They were best friends, then pen pals — until one day, the letters stopped coming | Finding Fukue

Nearly three decades after obtaining the last letter from her pen-pal, Jessica Stuart goes back to Japan to address the enigma and try of her long-lost close friend, Fukue. #CBCShortDocs

Created in Association with Real Stories.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

It’s an enigma that spans years, cultures and continents, and bridges one Toronto lady’s life with her childhood in Japan: what happened to Fukue?

In 1988, Jessica Stuart was nine years old. Her family embarked on a social odyssey that would greatly influence her life: the Stuarts collected their middle-class roots in Vancouver’s Jewish neighborhood and replanted them in a country Japanese community called Saku for a year.

It was during this soaking up year that Jessica met Fukue, a bubbly and also bright woman with rosy red cheeks and a limitless smile. Fukue and also Jessica became like sis, spending their days frolicking in the fall leaves, dancing under snow-blanketed trees, viewing warm air balloons brighten the horizon in springtime and creeping with rice paddies in early summertime.

Strangely, Fukue never ever invited Jessica to visit her family house. Surprised and disrupted, Jessica started to make feeling of the name-calling as well as intimidation that Fukue endured at institution.

As the Stuarts’ year in Japan came to an end, Jessica and also Fukue ensured one an additional they would interact. They ended up being pen friends, writing letters backward and forward for 2 years, till the letters from Fukue quit– without any description.

Now an artist in her 30s, Jessica has actually always remembered Fukue. Her memories of their time together are lovely, however haunting. And also so her thoughts look to the unidentified. Where is Fukue currently? Does she remember Jessica? Why did her letters quit all those years ago?

Currently, virtually 30 years after she left Japan, Jessica is going back to find the solution to these questions. She’s going to discover Fukue.


A special thanks to The Stuart Family, Norie-Ichikawa Doyle as well as Saku City Junior High School.

A lot more Shows:

Remain Connected: