One for Valentine’s Day from the archives of the Rylands Special Collections Blog
Today’s Curious Find is a book of real letters that reveal the love story between a man and woman, and told in the lovers’ own words. The letters are interesting in that they chart the romance between two people of very different cultural backgrounds, bringing to life the subtleties in character that first brings them together and eventually drives them apart. They also illuminate the reality of Japanese home life, including an account of private divorce proceedings, which was not known to the West at that time.
Kenrio Watanabe was a middle aged socially distinguished Japanese man who met Mertyl Meredith, the English girl to whom the letters were addressed, while studying art in Vienna. Miss Meredith originally believed that the fact Mr Watanabe was married was sufficient guarantee of the stability of the foundation of their friendship. However the later letters reveal how Mr Watanabe received news from home…
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