After an 18th-month tour of the world, Chaplin, along with his secretary Toraichi Kono, boarded the SS Hikawa Maru at Yokohama and began his journey home. Before his departure, he had his favorite meal of tempura (deep fried prawns)* at the Hanacho restaurant in Tokyo. Charlie loved this meal so much that his last act before leaving Japan was to purchase a quantity of prawns to have sent aboard the ship.1
|Charlie waves to the crowd as he boards the Hikawa Maru,
June 2nd, 1932
It was in Tokyo that morning that Charlie and his half-brother, Syd, parted ways. Syd had to remain in Japan for another couple of weeks before he could catch the Terukuni Maru to Europe. He eventually returned to his wife Minnie and their home at the Palais Rosa-Bonheur in Nice sometime at the beginning of July.
According to Kono (and as per Gerith Von Ulm’s Charlie Chaplin: King Of Tragedy), the brothers’ relationship was strained by the end of the tour. “Syd had been annoying Charlie with an unwarranted solicitation as to money spent on their travels. The money was Charlie’s, but Syd disapproved of Kono’s disposition of it.”2 The brothers were not to see each other again for another five years, although Syd continued to handle Charlie’s European business deals until the end of 1933.3
|Charlie and Kono (second row, far left) pose with the crew of
the Hikawa Maru.
(Photo credit: Charles Chaplin In Japan by Ono Hiroyuki)
|A page from the passenger list of the Hikawa Maru, dated June 2nd, 1932.
Charlie’s name is at the top, Kono’s at the bottom. (Click to enlarge)
Coming up on June 13th: Charlie arrives in Vancouver.
*Reports vary but Charlie was said to have eaten as many as 30-50 prawns in one sitting.
1New York Times, June 3rd, 1932
2Gerith Von Ulm, Charlie Chaplin: King Of Tragedy, 1940
3Lisa K. Stein, Syd Chaplin: A Biography, 2011