Michiko Okuyama,22, Born-Oct.25, 1974
"I want to meet you again (Memoirs of the Bereaved)"
Published by Tokyo Municipal Victim Support Center.
Translation by Ryosaku Nakamura
In the morning of the 23rd of September, jury passed the judgement [guilty] at the trial which had been held from the 14th. In Ausralian system,I was told,the details of the punishment will be given by the judge after one month.
But at least I think we can settle for the time being.
The memorial of my sister made in cairns was unveiled on the 25th.
We would like to thank all the people who participated in making such magnificent memorial. And please pray when visiting the memorial that such crazy tragedy would never happen again.
Now, my sister is with the people of Cairns and her family.
Michiko will be 23 years old in 10 more days. It will be almost 1 month since this has all started.
There was one worry that could not leave my head. That there still might be some misunderstanding in Australian people and especailly Cairns people that we have left Cairns with hatred. Thus I asked Cairns Post thrugh my friends if they can publish my internet page. I asked them for the people who can not access to internet pages. Then, they kindly published on the top page of 12th morning paper.
I would like to thank the Cairns Post deeply. I think our feeling did get to people in Cairns since I have been receiving many mail from the people who actually read the paper. Here, I would like to say thank you representing my whole family.
I have to take Michiko's photo off this page because a person mailed me to inform that somebody was doing malicious mischief on Japanese web site. I am very shocked and sorry. There was also some mean telephone calls. The problem with the press has settled a little, but I certainly can not put the information on Michiko's funeral here under this circumstance. I am sorry for this to the people who were kindly thinking of attending the funeral. I really wanted to accept the mail personally but there were some mean mails from media or the thoughtless people. There could be a possibility that I can not mail to the people who is really thinking about coming to the funeral. So I had to give this up as well. This is very disappointing and I feel very sorry for this.
I am sorry that I have to withhold the notice of Michiko's Farewell party in this page to avoid a confusion. Neither I can put the information on formal funeral because of the same reason. Big difference from Cairns, there are too many thoughtless media and people here, that it is sad that I had to make this kind of decision.
I have learned alot of things through this Michiko's case. To have thoughtfulness, a volunteer spirit; what to do to protect one's self in other countries; misunderstandings from language difference; what family is, what brothers and sisters are. They are too numerous to count. I also learned how people could be helpful and supportive to others through Australian people. I guess this is something that Japanese media, government and all the people here have to follow. I think Michiko will be happy if you would feel what I am feeling and make good use to your life.
It makes me a bit uncomfortable to mention "love", but I think that's what it's all about.
Please don't forget to have thoughtful mind to others.
Please don't for get to love people.
Please don't forget to love your family.
Please don't forget to love your sisiters and brothers.
Please don't forget Michiko.
Please do not think badly of Australia or Cairns.
First day back in Japan and I already miss Cairns and feel like going back right away. In Cairns, We had such warm treatment from alot of people that we ever had in our whole life. But all I had at Narita Airport was full of press, cameras, and reporters pushing us. People from JAL were helping us but after all, we had to pay hundreds of dollars and give a press conference. Even though, they never gave up....
Getting various troubles. Press still knocking on the door..... We found that we could feel much calmer and quiter in Cairns. And I felt all the more keenly the warmth and respect of the people in Cairns. I just could not understand why we get more tired back in our homeland. Maybe I have to give up informing Michiko's farewell party on this page.
Things are so tough here!!
I have returned to Japan sefely.
Thank you to people in Cairns, Cairns Airport, Cairns Police, and Japanese
people living in Cairns for seeing me off. I was so delighted. I hope to see
I have been writing this almost everyday, and I don't want anybody to misunderstand Cairns or Australia. I fear that lots of people might misunderstand Cairns and Australia and give up going to such wonderful place.
I want Michiko's funeral held in Japan to be a "Farewell Party" kind of style, not that usual Japanese gloomy style. So I want many people to come. Michiko's friends, everybody who have kindly sent condolance mails, who have been caring about her by reading this site or by watching on television, please come. The date and the place has not been decided yet, but will be informed on this page. As I said, it is like a party, may be in buffet style. So feel free to come in casual clothes. Please let Michiko have the time of her life and sed her off joyfully. I will be waitin for you to come and see her. This also is her parents' intention. They say that they want to talk with as many of Michiko's friends as possible and relate their memories of the later Michiko.
Once again, with a great hospitality from the people in cairns, I went to Great Barrier Reef today. The veiw of the Great Barrier Reef from the sky was spectacular. The exact colours are impossible to describe. And I spreaded the flowers at the point where you can go only by helicopters. After that, I went to MooreReef by boat and experienced diving. I now know why Michiko was so much into scuba diving. Coral reef in various colours, all kinds of tropical fish. Mysterious curtain of lights. It is understandable there are so many divers willing to dive at Great Barrier Reef. I surely recomend everybody to dive here. There are no problem if you don't have experience or if you can't swim. Even for me, it was the first time in more 10 years to swim in the water. But I did fine. All I had to do was keep breathing and let the air out of my ears. I think I did enjoy enough for Michiko as well.
At night, the people who has been supporting and helping us since we got here, kindly invited me to their home and had Australian dinner. There I was given many many things, such as handmade boomerang and drawings from the Aborigine people, a precious charm which was kept for years from a 20 year old person, massages from a Japanese Language School students. These are only a part of them. Hundreds of faxes, letters and flowers were also sent to us not only from Cairns but from all over Australia. And I am so impressed and touched.
This place is full of warm hearted people. It is sad that I can not thank each of these people. But my family and I are definitely greatful to all these people from the bottom of our hearts.
Again, I really would like to thank people who supported us like a real family, the people from where I stayed at. Also to the Police department, the consular staff in Cairns, nonofficial searching staff, the hotel we stayed at, Australian citizens, and so many people who mailed me and my friend. Thank you very very much. I will be leaving Cairns tomorrow. I am really going to miss here but will promise to come back again.
Today, with the generous arrangement by the people who has been kindly helping us in Cairns, I rode the Sky Cable Car at the neighbouring tropical rain forrest. The scenery was tremendous. The whole area was covered with green. The birds were singing in the nice and quiet place. I saw the waterfall, too. They told me that the water flows spectacularly in the rain season (from end of Dec. to Feb.) Excuse me for the poor expression. It is very difficult to discribe the beauty in writing.
What I really wanted to say was that Cairns,Australia is really a wonderful place. There are full of generous and kind people in Cairns and in Australia. Us, Michiko's family, are so grateful that we can never have hatred, except to the murderer.
If you think of coming to Cairns or to Australia on vacation or on working holiday, please do not fear, and feel comfortable to do so. I can guarantee that you will certainly be impressed.
But also please beware and remember that this kind of unfortunate could happen with one out of million or billion probability. Wherever in the world you go, on vacation, on working holiday, or on business, I think the same thing can be said, even in Japan. Please do not think that it can never happen to YOU.
I have heard that some bad things were said in Japan about working holiday system. But I think it's a wonderful system. To have such wonderful experience in such wonderful place with such wonderful people when they're still young. The opportunity is there, why not move into action than just sit and wait. I am sure that they will learn something from it and will make the best use to their livesB
Thank you very much to everybody for all the help and support concerning my sister, Michiko.
I am now updating this from Cairns, Australia.
During the last 2 days, I have recieved over 200 mails from all over.
Thank you very much. I was able to copy all the mail to floppy disks and handed them to Michiko. My parents does not have enough time to read and answer all these but would like to show how thankful they are via this page.
We had her funeral today at Cairns without any disturbance by the Japanese media. And I owe a great much to people in Cairns, Australian Police, Australian media, Also the Australian government and all the other people. I am deeply grateful to them for their kindness.
I have found Cairns a great place. Nice climate and every body is such nice and kind here. So many greens, clear water, beautiful blue sky, fresh air. If you have never been to Cairns, I would recomend you to come here once and experience this wonderful place. I, myself would like to come again, but as a real vacation next time.
Without any help from Peopole in Cairns, not only my sister wouildn't have been found but my parents would have been sick as well. I really want to express my feeling to all these people but I can't because of my poor English. If you have any chance, please tell the people that Michiko's brother was deeply greatful.
The murderer has been arrested and things are starting to clear up.
Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart.
The dead body found in Cairns was identified as my sister Michiko at 4pm October 6th, 1997.
I would like to thank all the people from the Police Department and in Australia who has been very cooprative to find my sister since, to the people all over the world who had put the link to this page, and also to my neighbours who has been caring for us.
Thank you very much again for your great support and cooperation.
Michiko's brother, Hideo Okuyama.