Who Is Tokyo Rose?

Who Is Tokyo Rose?

Who Is Tokyo Rose?

Who Is Tokyo Rose?

Often—life is about—time—place—opportunity.

Circumstances of the times.

Tokyo Rose was an American-born, Japanese woman who hosted a Japanese propaganda radio program for U$A GIs during World War II.

Tokyo Rose Iva Toguri - Land Of The Rising Son

After graduating with a doctorate of medicine from UCLA in 1941, life dramatically changed through a twist of fate.

As a graduation gift, Tokyo Rose was sent back to Japan to visit her sick aunt.

Shortly after arriving, the tension between Japan and the U$A escalated quickly—making it impossible for her to return home—as the last ship for America—left without her— so here she was stranded—in the Land Of The Rising Son.

Stay In Japan Ms Tokyo Rose - Land Of The RIsing Son

Anything can happen during times of conflict, and sure enough, the knock came on the door from the Japanese secret police while Tokyo Rose was staying at her beloved aunty’s house.

They came to demand she renounce her U.S. citizenship and pledge loyalty to the Japanese emperor.

She refused, thus becoming an enemy alien who was then denied a food ration card.

In 1942 Tokyo Rose’s family property was appropriated by the Democrat American government.

Her entire family was relocated to the notorious Japanese interment camps—her family’s new home—the parched desert of Arizona.

Japanese Interment Camps - Land Of The Rising Son

The letters between her and her parents stopped, and she was suddenly isolated without information about their lives.

Perhaps it was the innate Japanese DNA inside her spirit whispering:

When life gives one lemons, make lemonade.

wazuwai tenjite fuku to nasu

American Occupation of Japan - Land Of The Rising Son

So she started work at an English-newspaper listening to short-wave-radio newscasts and transcribing them into Japanese.

Her next job was with Radio Tokyo, typing scripts for programs to be broadcast to the isolated American foot soldiers in Southeast Asia.

She was then unexpectedly asked to host a show called the “Zero Hour” an entertainment program directed at the American soldiers.

American Soldiers Commiting War Crimes - Land Of The Rising Son

Part of the mystery of Tokyo Rose is the affection the U.S. soldiers felt when they heard her feminine Japanese voice.

For certain they were delighted to listen to her, all the while imaging an exotic geisha, as reflected in the propaganda films shown to the Americans before departing Happy-land to fight the resilient Japanese in the Pacific theatre.

Xenophobia in the United States

Her real name was Iva Toguri, and she never referred to herself as Tokyo Rose, but called herself Orphan Annie when on air.

Tokyo Rose was actually a term coined by the lonely forlorn American GIs in the South Pacific when listening to her soothing voice and music from home which made them melancholy and despondent.

After the end of World War II in 1945, the American Army began to investigate her as a traitor, accusing her of treason for broadcasting Japanese propaganda while detaining her for a full year before release due to lack of evidence.

Tokyo Rose Mug Shot Sugamo Prison - Land Of The Rising SonWoefully, the misery was not over for this unfortunate prisoner of fickle fate.

Tokoyo Rose In Sugamo Prison - Land Of The Rising Son

Her painful ordeal did not end with the two atomic holocaust events perpetrated by the American military upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japanese people, nor her year-long detention at Sugamo prison.

Her story was made national news in America by a sour, long forgotten old man by the blasé name Walter Winchell.

A despicable Occxie who hated people of colour, especially strong women of colour, such as Tokyo Rose.

He was backed up the notorious William Randolph Hearst, and these parasites of humanity could be accredited with the start of smutty slander journalism, which is now on full display across the rags and boob tube channels permeating the American media infesting the citizens minds with the ugly virus of exceptionalism.

Tokyo Rose Arrested in USA - Land Of The Rising SonTokyo Rose Arrested in USA - Land Of The Rising Son

He called for her to be returned to the U.S. so she could be tried, so in 1948, President Truman acted and she was eventually charged with treason.

Tokyo Rose became only the seventh person in U.S. history to be convicted of treason.

In her 1949 trial she was conviction on one of eight counts of treason, she was paroled from prison in 1956.

Tokyo Rose - Iva Toguri Prison Parol 1956 - Land Of The Rising Son

This is what is know as scapegoating and the American Empire have this nefarious protocol down to an evil science.

Perhaps the also servers to take the attention away from the war crimes that American military perpetrated upon Japan, not only by torching their cities with napalm, but the nuclear holocaust events perpetrated upon innocent Japanese civilians.

東京大空襲 - Land Of The Rising Son

True to the nefarious nature of the American Empire, in 1974, investigative journalists discovered important witnesses had asserted that they were forced to lie during testimony.

They stated that F.B.I. and U.S. occupation police had coached them for months about what they should say on the stand, and they had been threatened with treason trials themselves if they did not cooperate.

Corruption in the FBI - Say it isn't so - Land Of The Rising Son

U.S. President Ford pardoned Tokyo Rose in 1977 based on these revelations and earlier issues with the original indictment.

Tokyo Rose—an accidental historical figure—a life destroyed by vindictive victor’s justice—by the morally bankrupt American empire—which continues to perpetrate heinous acts of violent aggression upon Oneness—up until this very day.

Tokyo Rose - Iva Toguri Movie Poster - Land Of The Rising Son

Royal Tutor – Elizabeth Vining

Royal Tutor – Elizabeth Vining

Royal Tutor – Elizabeth Vining

Royal Tutor – Elizabeth Vining

The profound influence upon Japan of Ms. Vining, a Quaker English instructor can not be disregarded.

Quakers beliefs include the idea that the presence of God exists in every person―just like the Japanese―rejecting elaborate religious ceremonies and believed in spiritual equality of all

The Quakers also practice pacifism and played a key role in both the abolitionist and women’s rights movements.

Elizabeth Vining was personally selected by Emperor Hirohito to become the private tutor to then Crown Prince Akihito from 1946 to 1950.

Elizabeth Grey Vining Portrait- Land Of The Rising Son

Emperor Hirohito had two requirements.

He wanted a woman tutor, as he didn’t think the Crown Prince had enough feminine influence in his life.

Keep in mind, as was protocol in the Japanese royal family, Akihito was separated from his parents at the age of 3 to be raised by other adults in the imperial household.

He saw his parents only once a week.

裕仁と皇后 - Land Of The Rising Son

The other requirement was that the tutor be a Christian, but not a fanatic.

This meant Emperor Hirohito had no desire to see his son converted to Christianity, which as the head of Shintoism was an unfounded concern anyway.

Indeed unlike most other sects and faction of Christians, the Quaker do not actively try to convert others to the dogma of Christianity.

Even so, the influence of an American pacifist on the young prince was regarded with resentment by right-wing intellectuals who complained that Akihito had contracted a spiritual and intellectual ‘fungus’ from his tutor.

Mushrooms - Land Of The Rising Son

However, Ms. Vining carried out her mandate brilliantly opening a window to the world along with the desire to set him intellectually free.

She also expanded Crown Prince Akihito cloistered palace world by inviting Akihito and his classmates to her Western-style home one afternoon a week.

Elizabeth Gray Vining with Akihito and Friend- Land Of The Rising Son

As is often the case with foreigners who come to Japan unaware of the rigid hierarchy of structure of Japan, she gave each of her pupils an English name to break down formality and encourage more democratic interactions.

Even today in modern Japan today, the strict hierarchy structure of Japan does not facilitate any sort of “democratic interaction” among the rigid social system of Japanese society.

The nicknames “Jimmy” given to the Crown Prince Akihito was not embraced for when she first called him “Jimmy,” he replied:

“I am not ‘Jimmy,’ I am the Crown Prince.”

Culture point: The Japanese are very rarely on the first name basis with anyone―except the immediately family―and more often than not―not even then.

Elizabeth Gray Vining Shaking Akihito's Hand - Land Of The Rising SonSome of the important concepts instilled during Ms. Vining’s tenure came from reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln, discussing Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence, and shared hopes for world peace.

One could say the teaching of these universal principles planted seeds and lead to them rising from the ashes of the war―thus creating the Third Pillar of Civilization―Japan.

Indeed the merging of East and West civilizations started in earnest with overseas missions during the Meiji restoration― in particular, the Iwakura Mission.

Iwakura Mission - Land Of The Rising Son

The Iwakura Mission truly marks the beginning of the industrialization miracle of the Meiji Restoration, culminating Mr. Vining’s serendipitous trip to Japan where she blew her fairy dust on the Crown Prince, changing the course of the Japanese forever.

Interestingly enough, she also lectured at Tsuda College, which was established by the author of this article wife’s Great Aunty―Umeko Tsuda, who also became a Quaker during her time in the United States, starting from 1871.

One could say Tsuda Umeko is the tutelar deity of Oneness―just as Ms. Vining― their philosophy aligned that education should focus on developing individual intelligence and personality, creating harmony inside oneself, and by extension the world.

Tsuda Umeko on the new-five-thousand-yen-bill-Banner

One could say having this elegant female Quaker instilling the Crown Prince with the universal values innate in all those connecting to Oneness is herself a tutelar deity surely worthy of recognition.

Indeed, this mostly forgotten historical figure played a significant role in pointing the way of the future to 125th Emperor of Japan, and one can feel her influence permeating the “air” of Japan, even until this very day.

Elizabeth Gray Vining also wrote the book: “Windows for a Crown Prince” in 1952, and referred to her tutelage of Akihito “a fairy story.”

Elizabeth Gray Vining wrote the book- “Windows for a Crown Prince” in 1952 - Land Of The Rising Son

“It’s a fairy story, in that a quite Philadelphia Quaker was picked up and transported halfway across the world and dropped into the heart of the oldest and most mysterious royal court in the world.”

For this serendipitous miracle―an important catalyst for the merging of the Western and Japanese mind―she was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure shortly before her return to the United States in 1950.

Order of the Sacred Treasure - Land Of The Rising Son

Japan is continuing the natural progression of its ancient civilization as the Japanese continue to blend Eastern and Western values creating a common moral foundation to build our societies upon while seeing new world paradigms, tomorrow and today.

Emperor Akihito With Empress Michiko - Land Of The Rising Son

Divine Diva Marian Anderson

Divine Diva Marian Anderson

Divine Diva Marian Anderson

Divine Diva Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson sang for the Empress of Japan in 1953.

This prodigious forgotten heroine of human rights must be lauded and recognized for her incredible impact on the American society as one of the first person of colour to reach worldwide fame and acclaim based upon her sensation voice and dignity as an agent of change in the racially segregated United States.

Marian Anderson Divine Beauty

On January 7, 1955, Ms. Anderson became the first African-American to sing with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, which was after performing for Empress Nagako (Kojun) in Japan.

Even in 1953, Ms. Anderson had experienced difficulties finding accommodations in segregated America, however, in Japan, she stayed in a suite at the Imperial Hotel, and was treated as royalty.

Indeed, the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), the sponsor of her trip, made sure to take care of her as an honoured and dignified guest of the Japanese people.

NHK Logo

Marian-Andersons-Japanese Concert Schedule

All who have experienced Japanese hospitality can attest to the meticulous care taken by the host to make sure their guests are left with a favourable impression of Japan and her people.

Incidentally, one’s own father experienced this incredible hospitality in 1968 at the invitation of Nissan (My Father’s Hat Came Back To Japan).

Ms. Anderson noted, “When we left Tokyo we found ourselves traveling as a party of eight.”

“A young woman was provided as an interpreter, and there were four men to serve us in other capacities. One young man was sent along to be banker and cashier; he carried the money and paid bills at hotels, restaurants, and shops.”

Ms. Anderson also observed how the Japanese staff around her were “energetic planners,” and “carried out a schedule as rigid as a railroad timetable.”

JR時刻表 株式会社交通新聞社

Ultimately it was her humility (also a noble Japanese trait), and desire to keep the soul of a song as the primary focus that brought her universal acclaim and the attention of Empress Nagako, who invited Ms. Anderson to perform at the Imperial Palace on May 23, 1953.

The Divine Diva Marian Anderson made the following observation about the Japanese audience.

“The way the Japanese listened was extraordinary. The concentration was intense and the quietness almost uncanny. No one seemed to stir, and at first I was conscious of the deep silence and immobility. They were not upsetting in any way, but they made me feel that a similar intensity was expected of me.”

Marian Anderson, the Philadelphia singer and civil rights

True Heroes Do Not Arise Incidentally

Marian Anderson Statue

They are anointed visionaries driven by an inner guiding light, where their predetermined destiny is to shed the light of truth onto the demoralized and troubled corners of the human soul.

Along with classic staples, the achingly powerful “Deep River,” was at the top of the Japanese sponsors wish list.

This spiritual, written by an unknown African American in the 19th century is one of Ms. Anderson’s greatest interpretations, and undoubtedly tugged the heartstrings of the still-recovering nation of Japan.

Her voice captures the pain and longing embedded in the song’s history and surely resonated so very deeply within the Japanese soul.

Ms. Anderson stated:

“It is so true that no matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger than its weakest people. And as long as you keep a person down some part of you has to be down there to hold them down. So that means you cannot soar as you might otherwise.”

This is ever more so true these days.

These extraordinary words of profound wisdom shall ring eternally true into the hearts and minds of all racists, bigots, and jingoist, whichever narrow stripe or cross they choose to bear.

 Super suprise bonus: Ms. Anderson getting some nice, and well deserved publicity here.

People You Meet: Ms. JJ Walsh

People You Meet: Ms. JJ Walsh

People You Meet: Ms. JJ Walsh

People You Meet: Ms. JJ Walsh

Also know as the “Inbound Ambassador.”

The joyful and exuberant Joy Jarman-Walsh (@jjwalsh) grew up in Hawaii and is a decades-long veteran of Japan.

Inbound Ambassador Join Button JJ Walsh

A psychologist by training, Ms. Walsh first experienced life in Japan as an ALT on the Mombusho sponsored JET program, many moons ago now.

Teaching and travel around Japan opened Ms. Walsh’s mind to new possibilities for work, culture, and lifestyle prompting her to settle into a long-term relationship with Amaterasu.

Perhaps her heart, like the heart of so many having come to Japan at that particular point in history, was touched by the spirit of the Japanese and their unique way of life.

Ms. Walsh is a powerful activist for sustainable solutions to the pressing issues facing our living planet.

JJ Walsh and Nishimura Kazuhiro at JapaneseFabric'MAEKAKE'~Anything

Looking for sustainable alternatives to industrial age material, Ms. Walsh is gracious enough to sacrifice her time to build a like-minded community throughout Japan, and by extension the world for positive motion toward our shared sustainable planet.

She host a daily online talk show interviewing guests who share visions, hopes, and desires.

There they explore what is fundamentally important to all of us as human beings, a healthy and sustainable environment for all in our shared world and for those who will come after.

One of the many fine characteristics I found in Ms. Walsh, is her deep sense of purpose and her sustained perseverance in her noble quest to change the world for the better.

Her wonderful laugh and variety of eyewear make her interviews sparkle with positive joy and a deep sense of community building.

In the depth of Ms. Walsh’s heart lies the spirit of high-quality customer service, and the need to align the changing face of Japan with the necessity of preserve culture, traditions, heritage as well as the daily quality of life of the local communities throughout Japan.


Her sustainability activism mandates that operations in the new tourism paradigm of Japan must also be done with targets to improve the quality of the natural environment through efficiency, zero-waste policies, and active stewardship.

She, as a visionary, emphasizes the balance between the needs to create sustainable business models, which balance profits with the needs of people and our planet.

Weaving a symphony of good will not only among the foreign community in Japan, but indeed along with her Japanese allies, globally she has taken a leadership position among those desiring a sustainable future.

Hearing the calling long ago now, along with her partner, Paul Walsh they also co-founded GetHiroshima in 1999.

Map of Hiroshima

There they developed close ties to residents, visitors, and local businesses in their community over many years.

Furthermore, raising two bilingual children in Hiroshima bound her even more tightly into her community while broadening her ether connections to wider and wider circles of friends, allies and her like-minded audience.

Starting in 2019, Inbound Ambassador is her platform to encourage businesses and entrepreneurs to adopt sustainable business practices.

It is also a place to promote positive examples and case studies of sustainable business success.

The mission is for these stories to promote awareness and more general adoption of sustainable, long-term-focused business strategy, for the good of the whole.

Ms. Walsh was kind enough to conduct an interview, and we had a really fun time talking about many things.

Interview is here.

Indeed, one has thought, could the Inbound Ambassador be the embodiment the sustainable spirit of hospitality as these novel and wise clean practices are adopted and are flowed into the mainstream?

Perhaps in this new tourism paradigm, Japan will now start to receive respectful guests not unlike pilgrims, where they can enjoy the multitude of unique Japanese flavours tickling each individual fancy in a way that is respectful to the Japanese, our society and the ancient culture of the Japanese.

Ms JJ Walsh Banner

Dan Son Jo Hi

Dan Son Jo Hi

Dan Son Jo Hi

Dan Son Jo Hi

This title is an actual four-character-compound that is known by most Japanese.

男尊女卑 (Dan Son Jo Hi) Predominance of men over women.

Recently there has been some controversy concerning a decrepit, past-expiration-date politician, who has historically been looked upon by the common Japanese with palpable distaste while being widely considered somewhat of a moron.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals made from recyclable electronic devices

Mr. Yoshiro Mori also proved himself to be quite useless as a short term prime minister, and a poor excuse as the head of the Japanese Olympic committee. All the while running off from his own mouth, creating unpleasantry and disdain for all of those around him.

Mori Yoshiro the Braying Donkey

One took an impromptu survey of several Japanese women about this controversy, over a wide range of ages, and the general consensus was clear.

This is the level of most politicians, so there’s really no reason to pay much attention to them.

Really, the women of Japan, have much more pressing issues on their minds in this changing world than some irrelevant old fart, and the senile nonsense spewing from his filthy trap. 

These women are truly busy raising their children during a global pandemic, keeping the household afloat, probably working outside the home, and in many cases taking care of their elderly parents. 

Their hands are already full enough without joining this pointless never ending debate.

True to feminine Japanese form, these women shied away from having their picture taken, although the lady on the right managed to get in a peace sign.


Indeed, historically in Japan it was not only women who were treated as inferior, but all of the common Japanese citizens, and this is also embodies in a four-character-compound.

官尊民卑 ( Kan Son Min Pi) Putting officials and bureaucrats above the people.

This mindset  is so ingrained into the Japanese psyche, that this is not something the Japanese really give much thought.

Is Japan overdue for a little bit of western style gender equality? 

Why not!

1971 March on Washington and San Francisco WOMEN'S CONTINGENT

Remember, yelling at stupid people won’t change anything.

Indeed, in over three decades of living in countryside of Japan, it is my clear understanding that in order to tackle any systemic issue in Japan, one must go to the underbelly of the beast, which is also know as:

“The System”

What exactly is “The System” one may ask.

It is our ancient culture and society, built upon millennia of form, order, and process.

A Jomon stone figurine or gangu. Komukai, Nanbu-cho, Aomori, Japan. Jomon Period, 1000-400 BCE. (Tokyo National Musuem)

One believes the common Japanese understand bureaucrats and politicians are only momentary placeholders, and to most they are faceless, mindless bureaucrat, and self-serving narcissists with no purpose in life but to serve their own department and tribe within “The System”.

How can change be effected in Japan concerning this festering issue?

One believes we must laud, honour, and recognize the great women of the past who blazed trails for the modern women, working to make a more equitable system for the daughters of the future.

Many of the important stories of the pioneering women of history have become obscure and their groundbreaking achievement in advocating for women’s rights have been lost in the commotion of the modern world.

Let look at the example of Tsuda Umeko, the 6 year-old daughter of a samurai, who was included in the Iwakura mission to America at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration.


津田梅子11歳 - Land Of The Rising Son

She arrived in San Francisco in November 1871, and remained in the United States as a student until she was 18 years old.

By the time Tsuda Umeko returned to Japan in 1882, she had almost forgotten Japanese, her native language, and experienced cultural problems adjusting to the inferior position of women in Japanese society. 

Regardless, with the help of her friends Princess Ōyama Sutematsu and Alice Mabel Bacon, she founded the Joshi Eigaku Juku (Women’s Institute for English Studies) to provide equal opportunity for the education for all women, regardless of their predetermined position in this vertical society..


Continuing in the face of adversity and chronic funding shortfall, Tsuda Umeko spent much of her time fundraising to support the school, which ultimately left her in poor health. 

Still, unrelenting in her enthusiastic efforts, the school gained official recognition in 1903, and after World War II, the school became Tsuda College, which is one of the most prestigious women’s institutes of higher education in Japan today.


Despite her hardship as a women in Japan, she did not advocate for a feminist social movement.

Her activities were based on her wise and noble philosophy that education should focus on developing individual intelligence and personality. 

Which is really the crux of the matter when one come right down to it, is it not?

Crux Of The Matter

How does one as an individual, regardless of birth circumstances, take each precious day with the intent to become a better version of one’s own self?

This is the message from Tsuda Umeko, and one that should be taken to heart by all the future women pioneers, in the noble question to achieve equality.

Tsuda Umeko as an Adult

Culture point 1

Thankfully, Tsuda Umeko is now being recognized by the Japanese government for her pioneering work in women’s education and as an icon of the Power of Women, she will be featured on the new Japanese ¥5,000 banknotes to be issued in 2024.

Tsuda Umeko on the ¥5000 Note

Please send in your stories of pioneering women from all corners of our earth, and they will be include in updates to this post.

Here we will honour these women and lauded them for their great achievements and praise the sacrifice they made so as for our modern world to a better place for all today.

#1 Alice Mabel Bacon 

アリス・ベーコン Alice Mabel Bacon

Born in New Haven Connecticut on February 26,1858, Alice Mabel Bacon was an American writer, women’s educator and foreign advisor to the Japanese government in the Meiji period. 

In 1872, when Alice was fourteen, Japanese envoy Mori Arinori selected her father’s home as a residence for Japanese women being sent overseas for education by the Meiji government, as part of the Iwakura Mission. 

Alice received twelve-year-old Yamakawa Sutematsu as her house-guest, and for ten years the two girls were like sisters, enhancing each other’s interests in their deeply different cultures.

In 1888, Alice received an invitation to come to Japan from Yamakawa Sutematsu and Tsuda Umeko to serve as a teacher of the English language at the Gakushuin Women’s School for Japanese girls from aristocratic families. 

After a year stint in Japan, she then returned to Hampton Normal School as a teacher.

Hearing about one of her students wanting to become a nurse, but was refused entrance into training schools because of her race, Alice established a hospital at the Institute successfully in May 1891.

In April 1900, Alice returned to Japan to help establish the Joshi Eigaku Juku (Women’s English Preparatory School), which was the forerunner of Tsuda College, staying until April 1902.

During most of this period, she assisted Tsuda Umeko on a voluntary basis, refusing monetary compensation except for her housing, obviously having been anointed with a higher purpose.

Based on her experiences in Japan, Alice also published three books and many essays, and eventually came to be known as a specialist of Japanese culture and women. 

Along with Tsuda Umeko, Alice wrote an in depth look into womanhood in the Meji era in a book entitled “Japanese Girls and Women”, which was originally published in 1891.

This important and ground-breaking work by Alice is to be remembered, lauded,  and passed on, to all who seek to understand equality.

Alice Bacon is a symbol of early modern women empowerment, and embodies the meaning of perseverance. 

Thank you Alice Mabel Bacon for your contribution to the advancement of Japanese women. 

Bonus: Read these stories of some women of Japan doing their thing, their way.

Massage My Soul

Japanese Women Power: Mercedes Benz Mechanic


Massage My Soul

Massage My Soul

Massage My Soul

Massage My Soul

Ever since my mother gave me a face massage when I was just a child, I understood the importance of relaxation and rejuvenation therapy for one’s body and soul.

Travelling in Thailand with my beloved friend John, who I actually met in the Narita airport while waiting for a plane to Taiwan decades ago, is where this tale of massage begins.

He suggested that we get a massage at Wat Pho, an extraordinary Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Wat Pho is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple to this very day.

We arrived at this magnificent temple, we entered a large open room with mats laid out side-by-side upon its vast floor. A surreal experience to say the least, with row upon row of people lined up, strangers side-by-side, all receiving an authentic Thai style massage and entering into bliss.

Perhaps one could say we were all united as one in humanity at that particular place and time (See ICHIGO ICHIE ~ ONCE IN A LIFE TIME) .

But wait, there’s more to this story, much more.

That night we took an evening flight to Rangoon, Myanmar, where we stayed at a beautiful rest house made of teak in the heart of Rangoon.

The name of this delightful and exquisitely appointed teak rest house was “Three Seasons.”

After coming back from our first day trek in the fascinating city of Rangoon, I said to the very lovely and charming Burmese lady of Chinese ancestry, whose name was Mimi, “I now understand what the three season of Myanmar are:


The night we arrived, and even though the air conditioner was on in the extreme heat and humidity, I was sweating throughout the entire night and into the early morning.

Waking up drenched, I mentioned this to John, as I was slightly worried that I may have come down with some kind of tropical bug.

He said “Well, how does one actually feeling anyway?”

“Absolutely fantastic” was the sheepish reply.

My wise and dear friend John said to me “there were toxins released from one’s system during the Thai massage at Wat Pho, and these toxins have been dismissed by sweating them out throughout the night.

Now that small scare was out of the way, we ask Mimi, the wonderful proprietress of the exceptional rest house, Three Seasons (what are the three seasons of Myanmar?), if she could arrange for us to have an excellent Burmese style massage.

Mimi said she’d be delighted to call her go-to woman, and she will meet us back here after lunch.

As we entered the Three Seasons, there was an old lady standing in the lobby with a large smile on her face.

I asked Mimi, “Where is our masseur”?

With knowing eyes, she pointed to the old smiling granny waiting for us in the lobby.

We looked at each other with puzzled eye, and wondered what could possible be in store for us with this petite woman, whose wisdom and experience exuded from her weathered and beautiful face.

She spread her mat out on the floor of our room and John went first.

Now, as I observed her massaging John in what could only be described as seeing his painful grimacing, this obviously highly skilled massage therapist was working on a man one and a half time her own size, and getting deep into his tissue.

Well, it was my turn, and I soon found out exactly what the story was.

It was when she lifted my leg up and crushed her heel into my groin is where the ice cold fire started to shoot from my groin into my brain, that I came to realize she was a master of Burmese style massage.

After this experience, we anointed this remarkable woman “Needle Fingers Granny.“

Regardless of these extraordinary massages in Southeast Asia, nothing can rival the extraordinary massage I stumbled upon in my very own hometown here in the Land Of The Rising Son.

Randomly entering the massage salon, I signed up for a 90 minute course including 30 minutes on my feet.

I was assign the next available massage therapist, and I was greeted by a smiling and gregarious woman.

Little did I to know then, this was to be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the best masseur I’ve ever experienced in my life.

She understand at an extraordinary deep level where my work needed to be done, like my elbow joint which I dislocated 30 years ago.

She never lets up one second as she reached her masterful fingers not only into the depth of my tissue and joints, reliving them from years of wear and tear, but indeed, into the very depths of my soul.

Every time I go there, it is never without trepidation of the uncomfortableness that I will be experiencing for the next 90 minutes.

However, being comfortable is not why I go!

I go to experience her exceptional massage technique, which leave me refreshed and somewhat wiser as I ponder life’s mysteries while enduring what can only be described as the deepest tissue massage here on earth.

Remember, there are three kinds of tissue massage, just as there are three seasons in Myanmar:


One would have to come here and experience it for oneself, to understand the true meaning of the “deepest tissue massage”.

Thank you so very much Ms. Kondo, we appreciate your prodigious massage technique and for your wonderful disposition.





Bonus: If you would like to experience this incredible massage, you can do so here.