When 46 year-old Bruce Hollywood keeled over with severe chest pains
he thought he was going to die. As the highlights of his life flashed
through his mind, so did the advice of his adoptive mother. 'You should
find your Japanese mother,' she often told him before she died.
The chest pains were the result of a clogged artery and after corrective
surgery Bruce decided that it was time he took his adoptive mother's
With a little help from Japan's ambassador to the United States, Ryozo
Kato, mother and son were soon reunited.
Bruce's birth mother 65 year-old Nobue Ouchi, met his biological father — also
in the U.S. Air Force — in Shizuoka, Japan. When he left the country,
Nobue says, she didn't realise she was pregnant.
Concerned that a mixed-race child would face prejudice in Japan, Nobue
allowed an Air Force couple in Japan at the time to adopt her son when
he was about 2 months old.
Nobue, though, says she always
knew she and her son would be reunited someday. She has cherished a letter
and picture that Bruce's adoptive mother sent to her several months after
Nobue, who never married or had other children, opened a restaurant and
named it after her son. 'I thought about him every day,' she said.
Mother and son met for the first time
when Bruce travelled to Japan in April. This week, Nobue is visiting
Bruce, of Stafford, Va., says he has
lived a 'fairy tale' life. He played high school football and was president
of the student body, married and has two children. He does strategic
planning for the Defence Department.
Even though his adoptive mother often urged him to find his biological
mother, Bruce didn't feel the need until that day that he thought he was
dying. At that moment, he wanted to thank her for making his good life
'At that moment when I looked back at my life, I really thought that in
the game of life, I won,' Bruce said. 'This whole new world opened up to
me, and it's like I get to play a bonus round.'