Junko Sakurada smiles… The magazine’s secret photos of the “Unification Church joint wedding ceremony | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Junko Sakurada smiles… The magazine’s secret photos of the “Unification Church joint wedding ceremony

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Junko Sakurada at a joint wedding ceremony in 1992.

A hand on her cheek, staring off into the distance. This is a photograph of Junko Sakurada, 34, dressed as a bride, taken about 20 years ago.

As you know, since the shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Unification Church (now the United Church of Christ in Japan, referred to as the Unification Church in this report) has been the focus of much attention.

It has been revealed that the mother of the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, had made a large donation to the Unification Church, totaling 100 million yen. It is also reported that the mother told the prosecutor, ‘I am sorry for the trouble I have caused (the Unification Church) with this incident. Once again, we are shocked to learn that once a person joins the church, his faith in the church remains unshaken even after his son has caused so many incidents.

This is not the first time that society has been shocked by the influence of the Unification Church and the strength of the faith of its followers. FRIDAY infiltrated the wedding ceremony and reported on it in detail in its September 11, 1992 issue (quotations in parentheses are from the same issue).

The joint wedding ceremony was held at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul. Large buses arrived at the venue early in the morning, and “brides” in white wedding dresses and “grooms” in suits emerged one after another. The number of “couples” participating in the ceremony was 20,825, including 4,658 Japanese couples, 2,793 Japanese and Koreans, and 1,227 Japanese and other foreigners. The total number of participants in the previous joint wedding held in 1989 was 1,275, making it an unprecedented mammoth marriage ceremony for the Unification Church.

At the time, this magazine reported on the ceremony as follows

The ceremony began at 11:00 a.m. and proceeded smoothly, despite the fact that several people collapsed under the scorching sun at a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. In the latter half of the ceremony, former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone gave a congratulatory speech, followed by a male-female duet singing a song of congratulations to the stadium. This elaborate performance was reminiscent of the ceremony at the Barcelona Olympics. At the end of the ceremony, the 20,000 couples sang three Hail Marys in unison to the accompaniment of Mr. and Mrs. Moon Myung Moon. The one-and-a-half-hour ceremony ended without a hitch.

Such an extraordinary relationship between the Unification Church and politics was also proudly displayed.

Among those in attendance were rhythmic gymnast Hiroko Yamazaki, 32, and actress Junko Sakurada. Their joining the church and their participation in the joint wedding ceremony sent shockwaves through society. Ever since her arrival in Seoul, Sakurada has been taking every precaution against the mass media, always wearing a “sales smile. This was no different at the joint wedding ceremony. He never stopped smiling, and at the end of the ceremony, he waved to the airplanes flying over the stadium with a big smile on his face. This was probably because he was well aware of the “PR effect” of his joining the church and getting married.

It will soon be 20 years since this joint wedding. Sakurada has not been seen in public for a long time, but has held several fan events since 2001. However, he has yet to comment on the Yamagami incident. I wonder if she is aware of her responsibility for being a “billboard” for the cult.

Junko Sakurada talking to her husband next to her. Her expression was grim at the time.
Most of the participants were Japanese.
Junko Sakurada smiles and waves to a plane flying overhead at the end of the ceremony.

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