Friday, May 14, 2010

Her Hand In The Snow

Kyoko Chan Cox is our "Wheaton Protection Program" Hero! Kyoko Chan Cox '86 (born August 3, 1963) is the daughter of Ono and film producer Anthony Cox, and is Sean Lennon's half-sister. Kyoko spent her earliest years surrounded by a variety of artists, musicians, and film-makers. Cox raised her alone from 1965 to 1969 after Ono left him. She divorced him in 1969.

In 1971, while studying with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Majorca, Cox accused Ono of abducting Kyoko from his hotel. A large number of accusations were then made by both parents toward each other and the matter of custody. Cox eventually moved to Houston, Texas and converted to Evangelical Christianity with his new wife, who was originally from Houston. At the end of 1971, a custody hearing in Houston went against Cox. In violation of the order, he took Kyoko and disappeared. Ono then launched a search for her daughter with the aid of the police and private investigators. Ono wrote a song about her daughter, "Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)", which appears on Lennon and Ono's album Live Peace In Toronto 1969 and her album Fly. Both versions feature Eric Clapton on guitar. Kyoko is also referenced on the first line of "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" when Yoko whispers "Happy Christmas Kyoko" followed by Lennon whispering "Happy Christmas Julian".

Cox had fled to Los Angeles where he lived with a friend who was associated with the Church of the Living Word. He joined the group in 1972 and then lived in various communities associated with the group in Iowa and California. In 1977, Cox left the group. In 1978, Cox and Kyoko stayed with the Jesus People USA commune in Chicago.

After the murder of John Lennon in 1980, Cox along with Kyoko (then 17 years old) sent a message of sympathy to Ono but did not reveal their location. Ono later printed an open letter to Kyoko saying how she missed her but that she would cease her attempts to find her.

Kyoko next appeared in 1986 when she was listed as an associate producer on a documentary film made by Cox about his involvement in the Church of the Living Word called Vain Glory. Cox resurfaced in public in the same year, but Kyoko did not. In 1987, Kyoko appeared on the title track of American English by the British pop band Wax; this apparently is her only musical credit to date.

In 1994, Kyoko re-established a connection with her mother that resulted in a 2001 reunion. Kyoko's daughter Emi also met her grandmother at this time. Although Kyoko avoids publicity, she did grant an interview where she revealed that her reunion with Ono was a very happy one, and they remain in close contact to this day. Kyoko made a rare public appearance in August 2005 at the opening of Lennon, the Musical. 

Kyoko does peackeeping work for the United Nations. Someday, she most-likely will be responsible (with her step brother Julian), for some of the Beatles archives and John Lennon brand. Will the Wheaton Archives be the recipient of a Yoko Ono & John Lennon museum? Only time will tell. Maybe then, I will be able to buy a Beatles song on iTunes.

Wheaton Heroes did dig up these Kyoko Chan Ono documents from an old archive box in the basement of  McAlister Hall. (click to enlarge)


  1. nice fakes of kyoko

  2. Poor girl having a mother like YOKO Nono

  3. I knew Kyoko. She was a teacher for some years. She never spoke of her family and we were all shocked at her picture on the cover of people magazine highlighting her reunion with yoko ono.