Marianne Backham, host mother to many of our Inbound Youth Exchange students over the years, has lots of reasons to visit Japan!

She was thrilled to join in the celebration of the marriage of Yuhi and Satoru in Kyoto on November 16th. Yuhi was an exchange student back in 2002 and now works at Doshisha University in the International department.

Marianne also visited with Takako, our inbound YE student last year, and took part in “The Festival of Old Dolls” ceremony at Takako’s grandparent’s temple in Nishiomiya. Takako’s family were all very welcoming: “I actually got to see behind the scenes of the temple where the family live. It took a long time to get dressed in the kimono - there were 4 or 5 ladies helping all the women get dressed. They told me it takes 10 years to become proficient in doing this!” Takako is busy at school, and said it took her 2-3 weeks to get back into the swing of things. She is in a new class and has made some new friends. Another reason for Marianne’s visit is to see her daughter Allison who was a Youth Exchange student in 1992 and has lived in Japan for 24 years.