505 Kohei and Masayo Utsunomiya

Kohei Utsunomiya was born in Nagasaki, Kyushu into a traditional Japanese family of samurai lineage during the Taisho period. He was raised a Christian and attended Waseda University where he majored in engineering. He started his career as an electrical engineer shortly before being drafted into the Japanese air force after World War II started. He worked as an electrical engineer on communications projects during the war but was called back to Japan before the end of the war to work on internal infrastructure projects.

He often said that his Christian beliefs helped him survive very tough times during his military service, including several military skirmishes and serious bouts of Malaria. Having a very strict personal code, he remained celibate throughout the war and until his marriage to Masayo Utsunomiya. Masayo worked at the offices of the Japanese Imperial Army during the War and married Kohei after the War's end. They both said that they knew long before the end of the War that Japan would lose notwithstanding the propaganda to the contrary and they looked forward to the inevitable period of rebuilding that would occur. Following the War, they had four children and started an electrical construction company that Hitoko Weeks and her brother, Hiroshi Utsunomiya, still run today.

Mark and Hitoko Weeks dated for four years before getting married. Although Hitoko's mother knew about their relationship for some time and was supportive, the relationship was hidden from Hitoko's father until shortly before they Mark and Hitoko were married because Kohei very much wanted Hitoko to marry a "proper Japanese man". Moreover, everyone in Hitoko's family believed that Kohei would never agree to Hitoko marrying a non-Japanese man. After much "nemawashi" by Kohei's oldest son and an interview of Mark by Kohei's older brother, Kohei consented to the marriage. Thereafter, he and Masayo always treated Mark as one of the family and they adored Mark and Hitoko's son, Brendan. Brendan eventually attended and graduated from ICU, which was one of their fondest wishes.

  • L. Mark and Hitoko Weeks

Kohei Utsunomiya

Masayo Utsunomiya
Copyright(C) International Christian University. All Rights Reserved.