When Yuki Saitoh, a young recording star and actress in Yokahama, Japan, was to come to the United States to make a two-hour television movie and tape some TV concerts, she chose to come to Utah.
Yuki, 22, a singer of national prominence, is a member of the Yokahama Central Ward in the Yokahma Japan Stake.Her recording of "Yume No Nakae" ("Into a Dream") was No. 4 on the list of most popular songs in Japan during the first week in July when she was in Utah.
The reason she chose to come to Utah is that the headquarters of the Church is in Salt Lake City. For Yuki, it seemed somewhat like a return visit, even though she had never been to the city.
Years ago, with her parents, Tsutomu and Atsusaito, and her sisters and brothers, she was pictured on a pamphlet that explains the temple for converts to the Church. The photo was a composite, with the family shown in the foreground and the Salt Lake Temple in the background.
"Visiting Temple Square was like coming back again, in a way," she said through an interpreter, Teruo Urabe, a former employee of Church Translation Services who coordinated Yuki's Utah visit.
While on Temple Square, she was given a tour of the Tabernacle and heard the famous organ.
The TV movie in which Yuki is starring is to be telecast Aug. 26 in Japan as part of a 24-hour telethon to raise money for charity. Based on a true story, it is about a deaf Japanese young woman who comes to the United States in search of her father, a former American soldier who served in Vietnam. Film locations included the small town of Vernon, Utah, and the Salt Lake City cemetery.
On the steps of the Utah State Capitol, Yuki taped performances for popular music television shows to be broadcast over the Tokyo Broadcast Service and Nippon Television Network.
In Japan, Yuki has been a great help to the missionary effort, according to Pres. M. Jim Matsumori of the Japan Tokyo South Mission. For example, she was featured at a fireside to which Church members invited their non-member friends.
Yuki, who teaches the Beehive class in her ward, continues to hold on to core LDS values, although she has achieved popular success. "As I encounter the pressures in the world, my appreciation for the Church grows and my testimony of the gospel is strengthened," she declared.