In the latest season of Cobra Kai, Tamlyn Tomita returned as Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) ex-girlfriend Kumiko. In Season 3, Episode 4, “The Right Path,” the karate instructor travels to Japan to save the LaRusso Auto Group’s partnership with Doyona International. After being told that the company already “made [their] decision” to cut ties with Daniel’s car dealership, he decides to spend some time in Mr. Miyagi’s hometown Tomi Village, located in Okinawa, Japan.
While at the Tomi Village shopping center, he comes across Kumiko leading her class of dance students in a performance, and the two get lunch together. Despite being apart for over 30 years, they still have chemistry and a strong connection, which may have led some viewers to wonder why they broke up in the first place.
Daniel and Kumiko Begin Their Relationship In The Karate Kid Part II
As fans of the Karate Kid are aware, Daniel first meets her while visiting Tomi Village during the second installment of the franchise. He appears to take an immediate liking to Kumiko, whose aunt, Yukie, once had a romantic relationship with Mr. Miyagi.
The two eventually spend the day together, and Daniel inquires about her future ambitions. She reveals that she wants to be a professional dancer, but the Okinawan schools do not offer the specific type of dance she would like to learn.
Later on, they attend a 1950s themed club together. After dancing to the song “Rock Around the Clock,” the teenagers ask about each other’s relationship status. Once they confirm that they are both single, Daniel grabs Kumiko’s hand. They, however, are interrupted by the movie’s antagonist Chozen (Yuji Okumoto), who steals Daniel’s money.
Later in the movie, Daniel finds Kumiko on a dock somberly tossing dry rice in the water. She explains that what she is doing is an “old custom.” She states that “when fisherman would go out to sea families would offer rice to the gods… for a quick return,” implying that she is upset Daniel has to go back to the United States.
He then notes that there are dance schools in America and tells her that he believes she would “love” the country.
“Do you think it would love me?” asks Kumiko, causing Daniel to admit his feelings for her.
“Well, I know one part of it already does,” responds the 1984 All-Valley champion.
At the end of the film, Daniel saves Kumiko from Chozen when he attacks her during the O-Bon Festival. After the ordeal, an exhausted Daniel hugs Kumiko.
Kumiko Had Plans on Visiting Daniel in the United States
Toward the beginning of The Karate Kid Part III, it is revealed that Kumiko intended to visit Daniel in America. After Mr. Miyagi and he return from Okinawa, he speaks to his mother, who is in New Jersey helping out his sick uncle, on the phone. She asks, “when is Kumiko arriving?”
“Uh, she’s um — she’s not. She got this great job at this dance company in Tokyo, and I guess she couldn’t say no, so,” says Daniel.
This presumably marks the end of their romantic relationship.
While eating with Daniel in “The Right Path,” Kumiko tells Daniel that “after graduation, [she] joined the Hijikata Tatsumi Dance company. And [they] traveled all around the world.” She returned to Okinawa, however, when “Yukie got sick.” She also reveals that she never got married, which surprises Daniel.
“Many tried, but none of them fought to the death for me,” says Kumiko, referencing Daniel’s fight with Chozen.
Daniel admits that “it’s a hard act to follow,” causing her to laugh. He then states, “This is absolutely surreal. I feel like I haven’t seen you in five minutes, but it’s been 30 years. 30 years!”
“Maybe if we had Facebook and Instagram back then, we would’ve never lost touch,” responds Kumiko.
To see more of the former couple, be sure to watch Cobra Kai Season 3, available on Netflix.