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Real-Life “50 First Dates” – Japanese Man Makes Amnesic Girlfriend Fall in Love with Him Every Day

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the name of Maruyama’s boyfriend was Li Huayu, and that the girl still lost her memory every day, when in reality this only occurred only in the first two months after her accident.  

The touching love story between an amnesia sufferer whose memory was wiped clean every morning and the loyal boyfriend who makes her fall in love with him every day has touched the hearts of millions in Japan.

“50 First Dates”, a 2004 romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, tells the story of a young woman whose short term memory was affected by a car crash. Every morning, her memory resets to the day of the accident, but that doesn’t deter Sandler’s character from making their relationship work, even if it means making her fall in love with him every day. It’s one of the best romantic comedies of all times, in my opinion, but I never imagined that such a love story could exist in real life. Well, a Japanese couple reportedly lived their very own “50 First Dates” romance for to months.

Photo: video screengrab

Japanese television recently broadcast the touching story of Maruyama, a 24-year-old woman suffering from amnesia, and her fiancee, Yuya Tachibana, who for two months tried to make her fall in love with him again every day. The two have been together for two and a half years and had even discussed marriage, but nine months ago an accident changed their lives completely. Maruyama was riding her bike when a car crashed into her leaving her comatose. When she woke up, she didn’t recognize any of the people in her life, including her parents and her boyfriend.

The young woman’s physical injuries gradually healed, but her memory didn’t seem to improve at all. Despite having to cancel their wedding, Maruyama’s condition didn’t discourage Yuya at all. He stayed by his girlfriend’s side, convinced that she would one day remember him and the beautiful memories they shared. As the saying goes, things often get worse before they get better.

Photo: video screengrab

During the first two months after her accident, Maruyama started forgetting things that had happened after she woke up from her coma, and eventually she developed the same condition as Lucy, Drew Barrymore’s character from “50 First Dates”. Every morning, her memory was wiped clean, and the people in her life had to reintroduce themselves to her. This caused quite a strain on Maruyama’s relationship with her loved ones. She was confused every day, and even tried running away from home a few times.

Yuya had to re-introduce himself to his girlfriend every morning, showing her proof of their relationship and explaining what had happened to her. One day, Maruyama suggested they break up, as their relationship had no way of working, but Yuya refused, telling her “You may have lost your memories, but we can make new ones”.

 

Doctors advised Maruyama to write all the important events of the day in a diary before going to sleep at night, so that she could read it the next morning and have an idea of what’s been going on in her life. This has made things a bit easier for her, as she didn’t panic when she saw her parents and fiancee.

Luckily, Maruyama’s short-term memory started showing signs of improvement and she now remembers everything that happened after the accident, although she has yet to recover all her pre-accident memories. In a recently televised TV show, the young woman thanked her fiancee for staying by her side and proposed to him.

“Thank you for your care during this time. You understand me very well and have always tolerated this sensitive and fragile version of me,” the young woman said. “Doctors say that the amnesia may get even worse. I may lose my memory again, even forget you forever, are you still willing to be with me?”

 

Her fiancee did not hesitate to say “yes”. Despite all the hardships they’ve faced in the last nine months, he still loves Maruyama and says that his love for her is only growing with each passing day. He promised to stay by her side no matter what, as he is convinced that Maruyama is his soulmate.

“Because of my amnesia, I have the chance to fall in love with him again,” Maruyama said during a recent television show. “No matter how many times I lose my memory, I believe I will always fall in love with him.”

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