Seiko Usui: Jose Rizal's Japanese Girlfriend
If only Jose Rizal had no patriotic mission and no political will, he would have married her and settled in Japan for good.
It was during Rizal’s second trip abroad when he met Seiko Usui. From Hong Kong, he arrived in Japan in February 1888 and moved to the Spanish Legation in the Azabu district of Tokyo upon the invitation of an official in the legation.
One day, Rizal saw Seiko passing by the legation in one of her daily afternoon walks. Fascinated by her charm, Rizal inquired and learned from a Japanese gardener some basic information about her. The next day, Rizal and the Japanese gardener waited at the legation gate for Seiko. Acting as a go-between and interpreter, the gardener introduced the gracious Filipino doctor and the pretty Japanese woman to each other. The gardener’s role as intermediary was cut short however when Seiko spoke in English. She also knew French, and so she and Rizal began to converse in both languages.