” Hollywood says. “This whole new world opened up to me, and it’s like I get to play a bonus round.”


8 Comments on “Japanese Adoptee Finds Birth Mother

  1. I think this is a wonderful story. I didn’t know embassies would be willing to do that.

    I am reunited with my son who is also reunited with his father and siblings.

    It is the most wonderful feeling in the world.

  2. I, too, am a war orphan from Occupied Japan. My mother was a native and my father a GI. Both of my parents (the Engelmans) are deceased. I know the names of both my birth parents. My mother also encouraged me contact Setsuko but I just never did. She Setsuko, did what she had to do. She was only 18. My 23 year old daughter wants to know about her birth heritage. I’m torn actually. Not all reunions turn out as well as yours. I have expressed this concern to my daughter.

  3. I am an adoptee, born Nov 1964in Misawa, Japan. I was adopted to an American GI and his Japanese wife. My birth mother gave 2 boys up for adoption before me, one in 57 and one in 62.
    I live in Phoenix now, we moved here from Stafford, VA last September. My husband, Kim worked at the Pentagon.
    Small world.

    • Small world … I was also born in Misawa, Japan in August 1961 to my Japanese birth mother and an American GI. I was adopted at birth by my Japanese mother who could not have children and my American GI father. We moved to the United States when I was 5 years old. My mother told me my biological mother already had an older son from another father and had another child after my adoption.

      How can I find my biological mother? Please advise.

      • just looked and saw your post. if you haven’t already…. register here:

        I used a search angel,
        her name is Jan.

        with minimal information , which is what I had, you can find them. I wish you luck and peace!

      • just looked and saw your post. if you haven’t already…. register here:

        I used a search angel,
        her name is Jan.

        with minimal information , which is what I had, you can find them. I wish you luck and peace!


  4. I have been successful in helping children of American GI and Japanese parents find their birth parents and obtain their genealogy of their ancestors. It brings a sense of peace to their lives to know who they are and where they came from.


  5. Can anyone that has been successful in finding their Japanese mother and GI father please contact me?

    Endless thank you’s…

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