08 Feb 2013

John and Hisako’s Tokyo Marriage Proposal Story

2 Comments Featured Articles, Marriage Proposal Stories

Once again I’m delighted to share a very special marriage proposal story that I hope will put you all in a fantastic mood for the weekend ahead! This week I’m thankful to John and Hisako for sharing their lovely Tokyo marriage proposal story with us – hopefully it will inspire all you romantics out there!

Please introduce yourselves
John LaDue & Hisako (Chaco) Nagumo, now LaDue!
John and Hisako
Could you please tell us where the idea of your proposal came from?

When Chaco and I first started dating, she sent me a link to a Disney proposal video on YouTube. I watched it and and immediately panicked, worrying that she was expecting something like that from me when the time came to propose!

Of course, when I asked her later she said never in a thousand years would she expect a proposal that grand, she just thought the idea was cute, but I still wanted to try and do something like what she had seen. Since both of us are living in Japan I thought about the appropriate place to propose which would be comparable to Disneyland. I decided that the perfect area would be a place called Hachi Square in Tokyo, which coincidentally shared its name with one of our favourite films, Hachi. I wanted to take the loyalty and love from that film and base our marriage proposal on it.
hachi square marriage proposal
What kind of planning went into making the proposal so successful?

I had so many people involved, it’s amazing someone didn’t accidentally spill the details! My Italian dancer friend choreographed the dance, and I have an Italian composer friend who remixed the music. I also had three professional videographers, and planned the screen to show the proposal message 9 months in advance.

I even had a friend who was a time keeper, so I knew how much time I had to finish the songs before the screen lit up with our picture, which we took in a gondola in Venice on our trip to Italy and Greece. The songs were very well thought out, too. She speaks French, Japanese, English and more, so I had the song ‘Question’ by Rhett Miller translated into French by my buddy and serenaded her in front of the crowd.
1-21-2013 1-49-45 PM

I had her ring specifically designed for her because I wanted it to be completely original. I sat down with the ring designer with a paper and pencil and created something really pretty.

Both of our birthdays are December 7th (the day I proposed) so I had our birthstone, turquoise, next to the center diamond and had it designed with a wave theme. Since we met at my beach house in Japan and one of my first memories with her was surfing, and I wanted our relationship to have a similar never ending and endlessly deep theme, just like the ocean.
The starbucks cup I had her ring in was copied from the Disney proposal she originally showed me, and it was appropriate as we always hang out at our favorite Starbucks cafe in Tokyo. The dancers and I rehearsed a lot beforehand to make sure we would end just before the screen lit up. We now have a two month old baby boy, Jediah Tsubasa.

Thank you to John and Hisako for sharing your amazing story with us, the thought and effort that went into making the proposal a success is truly inspiring! If you would like to share your own proposal story then please email grace@romanceneverdies.com


Grace Pamer is a full time romance and relationship writer. She writes romance and marriage proposal tip columns for various publications including YourTango.com and GalTime.com. As seen on FoxNews.com, Cosmopolitan.com, DivineCaroline.com and CanadianLiving.com to name but a few.

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2 Responses to “John and Hisako’s Tokyo Marriage Proposal Story”

  1. Reply Jane says:

    Grace – that was so cute! I just can’t get over the lengths he went to pulling that all together. The first song (Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You) was one of the songs in our wedding (although I can’t say that we had backup dancers LOL). When she said “Yes!” I just started crying! It gets me every time but something about her energy was just beautiful. I’m so happy for both of them! Thanks for sharing their wonderful story.

    • Reply Grace Pamer says:

      Yes it truly was a proposal to remember! Such a lovely couple and I was totally honored that they shared their story with me.

      Thanks so much for the comment Jane. You’re a star.

      Big love

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