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The Japanese envoy

Masumi Kawai, Tatsuo’s son, attended Elsie Curtin’s 84th birthday tea in 1974. L-R Kim Sach, Masumi Kawai, great grandson Stephen Davidson, Elsie Curtin and Elsie Macleod Records of the Curtin family, JCPML00381/55

The Japanese envoy in Australia, Tatsuo Kawai, was entertained at dinner in the Curtin home during July 1941 as John Curtin worked to prevent war with Japan. The contrast between Carn Brea, Kawai’s mansion in Melbourne, and this modest house at Jarrad Street is striking. Kawai would have dined on simple fare at the Curtin‘s home.

Kawai’s friendship with Elsie continued with his 1959 visit, when he dined at the house again. He went to Karrakatta cemetery, where he prayed and wept as he knelt on John Curtin’s grave, before going surfing with the Curtin family at Cottesloe Beach.

His son Masumi was later a frequent guest, and Elsie and Stan Macleod visited the Kawai family in Japan. [42]

Next: The times

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    Advertisement_used_in_the_Australian_government_austerity_campaign_1943.jpg
    Advertisement used in the Australian government austerity campaign 1943
  • Jan_Smuts_-_Peter_Fraser_-_ W_Mackenzie-King_-_Winston_Churchill_and_John_Curtin_London_1944.jpg
    Jan_Smuts_-_Peter_Fraser_-_ W_Mackenzie-King_-_Winston_Churchill_and_John_Curtin_London_1944.jpg
    Jan Smuts - Peter Fraser - W Mackenzie-King - Winston Churchill and John Curtin London 1944
  • John_Curtin_and_Governor_General_Lord_Gowrie_sign_the_declaration_of_war_on_Japan_December 1941.jpg
    John_Curtin_and_Governor_General_Lord_Gowrie_sign_the_declaration_of_war_on_Japan_December 1941.jpg
    John Curtin and Governor General Lord Gowrie sign the declaration of war on Japan December 1941
  • John_Curtin_greeting_his_wife_on_arriva_home_on_left_is_the_Premier_Willcock_15-8-1943.jpg
    John_Curtin_greeting_his_wife_on_arriva_home_on_left_is_the_Premier_Willcock_15-8-1943.jpg
    John Curtin greeting his wife on arriva home on left is the Premier Willcock 15-8-1943
  • John_Curtin_writing_at_his_desk_in_the_lounge_(nd).jpg
    John_Curtin_writing_at_his_desk_in_the_lounge_(nd).jpg
    John Curtin writing at his desk in the lounge (nd)
  • John_F_and_Elsie_M_Curtin_in_the_garden_1941.jpg
    John_F_and_Elsie_M_Curtin_in_the_garden_1941.jpg
    John F and Elsie M Curtin in the garden 1941
  • Masumi_Kawai_attends_84th_birthday_of_Elsie_Curtin_1974.jpg
    Masumi_Kawai_attends_84th_birthday_of_Elsie_Curtin_1974.jpg
    Masumi Kawai attends 84th birthday of Elsie Curtin 1974
  • Telegram_from_John_to_Elsie_Curtin_before_their_first_Christmas_apart_ 23-12-1941.jpg
    Telegram_from_John_to_Elsie_Curtin_before_their_first_Christmas_apart_ 23-12-1941.jpg
    Telegram from John to Elsie Curtin before their first Christmas apart 23-12-1941
  • The_front_door_1998.jpg
    The_front_door_1998.jpg
    The front door 1998
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