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Cover Girl, 60 Years Ago

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 25, 2012

It’s just an ordinary magazine cover, this Instructor from November 1952. You’ll recognize that this picture is taken on the grounds of the Salt Lake Temple, with the Joseph Smith statue that is in the garden there. The man on the left, standing next to the woman, is Richard J. Marshall, a newly returned missionary from the Hawaiian Mission. The young couple with him are converts from Hawaii, sealed in the Salt Lake Temple the year before, who had been in Salt Lake City while the husband studied at the University of Utah and the wife taught school.

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You recognize them, right? No?

Maybe you’d recognize the sister from these book covers:

In 1952, Chieko N. Okazaki  wasn’t even fully named in the caption for that month’s cover:

“The theme of The Instructor this month is storytelling. For an appropriate front cover subject photographer Ray G. Jones took a picture of Elder Richard J. Marshall, who recently returned from the Hawaiian mission, and Brother and Sister Edward Y. Okazaki, recent converts to the Church, whose home is in Wailuku on the Island of Maui. As they stand before the statue of Joseph Smith on Temple Square, Elder Marshall is recounting to his friends the story of the Prophet and the restoration of the Gospel.

“Brother Okazaki was graduated this year from the University of Utah, majoring in social work. While he attended school, his wife served in Salt Lake City as an exchange teacher from the Islands. both have been happy in Salt Lake City and have been very active in ward and stake organizations.

“Though they are the listeners in this picture, Brother and Sister Okazaki have many interesting stories to tell about their own experiences in the Church.”

No kidding.



10 Comments »

  1. Neat!

    Comment by HokieKate — April 25, 2012 @ 7:58 am

  2. I loved Sister Okasaki!

    Comment by Chocolate on my Cranium — April 25, 2012 @ 8:08 am

  3. Her hair got better with age.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 25, 2012 @ 9:16 am

  4. Awesome. You find the best stuff, Ardis!

    Comment by lindberg — April 25, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  5. Ardis,

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Okasaki’s had a hard time getting their sealing ceremony done in the Salt Lake Temple. Not because of any Church doctrine or practice, but because of the anti-miscegenation laws that were still on the books in Utah at the time. Are you familiar with this? Am I just confusing my facts/stories?

    Comment by andrew h — April 25, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  6. I’m not at all familiar with that story, andrew. I suspect you’re mixing it with another story, though, because as far as I know Edward Okazaki was as Japanese as Chieko Okazaki was. (Note that in the picture Chieko is standing next to the *missionary*, not her husband.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 25, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

  7. In regards to Andrew h’s comment. I think he is refering to an incident where a Japanese friend of Sister Okazaki married a caucasian in 1951. Because of Utah’s anti-misegenation laws at the time they could not get married in the Salt Lake Temple and had to go the Cardston Alberta temple in Canada.

    Sister Okazaki discussed this in an interview she gave before her death to Gregory Prince which is in the current issue of Dialogue.

    Comment by john willis — April 26, 2012 @ 9:32 am

  8. Thanks, john, I haven’t seen that yet.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 26, 2012 @ 10:22 am

  9. Raymond Takashi Swenson mentioned somewhere that his parents couldn’t marry in Utah because of that horrid law. And that makes me wonder about a high school friend of mine–her Japanese mother would have married her father sometime in the early 50s (I’m assuming, correctly I believe, that her parents were married when she was born!). It had never crossed my mind when I met her in the late 60s that her parents might have had difficulty getting a marriage license in Utah. Ugh!

    And, I should have spent more time looking at that grainy photograph before I gave up and peeked at the answer. Bro. Okazaki looked almost exactly the same (albeit a bit stouter) when I met him in the early 70s–somewhere in Provo, well before I received my mission call to go to Japan, and if I’d looked long enough I might have recognized him.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 26, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  10. I have a framed, embroidered quote from Sister Okazaki on my wall from a talk she gave at a women’s conference I attended years ago. I am so grateful for both her and her husband’s dedication to teaching and telling so many wonderful stories throughout all their years!

    Comment by Heather B in SC — April 28, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

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