One day I casually asked Carl if there was a small Shinto temple in the
neighborhood. He said he thought there was and asked our publicity man to find a small
temple where Pat and I could get married.
The studio media wheels came alive.
Carl later asked if I had any pictures of Pat. I had an 8-by-10 that
Id taken myself; it was in a frame in my rooms. He had seen the picture, I had just
never identified her and he was too polite to ask. I handed him the photo.
"Why do you want it?" I asked.
"For the newspapers. They want a picture of your future bride.
Also, I should tell you that certain arrangements are under way."
"You remember the day I showed you the Haian Shrine?"
"Do I! Biggest Shinto temple in the world. My God, you could put
three St. Peters Basilicas in the front courtyard."
"It is also the wedding chapel for the royal family."
"Royal weddings are held only at Haian Jingu, as from the days
when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. The studio is seeing if we can have your wedding
"Also, the kimono shop that has made your yukatas, tanzen, and
howri (a cotton kimono, wool outer kimono, and three-quarter length wool outer garment for
outdoor wear) would like the honor of presenting you and your bride with wedding kimonos,
for the use of your name and picture in Japan for the coming year."
Carl told me that the kimono shop had my measurements, but theyd
need Pats. I telephoned her and explained what was going on. The shooting schedule
was arranged to give me the remainder of a week off after the wedding.
On our wedding day, Pat and I were taken by chauffer to the kimono
shop, where two dressing rooms awaited us. I was ready in half an hour, dressed in formal,
black silk kimono and a white silk kimono beneath it, with just the white collar showing.
For the ceremony, I also wore (over the lower part of the kimonos) a dark brown,
heavy-bodied silk, multi-pleated, split skirt. It took two-and-a-half hours for three
women to dress Pat in layers of kimonos and tied-on padding and do her makeup white
powdered face with circles of rouge on each cheek, dabs of rouge at the knuckles.
The Japanese bride wears a black wig with a white paper hat attached
(supposedly to hide her horns) and walks with her head tilted down in shyness. Pat told me
later that she did so, too, not out of shyness but because the wig weighed eight pounds.
We were driven, each in our own limousine, from there to the curb at
the Haian shrine. As the doors of our cars were opened and she was assisted out, a
newlywed young Japanese couple with a dozen attendants came tripping toward us from
beneath the giant red tojii (gateway). They stopped and gazed at us. We, in turn
stopped and looked at them. They were attired as the perfect British-American bride and
groom, he in morning suit with striped trousers, ascot and winged collar, and she in
full-blown white gown. They stared and we stared; it couldnt have been more than a
few seconds. Then, we all bowed slightly to each other and went our own ways.
The Japanese marriage ceremony has a singular beauty in its simplicity.
It was concluded by one of the four priests (all dressed in white robes) who handed me a
shallow, white clay dish of sake. I drank a sip from it and handed it back. He then
handed it to Pat who sipped from it and returned it to him. A smaller dish was given to
her to partake from, then handed to me for a sip. After a final prayer, we were escorted
separately out of the hall by the Nagatas with the rest of the entourage following. The
entire ceremony didnt last more than twenty minutes.
Pat was whisked away and I was relieved of the split skirt in my
waiting room, then, with my male cortege, went to the large hall where a reception was
being held for almost a thousand people. Half an hour later Pat appeared in her usual
swept-up hairdo, white makeup removed for something more natural, and an entire new
wardrobe of several layers of kimonos. The outer one had a beautiful design of cranes. I
hoped the kimono shop would get enough business out of their deal with me to make that day
worth it to them. All three sets of clothing are now owned by the Los Angeles County
Museum of Art. I was told theyre valued at considerably more than thirty
During my extended visit to Japan I became acquainted with koi,
the bright vari-colored carp. The Japanese have made an art form of the species. One would
never think of a fish in terms of intelligence, but of all species of water breathers, koi
are in the top three as to intelligence. Today, my koi readily recognize me and
distinguish between me and others, as well as identifying my foot fall as I approach our
pond. If someone else is with me whom they dont recognize, theyll be a little
skittish and back off until I put a hand in the water. In a few seconds theyre
swimming around, sucking at my fingers to let me know theyre hungry, and enjoying
the back and tummy tickles I give them with my fingers. Pretty soon theyll accept
My introduction to koi came at the urging of Yoshikawas
manager, Mr. Tanaka. He directed my driver to a silk factory at the edge of town, and
instructed me what to ask for. I found a store at the front that sold ready-made silk
kimonos. Behind the shop was a huge, plain, sunlit room in which men and women worked at
large hand-operated wooden looms, making beautiful obi (the wide belt) of silk,
with pure silver and gold thread. I have no doubt that Pats wedding obi came
I asked a young lady for a piece of fu, a bread made of rice
flour that resembles a thin French baguette. She broke off a seven-inch piece from a
two-foot long loaf and I followed her out through the rear doors that looked on a pond
about two acres in size. She bid me step on a large flat rock that jutted out into the
pond a few feet, then, standing just behind me she clapped her hands three times and we
waited. Soon the water was swirling with reds and blacks-and-whites, all the fish about
three feet long. I was told by my guide that they can live well past a hundred years.
She broke off a small bit of fu from the piece I was carrying
and leaned down to the pond holding her fingers with the fu about eight inches above the
water. A koi rose straight up and sucked the fu from her hand as it slid
back (they have no teeth). I tried it, and another fish took my offering. The young lady
departed leaving me with my new-found friends. By the time Id broken off a few dozen
pieces of fu and fed the flock, I was hooked on what the Japanese call nishikigoi.
The film finished and we said our good-byes with the necessary sayonara
gifts. On our first evening back in Tokyo, we went to dinner with Nick, Jack, and Chieko.
Over cocktails, Jack asked if I wanted my money. For a moment I
didnt understand him, then I remembered all the yen Id been handing him every
two weeks or so when Id spend a Saturday night in Tokyo. He reached into his inside
jacket pocket and took out a fat business envelope.
"Here ygo," he said smiling.
I felt it. It was a good half-inch thick and I figured it was fifties
and twenties. When I opened the envelope, there was nothing but hundreds. "How much
is in here?" I asked.
"A little over seven thou," he answered. "Since you and
Pat are taking a round-the-world cruise on your way home, it ought to come in handy."
We cruised to thirteen countries in five months. My agent never knew how to contact me
on the ship and it turned out to be the honeymoon/vacation of a lifetime.