Sometime last year, Akemi and I started the process that would hopefully see her gain permanent resident status here in Canada.  It’s been a looooong and winding road and it seems that, every time I think we’re “almost there!”, we encounter a speed bump or, more appropriately, somebody who waves us down to inform us “Oh, you’ve still got a ways to go.”  So it was back in Tokyo when I received notice that my sponsorship of Akemi had been approved (Hurrah!) only to learn that this was only a preliminary step in the process (Boo!).  And so it was when we were directed to forward Akemi’s fingerprints to the embassy in Asia for a police check, what I thought would be the final step in the long journey.   But no.  Today, we received an email from our immigration lawyer informing us that the embassy has requested more documentary evidence of our relationship: proof of travel together, joint accounts, letters from friends and family regarding our ongoing relationship, and maybe a couple of blog entries.

Letters from friends and family regarding our ongoing relationship? Blog entries?  How about all in one?!

I mean, who better to provide written declarations on my relationship with Akemi than the people who are privy to its details – our outings with the dogs, our trips to Tokyo, our dinners together, the amusing/curious/awkward adventures we’ve shared.  I’m talking about YOU GUYS!

Take a moment to leave an Akemi-related comment.  When did you first read about her here on this blog?  What was your favorite Akemi-related blog entry?  Why do we make such a great couple?

A little overview of our relationship:

I was with my ex for about 11+ years before splitting up with her in February of 2009.  At that point, it was just me and the dogs.  Now, I can’t speak for the dogs and I certainly don’t know if they preferred one living situation over the other, but I will say that they seemed pretty happy to finally be allowed to sleep on the bed.  And so, we settled into a routine.  Every morning, we would wake up and head downstairs where I would take them out, feed them, workout and shower, then drop them off at the doggy daycare on my way to work. After work, I would pick the dogs up, bring them home, feed them, feed myself, do a blog entry, then cap the night off with a second work-out and a little reading.  I’m a guy who grows quickly accustomed to routine and while, on the surface, it may have seemed like a solitary existence, I was quite content.

Ten months later, it was time for my annual culinary journey to Tokyo. It’s a trip I’d made in the past (and many times since) that inevitably involve me checking out a host of fabulous restaurants with the friends I happen to make over the course of my travels.  One of these dining companions was Akemi who I met through our mutual friends, Moro-san and Keiko, at the Pierre Marcolini Cafe where she worked. I asked her out for dinner, she (warily) accepted, and we ended up going out on our first date (November 30, 2009: Tokyo Travel Day $6 – Ginza La Tour, Michel Troisgros).

In my remaining days in Tokyo, we got together a few more times, for a stroll through Shibuya (December 1, 2009: Tokyo Travel Day #7 – Gordon Ramsay, Mo Shibuya Stroll, Ishikawa (and I mean it this time!), more memorable meals (December 4, 2009: Tokyo Travel Day #10 – Quintessence, Monnalisa Marunouchi, I hit the wall – and I’ve still got 11 restaurants to go!), culminating in a bittersweet goodbye yakinku (December 9, 2009, Part II: Final Feasts and Fond Farewells).  I was a sad to leave her but suggested to Akemi that she consider visiting Canada some day.

Fast-forward two months and Vancouver was celebrating the Olympics. I also had cause for celebration because Akemi had decided to come visit for a week or so.  This time, it was my turn to play host (February 16, 2010: Playing Host).  Akemi met the dogs (February 17, 2010: Dog time! Dim sum! And your Olympic update!), made herself comfortable in the kitchen (February 20, 2010: Gusto di Quattro! We get cookin’!), enjoyed the sights (February 22, 2010: Out and about! Ganache Patisserie! Bistrot Bistro! Narrowing down our next book of the month club pick! And an Olympic update!), and checked out some of my favorite haunts (February 23, 2010: Akemi calls the shots! Tojo’s! We do lunch!) before heading back home (February 25, 2010: Goodbye, Akemi!) and then on to six weeks in Perth to learn English.

But she wasn’t gone for long.  After those six weeks of Aussie language school had concluded, she hopped on a plane, returned to Vancouver, and we’ve been together ever since.  We’ve enjoyed the Vancouver nightlife (June 27, 2010: Night Market Report!), attended foodly events (October 28, 2010: Refuel’s Annual Whole Hog Dinner!), celebrated her first Christmas in Canada with my family (December 26, 2010: Christmas snaps! Another mailbag!).

In 2011, when I got a job in Toronto, she moved with me.  We settled in and, in no time, we were having dinners with old friends (June 21, 2011: Chat and Chow with Alaina Huffman!) and enjoying the local eats (August 21, 2011: Daredevil Eats at the CNE! The Return of the Weird Food Purchase of the Day!) while she continued to learn suspect English from me (April 5, 2011: Joe’s School of Language!) and worried about her visa situation (July 5, 2011: Sad Rabbit).

Eventually, we bid Toronto a fond farewell (September 26, 2011: The Final Goodbye Dinner!) and moved back to Vancouver where we became reacquainted with the city (October 28, 2011: The Great Vancouver Food Truck Tour #3!), entertained friends from out of town (November 22, 2011: Either a power line’s down or someone’s coming to kill you! A leisurely day with the Europeans!) and did a little cross-cultural learning (October 29, 2011: Things not Japanese! Or maybe they are!).

Akemi got her first taste of Canadian winter (December 24, 2011: C-c-c-c-c-cold! Home cookin’! Maximus chills! Dark Matter tidings! And my Snow Monkeys on the verge of a championship!) when we went to Montreal to spend the Christmas holidays with my family – and, of course, check out some of the best my old hometown has to offer (December 28, 2011: Welcome to east coast winter! Garde Manger!).

We kicked off 2012 by going back to Tokyo where I met her family (February 3, 2012: Tokyo Day #7! Braving the cold! Kaiseki! Football Avenue! And it’s all business! Sort of!),  then settled back in to life in Vancouver with Akemi showing off her cooking prowess (March 17, 2012: Kitchen triumphs! Out and about! How to treat a migraine?! And a mini mailbag!).  In April we celebrated her birthday by having her favorite chef come to the house and cook us a very special dinner (April 27, 2012: Akemi’s Birthday Dinner!).

Most recently, we enjoyed a wonderful time in San Diego for Comic Con (July 13, 2012: Comic Con!) and followed that up with a few days in Vegas (July 16, 2012: From Comic Con to Vegas!).

And those 2+ years were just the beginning!

So help a couple out.  Leave a comment!

79 thoughts on “July 26, 2012: Support Akemi! Leave a comment!

  1. Watch that left hand Buster!!!

    On a side note… When i started following this blog over a year ago, i thought both of you had been married for years already.

    Sinners! 😉

  2. I have been reading Joe’s blog for the last two years or so. I originally came for the “Stargate” stories, since I became a fan late in the show’s existence (SGA became my favorite series). Joe gives great insight about the production, but he also talks about Akemi, his love for food, and his dogs. You can tell from the blog postings that Akemi enjoys her time with Joe and what they do everyday. I’m in a long distance relationship as well, and I wished my life had the same feeling / living position that Joe writes about in his blog about their relationship. They are lucky to have each other; they deserve to be together. Joe’s blog shows his feelings about himself and his love for Akemi. You can tell Joe treats Akemi with true love and respect. My two cents.

  3. I’ve been enjoying following Akemi’s adventures for a few years now. Either she’s real and you’re together or you’ve done a very good job of fabricating a photogenic imaginary friend! Here’s hoping the wheels of the government move quickly for you two.

  4. Wonder why they are giving you such a hard time seeing as she is from Japan. I could understand if she was from Vietnam or similar country due to the high number of falsified cases going through them.

  5. And, for the ENTIRE TIME, She’s put UP with *Your* FUSSY-EATING-HABITS! – If that ain’t “Love”..?


  6. I have known Joe via the Net since 2002 and met him in person in 02 and 07. I read his blog daily and can verify that he published the referenced posts on the dates mentioned. I’m hoping to meet Akemi in person next month, when /if my husband & I visit Vancouver again.

    BTW, Joe, I’m holding off on travel plans. Husband is having some diagnostic tests; I’d like to get past them before I make reservations.

  7. I have been enjoying Joe’s blog for several years. His yearly trip to Japan were fun for me to look forward to. Joe has always shared his world with us.

    I remember how cute it was when he first introduced Akemi to us. Joe writes on a daily bases so we honestly hear about several areas of his life.

    Akemi has been so supportive of his sharing with us….so we have the honor of getting to know so much about her. She loves pink…things that are cute…and has a smile that reaches your heart. I love her generosity in sharing her yummy recipes. I live in Utah…USA and I’m devoted to seeing Joe, Akemi and the pups.

    I have come to see Joe…Akemi and the pups as a family unit. It has been a blessing to be able to peek into their life.

    There is still good in the hearts of men…and it us found here daily.

    All My Best,
    Cheryl Gunter

  8. i’ve enjoyed reading about your travels over the last two years. Canadian immigration needs to wake up and read this blog already. Should have been rubber stamped “Approved” ages ago.

  9. Akemi has been a lovely addition to Joe’s blog since 2009 when she appeared in a blog entry while he was visiting Japan. She lived with Joe in Vancouver, moved to Toronto with him and the dogs for a year and is now back In Vancouver. She seems like a very fun person, gets along with Joes’ friends and takes excellent care of the dogs and Joe. They go everywhere and just returned from a visit to San Diego and Las Vegas where they had a bad experience in Bobby Flay’s restaurant Mesa Grill. Her mom likes to see pictures of Akemi in Joe’s blog.

    Good luck Akemi and Joe in getting a permanent resident status for Akemi. 🙂

  10. I’ve been reading this block every day since October 2010.

    Akemi has been a constant presence in the blog. To be honest i thought you’d been together for years.

    It’s obvious you both care a great deal about each other. I also like the fact she doesn’t take you seriously. Sometimes it’s good to be brought back to earth once in a while.

    She also loves the dogs, which is a good thing. A friend of mine had to give up his beloved cat because his wife didn’t like her.

    Looking after Max towards the end couldn’t have been easy for the both of you. It was a very hard time for you and you are lucky you had someone like Akemi to lean on.

  11. Yep, after reading about Akemi for the past few years – and the pups – I reckon she’s real. If not, you’re an even better writer than I think you already are and have truly exceptional Photoshop skills. Why would she make all those cute Bento boxes – and write on bananas – if she didn’t truly love you!!

  12. Joe, I love you man, but there is one really easy way to solve this problem.. get MARRIED!!;)
    I love Japan too. Ive been living here for the past 3 years now;)

  13. My strongest memories of Akemi are the artistic ways she presents food. I loved the pictures of the artistic lunches she would fix for you in the Bento Box while you guys were in Toronto. The notes were so cute and so cheerful. She even fixed a box for Carl! I showed the pictures to my hubby who asked me why I didn’t fix his lunch like that. Cause I’m not Japanese was my response. Or artistic or creative, but that is beside the point. I know that during the illness and death of Maximum Akemi’s presence and support made a huge difference to your life. I would say that Akemi insisted you do things in Vancouver that you haven’t done before or wouldn’t do otherwise: wear a pretty apron in a cooking class, do a couples massage when you were having a stressful week, go to the doctor when you thought your head injury was fine. She has certainly been a fine companion who can keep up with your food outings, conversed with your friends, and entertained you with her own interpretation of life and the English language. Can she come and stay with me for a while? just kidding.

  14. I’ve been commenting on this blog for a while now, and following it even longer. It seems that Akemi has always been a central part of your life and it’s hard to imagine you two NOT being together. From everything from your foodie adventures to the wonderful “Akemi-isms”, we’ve been lucky to share a little in the great fun that you guys have together.

    Having met both of you last April in Vancouver, I can say without reservation that it’s clear you have a great fondness for one another and heck, are just great people! Akemi in person is every bit as pleasant and gracious as one would imagine from reading your blog.

    Best of luck, Akemi! I know it’s a long road – everything in dealing with government is. (Trust me, working there I know.) But, it will work out fine in the end!

  15. Good lord, such troubles when Akemi has been a part of your life for aaaaaaages! Canadian immigration people: I swear, Akemi has been a part of the blog furniture (and hence, Joe’s life) for a really long time now – so long that I can’t possibly imagine a time before or after. Let her stay, damn it. (Also, she has a really cool name.) I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for any damage that may have been done to her English skills by studying in Perth, of all places. May I suggest: if she ever says the word ‘mate’ – punish her.

  16. mike –
    I don’t think marriage automatically equals “be done with it” in Canada.

  17. One thing that has always tickled me about Akemi is the box breakfasts. In fact, all of the breakfasts. The little faces on the eggs and bananas. 😀

  18. I remember you mentioning her the first time you dined out with her in tokyo. given your knack for finding dinner companions, i didn’t think anything of it. And when she came over to Vancouver to spend a week or so, I assumed it was just a case of you being a gracious host to a newfound friend.
    And then, over time, the references to Akemi became more frequent. It became obvious even before you officially announced a “relationship” with Akemi that you and she were becoming more than simple dining buddies. And it’s been a pleasure to watch your relationship grow. Akeemi’s quirky comments as she struggles to master English, her devotion to the dogs, her willingness to take the blind leap to move to Toronto. The Bento box masterpieces are always a treat to see.
    I cannot think of a better documented case of how and when a relationship started, and has developed. I’m equally sure Canada gains a wonderful new resident by approving her stay in that fine country. And it won’t hurt the tax revenues either, by keeping a productive citizen happy and motivated to continue to work hard to take care of his beloved Akemi. And we, Mr. Mallozzi’s fans, would also be delighted to be able to continue following the adventures, and misadventures, of this delightful couple.

  19. I’ve been following this blog for years – since 2008 or earlier, I think. I’ve definitely been reading since before your move to wordpress.

    In the beginning we only got little hints about Akemi, but that has grown, and now, we see her almost daily.

    Some of my favorite posts about Akemi are from when you were in Toronto and she made adorable anthropomorphized lunches for you. I was also very glad she was with you during your last few months with Maximus. If I remember correctly she gave Maximus a red blanket for his last trip to the vet.

    Many of your posts are food related and Akemi seems to be both an accomplished cook and an adventurous eater. You seem like a good match for most food related activities, and I’ve learned a lot from reading about your many food tours.

    I learned the phrase “sad rabbit” from posts about Akemi. I have no idea what it means, but I do it with my four-year old granddaughter when I’m showing her I’m sad about something in a kidding around way. (My granddaughter has since invented “happy rabbit” in reply.)

    I’m a third-generation Japanese-American. I don’t have any friends from Japan so it’s particularly fun for me to read about Akemi (and about the Japan visits) to feel that I’m touching a small bit of that culture.

    Good luck and best regards,
    Jan M

  20. I’ve been following the ongoing antics of Joe since close to the beginnings. The tone has definitely changed over the years, getting noticeably cheerier and more personal since we’ve had the pleasure of Akemi. She’s made my mornings brighter and for that I thank her. One of the first things that went through my mind when Joe was contemplating ending this blog was that we would never know what fate Akemi. Glad they’re both still around and look forward to many more interesting mornings.

  21. Mr. M.: Tell them about the bento breakfasts, the help she gave you with the dogs and all those wonderful meals you’ve had together. There are so many sweet Akemi stories you’ve shared with us. You’ve even met her parents! Your blog posts will be a great asset since it chronologically watches your relationship. Those little encouragement notes would be a good tidbit. You’ve even created words based on her: Akemisims (did I spell that you do?)

    Alisa Russell: Well my kid is smart BUT the whole school curriculum was a year ahead of “normal” public school. All the four year olds were reciting the entire list of United States Presidents. It was pretty darn cute. 😉 All his classmates were reading at five. Plus, they all took Spanish classes from four years old up. The class size was small too. When he was in fourth grade, there were only six other kids in his class. We’ve given up cool vacations and fancy cars for private school but it’s worth it. Plus, anyone who says our local private schools aren’t diverse hasn’t been in a classroom lately. I’m sure you’ve given up a lot for home schooling too! Learning Japanese is impressive. Every good parent wants the best education for their kids.

    Das: How is the little guy today?

    Saving Hope is a good show but if they cancelled it-maybe they would wake the poor guy up!

  22. I’ve enjoyed reading Joe’s blog for years now, and have especially liked reading about his adventures with Akemi. She needs her visa now–I want them to live happily ever after!

  23. I figured it was pretty serious when Joe was asking our opinion about which Lush bath salts to get to stock the guest bath when she came for her first visit.


    I’ll put together a more substantial post later. Right now I have to get off to a very short morning of work after which I am taking my daughter to get her wisdom teeth out. 🙁

  24. I’ve been reading Joe’s blog since 2005 on Gateworld and here since 2006, and much like him, I haven’t missed a day.

    I can confirm that he and Akemi indeed have a firm and committed relationship, as I as a daily reader, have been along for the ride.

    Now, when are they getting married…?

  25. Hi Joe and Akemi, Been reading your blog for many years now and have been very pleased to see how happy you two seem together. I really hope all goes well with the visa situation. From what I’ve read over the years you two seem very well suited to each other. I only hope some day I can come up to Vancouver and go on a food truck tour with you and the dogs. Best of Luck!

  26. I think Akemi’s partial to you, Joe.

    Was she in that accident with you a while back? I remember her posing with the damage. Nothing says “sharing life, fasted at mine elbow” like being listed as an occupant in a 7:30AM collision report.

    You got this in the bag.

  27. Akemi has added so much color and joy to the the daily postings of the blog, I can only imagine how much more she has added to you, your life, and the dogs. I always enjoy her perspective on us Westerners and her Akemi-isms. She seemed to be camera shy at first but has appeared more comfortable in front of the camera and adds flair to the daily postings. Akemi seems to be becoming more like us Westerners everyday. – I’m with Mike, marry her and be done with it.

  28. So many great memories with Akemi. But I think my favorite was our day at the CNE. Great food, great company… and danger! That lightning storm terrified me.

  29. Don’t tend to comment often, but look forward to reading the blog and everyone’s comments every day. The blogs that include Akemi are some of my favorites – from her wonderful bento box breakfasts (with pictures) to her Akemiisms. And you just have to look at the pictures of the two you posted on the blog to know your relationship is a happy one. Good luck with getting the paperwork done and making it official. And thanks again for letting us share about your life. Today’s blog has to be one of my favorites.

  30. Akemi is a part of the family. I’ve been touched by the care she shows the dogs. The pictures of the lunches she makes for you crack me up.
    Good Luck!

  31. How could I not remember when you first starting dating Akemi–it was on my birthday, no less. As for you being a couple, it is more than obvious from this blog alone (unless you have a very creative imagination–oh, wait, you do 🙂 ).

    All kidding aside, it has been a joy to read and see the development of your relationship over the years. Akemi supports you, and more importantly, is a great step-mom to the dogs. You are even considering adopting together–how more defining of a couple?? She has to stay in Canada; your dogs would be heartbroken!

    My favourite Akemi stories? I love her spin on English and keeping you in line.

  32. Oh! How could I forget Akemi’s great attention to detail and thoughtfulness with her Bento lunches and homemade cards?

  33. So I don’t think I’ve ever written a comment here before, though I had several typed up and never hit the “post comment” button. But I felt this was the time to take the plunge and try to help out the best I could with a comment about you and Akemi.

    I actually started following this blog about the time you were on that trip to Tokyo where you met Akemi and it seems to me any time she was around she was always incorporated in some way into your blog entry. So in my opinion, even though the title of this blog is called “JosephMallozzi’s Weblog” I always felt it was more like “Joe & Akemi’s Weblog.” Even though I haven’t met either of you in person I feel like I know so much about you and about how happy you make each other just by reading your blog entries over the past few years. I hope that everything works out so Akemi can stay with you, wherever you go. It’s hard to think of one of you without the other.

  34. Awwww…Joe you are sooo in love with Akemi! 🙂 I can tell by the way love to talk about her in such a loving way. Good luck Akemi on immigration. And…Joe…I applaud to the both of you for doing it the correct way. It may be a long tedious road but it will be well worth it. Just be patient and stay on the ball. 🙂

    Akemi…you are such a sweet heart. 🙂 I love your smile. I love all cuteness. And…you just seem to love life. Just reasing about you and seeing photos of you…you brighten my day. 🙂 I wish I could me you in person. Oh…Akemi…don’t you think it’s time Joe popped the question already. 😉

  35. Well, hello everyone. This is my first post, but I thought that, today at last, I had something to say. I have been reading your blog for, I think, at least four years. I have shared many joys and some sorrows (having also spent some difficult times of my own, I have even cried with some of your posts). And I can say that, always, Akemi was beside you, with her smiles, her support, her wonderful cooking and her lovable Akemiisms. Please, don’t change, any of you, and thank you for allowing us to share a litte bit of your lifes. (By the way, sorry if my English is not very good, I’m writing from Spain)

  36. I have been a regular on this blog since the beginning of 2010 and was privy to the beginnings of Joe and Akemi’s relationship in Vancouver. He treats her with genuine love and care, and you can tell they’re committed to each other by what he writes about her.

    Hope you both have a great day!!!

  37. @ brent – 😆 Good catch on the hand! I started looking more closely at the pictures, and noticed that Joe’s left hand likes to go a-roving. Nice to know the old guy sitll has some fire in him, eh? 😉


  38. @Joe

    1. I remember first reading about Akemi during your 2009 annual trip to Tokyo. Time really does fly! You talked about her a lot, in a way which made it pretty obvious you had feelings for this bright intelligent young woman.

    2. I remember one of your many videos: Akemi is watching TV, seemingly oblivious to what you’re doing; she tilts her head, realising exactly what you ARE doing, she asks: “Movie?”

    You giggle, deny it for a bit and she playfully bats the camera with her hand, at which point you start laughing like a smitten kitten. Hearing the way you laughed, listening to her reaction, it’s when I knew how much you guys were in love!

    3. I remember Akemi’s yellow dress! The one you bought and she wore for her recent birthday! Pretty as a picture! I loved how dedicated you were to making her birthday special in every way.

    4. It isn’t always about the big events … it’s the everyday little things which makes all the difference! All the lunches she’s prepared, all the poop she’s picked up, her unwavering devotion to your adorable dog kids and all the months you guys spent in Toronto. Not a happy time! It could’ve hurt your relationship! But it didn’t – if anything it cemented what you already knew, you guys are right for each other, whether it’s fun dining experiences, reassurance during the tough times, career choices, mutual interests and always supporting Akemi with her English classes.

    Numerous blog entries have amply demonstrated the healthy, mutual respect between yourself and Akemi. It what couples do … I’ve seen it in your actions on a daily basis and I have no doubt about your status and your shared love and devotion. You’re a happy couple in every possible way!

    Apologies for the relatively short entry … the humid, sticky weather has turned me into a slug today. I sincerely hope it helps and I wish you both the best of luck with the on-going battle!

    (On a completely unrelated topic.) Looking forward to tonight’s opening ceremony. Excited! Hope we manage to showcase the country in a good light!

    Have a fun weekend! Tune into the Olympics! 🙂

  39. Hope it all works out for Akemi – I’ve been reading about your adventures together for quite awhile now.

  40. For the sake of government-paperwork seriousness, my use of the term “partial to” was an intentionally gross understatement of the seriousness of Joe and Akemi’s relationship. It’s my way of mentioning the romance without sounding all mushy by jokingly understating it to a degree recognizable as ridiculous to anyone familiar with them. Joe is sometimes very unmushy professional in tone on this blog, but his feelings for Akemi still shine through. Not everyone who mixes personal and professional topics on their blog will let their feelings show, but with Joe and Akemi, his feelings would still bleed through even if he wanted to keep them private.

  41. I haven’t been a follower for a long time, maybe 6 months or so, but I love Akemi, she is so damn cute! I love that she loves your dogs, and that no one can spell her name fighter coffee shops. When I started following your blog, I too, thought you two were married or been together for a very long time. I love your chemistry and her silliness.

  42. Joe and Akemi are a good couple, with genuine feelings for each other, who have shared a lot of fun, sad and happy times together, and a couple who should totally get married.

    So approve her Visa, make her a perma resident of Canada, as they have a million and 1 people who can verify their relationship is real, and you should totally do the right thing. 🙂

  43. @das – You were tired last night if you missed the hand. He’s blushing in half these pictures, but would it be furthering his application process to point out how the blushing in the fifth pic is a bit more even?

  44. I loved seeing Akemi’s wonderful Bento breakfasts she made for you (and Carl!), and the totally kawaii cards she made for people’s birthdays. She seems to be so creative and thoughtful. I’ve been following this blog for years, and the addition of Akemi to all of the dining outings and travels is wonderful, for us readers as well as for you and the dogs, Joe. I love Akemi’s insights into Japanese culture, and her outsider’s view on western culture, too. May you have many more happy years (and blog posts!) together.

  45. If anyone can read all these comments and not get misty-eyed, they are stone cold-hearted buzzards.

    I vote for Fans Of Akimmy, Akimmee, Kimmy, Alkemy … AKEMI !!! t-shirts. We could donate the proceeds to a children’s literacy program. The shirts would be pink, of course, and feature a Sad Rabbit drawing.

  46. A great example that Akemi and Joe are in fact in a relationship is Joe’s blog enter from July 20, 2012: Doggly Matters!. In the entry Joe talks about how Akemi would accompany him on a 90 minute drive at 7:00 am to take Max to an Animal Clinic for radiation and anti-cancer vaccines. Joe also displays a photo of a note that Akemi wrote on behalf of Joe’s two older pugs Jelly & Max thanking him for taking care of them. Her willingness to take the time to write such a simple but heart felt note on behalf of those who could not; that fact that Joe still holds the note in his wallet; to me shows how much Akemi and Joe have become a big part of each other lives.

    I am a long time reader of the blog (about 5 years now) but a rare poster. While I do not know either Joe or Akemi personally, it seems quite obvious that Joe cares for Akemi and Akemi for Joe just by reading how he writes about her.


  47. To Whom It May Concern:

    I’ve followed Joe’s blog for 4 years and can attest that his version of events that led to a relationship with darling Akemi did transpire as written. Along the way, we’ve been treated to a “daily newspaper” account of the shy beginnings, joyful adventures, tearful trials with beloved animals, goofy jokes, and even mundane frustrations of life over 2.5 years. She alone may be the reason Joe didn’t karoshi during a very stressful job last summer!

    If that isn’t love, what is?

    Please be assured that Akemi’s and Joe’s relationship is the real deal.
    We can solemnly swear to that.


  48. When did you first read about her here on this blog?
    i guess it was about the time she came to visit you for the first time.

    What was your favorite Akemi-related blog entry?
    i can’t pick just one. any of the ones where she makes you bento boxes or leaves you encouraging notes on fruit and/or candy.

    Why do we make such a great couple?
    i point to the first picture in this blog post.

  49. I agree Maggiemayday the tears flowed as I read today’s blog post and comments.
    Of course Joe and Akemi belong together! Canadian bureaucrat’s wake UP!
    Just read through the last 3 years or so of this blog and you will see Joe and Akemi’s relationship grow from a gentle beginning into a committed, full-blown “gee I love you” togetherness. They are of course important to each other, and share each other’s lives, through good times and sad and support each other thoroughly.

    We who share and contribute to this blog of Joe’s are a family, and we all welcomed Akemi here with open arms. She is a dear, sweet person of creative and personal strength, and is capable of love and endless kindness. How do I know this without having met her? Well, I have met her, right here, through Joe’s eyes and in his own words and in Akemi’s own words. She also posts comments. This Bento box creations will forever stay with me.

    Come on Canadian officialdom, approve her visa already!

    Respectfully and hopefully yours,
    (Carol from the Jersey shore)

  50. Joe, long ago I think we all knew Akemi was a keeper, I remember back on the Feb 19th, 2010 blog entry, when she pointed tipped your toilet paper and reorganized your linen closet, the deal was sealed, in my opinion anyway, a part of the family before you even realized it. I was confused when she went to Australia to learn English, and I know she was homesick, but not for Japan, I believe it was Vancouver(joe), so she is a large part of Joes family and our hearts and must stay please for everyone sake, so embassy officials, please read on and look at all the pictures and videos. You will be convinced! I am.
    ~~and pretty please with macarons on it!!~~

  51. It is very difficult to summarize in a few sentences or brief statement the care, love, and affection we, the fans, have observed/witnessed over these years.
    I know after reading the comments thru number 50, that there are numerous events and moments that I have forgotten. One just needs to read or even just skim through the blog entries which are public domain and also a documented and candid statement of Joe and Akemi’s relationship from the start. Any couple that can make their lives so visible is a couple whose relationship will survive the trials and tests of society and time. Any couple who exhibit the care for each other as well as their pets as Joe and Akemi, should not be questioned. Their lives, their actions, are – genuinely the way they are. Nothing fake.

    I do not intend to minimize or demean all of the blog regulars both those who comment and the “lurkers,” but we have been a rather candid bunch ourselves letting/telling Joe things that one might never see on other blogs. By this I mean, we are not yes people. So our reaching out with statements of support for this relationship is very sincere. Joe and Akemi are fabulous people and I sincerely hope that they can continue to be a couple.

  52. Others have mentioned all the details that I’ve loved to read about in this blog – Akemi and Joe’s travels, their food adventures, their daily routines. There should be no question that theirs is an established and enduring relationship.

  53. I’m a little late to the comments…sorry; I’ve been wining and dining (ale’ing? We did IPA and Scottish Ale) a customer here in Vancouver so I’ve had little time to comment.

    To the immigration reviewer: I can recall Joe mentioning Akemi and expounding on his affection for her for the past few years. Over the years we saw bento boxes made be Akemi for Joe, Christmases where Akemi holidayed with Joe’s family, Akemi consoling and supporting Joe during the loss of his beloved pug Maximus and numerous outings, meals, parties, moves to Toronto (and back), and daily accounts of Joe’s and Akemi’s life together.

    In short, they’re a loving couple who are obviously devoted to each other. What more needs to be said?

  54. Dear Sirs or Madam,

    Thanks to Joe, I have known Akemi ever since Joe met her in Tokyo. She is a beautiful person inside and out. I would have helped Joe clean his house when she was coming for the first time, but I broke my leg! It hurt. (still does) Over the years, Akemi has taught us many things, such as how to craft heartfelt homemade greeting cards, how to make our fruit smile and have funny faces, or how to cook beautiful dishes. Akemi is always smiling, except when she is a sad rabbit. Akemi has taught me many useful sayings, such as “Jesus crisis!”. I use that a lot. Everyone who meets Akemi, loves her. I would not know Akemi if Joe did not talk about her everyday. He is crazy about her. Akemi and Joe make a very cute couple. And Akemi loves animals. Please grant her permanant citizenship.

    Sorry this is late Joe. You are posting a little later at night and I am dog tired at night plus my crazy beagle restricts my computer use. She acts like my mom or something! She demands all the attention. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance. We all love Akemi as much as you do!

  55. I remember when Akemi first visited Joe in Vancouver. I thought, hang on wasn’t she the chick from Tokyo? I knew then Joe was interested… Haha… Over the past couple of years Akemi has entertained us with her cute expressions, her artistic expression, her culinary prowess and her lovely smile. She already is a part of Joe’s family. A look at any of the blog entries mentioned will show you this isn’t fake.

    Akemi has been by Joe’s side through all of the fun times and more importantly through all of the difficult times (Jelly and Maximus’ illnesses and Toronto).

    I wish them all the very best and for what my opinion is worth to Canadian immigration I think Akemi belongs with Joe in Vancouver.

    *hugs to you both*

    Cheers, Chev

  56. I’ve met and had lunch with Joe Akemi. Just by watching them, you KNOW they’re in a relationship

  57. *Slaps forehead* I totally forgot about the great Bento boxes. I also forgot to say;

    Dear Lovely Canadian Immigration Gang: Akemi would be a fantastic addition to your country. Please let her stay. 🙂

  58. I was traveling yesterday and couldn’t put a coherent thought together. Akemi is awesome though 🙂 I love your segments ‘$%!# my girlfriend says’ – English is a tough language (and so is Japanese), so it’s always fun when misunderstandings happen (the linguist in me). Of course, what makes it funnier is when she doubts your response 😉 Her bentos look super yummy too.

    There are way better comments here, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Akemi’s presence on your blog 🙂 I don’t know if I dreamed this, but I thought she did a Q&A…if I did dream that, it was a really weird dream :-/ ^^

  59. I remember when you guys first met, not because of Akemi, but because of that crazy old guy who carries around his own salt!! Even now when I am at a restaurant and I am looking around and happen to glance at salt I always think of Stefan.

  60. Joe and us commenters are very close. He treats us just like family. For example, when Akemi returned from her English learning trip, Joe did not tell us. You know how you like to keep things from your family sometimes. You’ll tell them later. But anyway, some of us crack detectives figured out Akemi was back when we noticed, in one
    particular obsure picture, someone in a pink apron in the kitchen. We knew Akemi had a pink apron and then knew she was back! We were very excited and happy for Joe! You can’t fool your family for too long Joe.

  61. I have been following Joe’s blog for a couple of years now and really look forward to them! Especially when it has a title that looks like you’re about to rant and rave about something.

    I think Joe’s devotion to his dogs should say loads about him as a person…animal people, like Joe, have a kindness and understanding that more people should aspire to!

    I love to see Akemi’s decorative cooking popping up in blogs…especially the breakfasts with faces 🙂 I love to hear about conversations that Akemi has picked up on wrong, however my fav Akemi quote would have to be the most recent ‘melty tired’ comment. Haha, it still makes me laugh!

    Joe, I wish you the best of luck…and most importantly I hope you get the ending that so many SG shippers looked for between certain characters 😛

  62. I seriously thought you guys had been an item since god was a child. It might as well be Joe’s Akemi/ Food/ Dogs blog. Immigration’s tough these days, but OTOH the only people who make it through the process are those who REALLY want it. And that seems to be clearly the case here. Best wishes to both of you: Japan’s loss – Canada’s gain. Good luck, and I’ll keep my fingers, toes and eyes crossed for you.

  63. Joe, your patience and love for Akemi shows up in your blog time and again… and Akemi has shown her patience and love during all your new adventures and in the way she has taken the time to fancify your lunches when you left for work. You’ve been a couple for so long that I thought you might have snuk away and eloped. Hugs for both of you and the best of luck working your way through the web of paperwork. It will be worth it for both of you and I would be proud to welcome Akemi as a new Canadian.

  64. To anyone doubting Joe and Akemi are a couple, I say you have only to read Joe’s blog. Akemi is so much a part of Joe’s life that she shows up in some way in almost every entry, whether she’s in photos at the local market or an upscale restaurant or in a brief paragraph or six about whatever new thing she and Joe have been up to.

    Joe, here’s wishing you and Akemi the best of luck with the rest of the process for her visa application. I hope it comes through soon! (C’mon, Immigration Canada, give love a chance!)

  65. Having found your blog after your meeting Akemi, I’d always wondered of your history with her. I remember your posting a while back a similar summary, and the catch-up was as nice then as it is here. Thanks! You two seem so happy together, and it was evident in meeting you both at Comic Con. If I have to fly to Vancouver, or Tokyo, or wherever, to tell them that personally, I will!

  66. I support this! Having met her, she clearly would be a great Canadian (resident).

    I hope the legal stuff gets sorted out soon! Good luck!

  67. Akemi’s been a part of the blog since I started reading when she made you Bento boxes every day in toronto. Before that I thought a Bento box was just soemthing you put on your bike. I hope it works out so she can stay. It’s crazy that they can’t just go back and read the blog for the past few years. You have plenty of proof that you’ve been in a relationship.

    Good luck Joe and Akemi!

  68. I began reading Joe’s blog in 2008. At that time I had no idea who Joseph Mallozzi was (outside of his association with the Stargate franchise, the original reason for my being here), and I certainly knew nothing about his private life. What I did learn I gleaned from blog entries Joe made over the months that followed, and for the most part he didn’t talk much about his home life unless it involved his beloved dogs. Instead he focused on the show, on his favorite books, on his dining experiences…and I followed every moment he chose to share with us.

    Now, I didn’t think much about Joe’s entries regarding female friends. Just by the sheer nature of his job he was automatically surrounded by lovely, intelligent women. Some were work associates, some were longtime pals, and others were simply casual dining companions. But one of those dining companions stood out to me. I can’t say exactly what it was. Perhaps it was the pictures Joe posted of this young lady. Perhaps it was the way he worded the captions describing those pictures. Or perhaps it was one picture that stood out above all others – a picture of the young lady and her midori shoes (December 8, 2009). What guy takes a picture of a lady’s shoes unless…unless he’s smitten? And I had a suspicion that Joe was smitten.

    Over the months and years that followed I came to know this young lady not only as Akemi, but as Joe’s loving and supportive companion, a true compliment. Unlike the days when I first started following Joe’s blog he was now sharing his home life with us, and you could almost sense that he was beside himself with joy to be able to do so. He reminded me of a giddy schoolboy with his first crush. Pictures of Akemi in the kitchen in cute little aprons, pictures of Akemi with the puppies, pictures of Akemi mugging for the camera, pictures of Akemi’s lovingly prepared bento boxes and cute little penned love notes – all snippets of their life together. And along with those pictures came stories of the ups and downs of Joe’s life, and of the young woman who stepped away from the life she knew to stand by the man she loved. In the four and a half years that I have been reading Joe’s blog, I have to say Akemi is the best thing to ever happen to him, and to us.


  69. Hoping this isn’t too late…

    Joe has been posting about his relationship with Akemi for over two years now. From well before they time they met, Joe has posted about his personal life for his friends who read here. It is obvious to anyone who reads his blog that he and Akemi are in a committed, serious relationship.

  70. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe and Akemi last September and can’t say enough about how great these two people are for each other. They were both loving and kind. I know that they respect each other, but more importantly they LOvE each other.

  71. It’s a rare blog entry Joe makes that doesn’t mention Akemi…and gush about how much she has made his life more complete, content, and just plain happier. They are so adorable together. And it’s so nice to know that there are such great loving couples out there in the world who treat eachother as equals and really do enjoy being together. Joe and Akemi are fantastic especially together!

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