History of one Armenian-Japanese  love

History of one Armenian-Japanese love




            They say that love recognizes no boundaries: it doesn’t have a language, a country, age and date. Love is the invigorative feeling, which is given to people from above.
For the Japanese, Armenia is considered a country of beautiful women and it is not accidental that many Armenian-Japanese families were formed in the course of centuries.
Today an Armenian-Japanese family lives in Yerevan, which is the only family in the history that has stayed in Armenia.
Their love story is very beautiful and unique.

In 1996, Arihiko Hasegawa decided to leave his job in Japan                                                                    and to follow his dream that is to travel all over the world. And it was during his travelling that he met Lilit.
He came to Armenia for the first time in 2000. He met students, who were studying Japanese. He was very much impressed by the fact that though there was no Embassy of Japan in Armenia, there were no prospective related to the Japanese language, there were students, who really loved the language and studied it.
But he didn’t stay in Armenia and continued his journey going up to Columbia, where he was offered to teach Japanese. Arihiko accepts the offer with pleasure, but during those days, he doesn’t forget Armenia and the Armenian students, who were learning the language without taking into consideration many difficulties. In 2006, he came to Armenia for the second time.
At that time Lilit was a first-year student at the section of Japanese of the University of Humanities.
Until that, after graduating from school, Lilit wanted to become a lawyer, but her parents were against it: mother advises her to enter the University of Humanities, the section of Japanese. Lilit enters the university keeping it in secret from everybody, in order her relatives and friends not to complain for choosing a non-prospective profession. And only two months later, she informs about her choice, which became fatal for Lilit.
And when Arihiko comes to Armenia for the second time, at that time he already knew about the students, who were studying Japanese. He wants to meet them, and Lilit and her friends kindly agree. During the everyday meetings, they become closer and make good friends.
But this time also Arihiko does not stay in Armenia.
After his departure, he kept in touch with the Armenian students. The common subject for their correspondence has a very interesting name “Yerevan no Yakuja”, which is translated as Yerevan Mafiosi.
In 2009 Hasegawa came to Armenia for the third time, this time already for a longer period. He wanted to teach Japanese in Armenia.
Lilit has already graduated from the University but she felt that her knowledge is not enough. She asks Hasegawa to give her private lessons.
Some time passes and they start to meet apart from the lessons.
And already in 2011, on Lilit’s birthday, Arihiko presents her a picture–Lilit’s portrait, which he has drawn by himself and suggests to formalize their relations. Three months later, they become engaged. Afterwards they marry and decide to live together in Armenia.
At that time, Arihiko was already teaching. For him the work in Armenia is much more interesting and quiet, than in Japan.
Arihiko considers Lilit’s family his own. And it was not difficult for him to stay in Armenia.
In 2014 they already have a boy–wonderful Aren. The birth of Aren has changed many things for Arihiko. He spends much more time with the family.  “Now I feel such kind of a joy and happiness. Aren’s smile or every small achievement is such a joy for me, which has not existed before”, says he with a smile.
Lilit shares the same opinion. “After Alen’s birth I started to appreciate family much more. The time spend with my relatives is much more important than any other thing”.
Mainly Lilit, her mother and grandmother are engaged in the upbringing of Aren, that’s why Aren is brought up more in the Armenian way. Of course, in his turn Arihiko speaks Japanese with Aren. When he grows up a little, he will give him Japanese food too.
But it is much more important for them that Aren is brought up as a person in such a way that there will be no obstacles for him both in Armenia and Japan.
Arihiko Hasegawa is the president of the Japanese Association in Armenia, he is a lecturer at the University of Linguistics, and he also helps the Embassy of Japan in Armenia. Lilit is the assistant of the Embassy of Japan in Armenia and she is also an interpreter of Japanese.
Hasegawa has different plans for extending and strengthening the ties between Armenia and Japan much more. The government of Japan, in its turn, carries out different projects here.
Coming to Armenia five years ago, Hasegawa opened a Japanese library cooperating with the association “Sending books to Armenia”. For some reason the library was closed and Arihiko presented part of those books to the Japanese “Hikari” scientific-cultural center, the  National Library of Armenia and the European University.
Nowadays Arihiko again continues to cooperate with the same association, which is already renamed. Now it is called the “Association of Friendly Relations with Armenia”. With joint efforts, they try to carry out different projects, including projects with secondary schools.
There are student exchange programs for the Japanese students to come to Armenia and for the Armenian students to leave for Japan.
The first steps were made in 2013 and two Armenian students left for Japan for 10 days.
There are many projects, and Lilit and Arihiko help each other in every issue, both as a couple and as partners.
The aim at leaving for Japan in several years, not for a permanent residence but to get acquainted with the life in Japan and to show little Aren his father’s motherland.
Arihiko has Armenian friends, masters Armenian quite well and contacts freely. For him Lilit is the best. He appreciates in her the fact, that after three years of marriage, Lilit has not changed, she is calm and even-minded.
And Lilit loves Arihiko the way he is.
Many have tried to praise the noble feeling of love by means of music, literature and painting. But each person has and feels it differently.
The love that we feel towards our beloved person and get the same from him is the greatest gift given by God to people. And blessed is the person who loves and is loved.

the material is taken from http://www.azg.am/AM/2014121227

translated from Armenian into English by M.Vardanyan