By now everybody knows that Japan's Crown Prince met and fell for his pretty young bride on a tennis court, but Akihito and Michiko were not the only ardent tennis players in Tokyo whose love sets were leading inevitably to romance. Caught here in shots of unprecedented intimacy by Photographer Toni Frissell are glimpses of the wedding of Olympic Skier Chiharu Igaya and Miss Takayo Veno who, like the prince and princess (with whom they are shown at upper left), met and melted at the tennis club.
Young Igaya is himself something of a crown prince in the Japanese sports world. His father, Kuhio Igaya, the nation's best-known ski instructor, began teaching his son to ski when Chiharu was only three. Some 16 years later, when the son had become Japan's Alpine-events champion, a wealthy American wandered into a sporting-goods store in Tokyo, broke a ski testing it too ardently and in the resultant conversation became friendly with both the storekeeper and young Igaya, who was boarding with him. The American was C. V. (for Cornelius Vander) Starr, an insurance executive and old Far East hand whose affection for the Japanese is matched only by his enthusiasm for skiing.
As a result of their chance meeting, C. V. Starr first arranged for Igaya to go to the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, later put him through Dartmouth College, where Igaya won the much-prized award of student who has done most for alma mater. Some of the things he did were to lead Dartmouth to the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski championships in 1957 and its own Winter Carnival title in 1955.
C. V.—whose interests stretch from Igaya to the ski slopes of Stowe, Vt. (which Starr developed) to the latest production of Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera (which he financed)—was a prominently long-legged guest at the wedding of his protégé. The official male go-between (an important functionary who fulfills somewhat the duty of best man) was the sporting-goods dealer who introduced C. V. to the groom.
After their wedding trip, the young couple will live in the United States.
TENNIS COURT TO ALTAR WAS SHORT STEP FOR ROYAL COUPLE (LEFT) AND FOR TENNIS-PLAYING FRIENDS WHO ALSO WED. IGAYA'S MARRIAGE (ABOVE) WAS RITUALLY PRIVATE, BUT FAMILY FRIENDS, INCLUDING C. V. STARR (BOW TIE), ATTENDED RECEPTION
BEFORE MARRIAGE IGAYA'S BRIDE, LIKE AKIHITO'S, WAS SPREAD WITH WHITE PANCAKE MAKEUP, CLAMPED IN HEAVY BLACK WIG. BRIDE'S RITUAL ROBES INCLUDED A SASHLIKE OBI, A CLOTH TO HIDE THE HORNS OF JEALOUSY AND A DAGGER TO PROTECT CHASTITY