Not Madame Butterfly (5:14)

Toyo Kaneko Swartz

When Toyo Kaneko went to her parents and said she wanted to marry Andrew Swartz, the tall U.S. Navy man she had been dating, here’s what her father told her: “When you marry, you don’t come back home. Don’t bring the baby and come home.” It sounds harsh, but it was a very common reaction by Japanese parents to their daughters marrying U.S. servicemen after World War II. Giving birth to a mixed-race baby meant no going back if the marriage failed. Toyo accepted the terms and was determined to make it work.