While Cobra Kai may be known for its action-packed fighting sequences, at its core, it’s a heartfelt show about relationships, with one of the strongest being between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and his late mentor Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita). While Miyagi is only featured in flashbacks, as Morita passed away in 2005, his presence is still felt.
Despite having over 25 years together before Miyagi’s passing in 2011, Daniel still longs for his guidance, especially after the events that occurred following Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) and Miguel Diaz’s (Xolo Maridueña) fight in Season 2, Episode 10.
His wish is fulfilled in Season 3, Episode 4 “The Right Path.” During a poignant scene, which can be watched below, Daniel’s ex-girlfriend Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) reads him a letter written by Mr. Miyagi to her Aunt Yukie, just days before he passed.
Daniel and Kumiko Reconnect in Okinawa, Japan
As fans who have already watched Cobra Kai Season 3 are aware, Daniel travels to Okinawa, Japan, after he is unable to convince Doyona International to continue their partnership with his car dealership, LaRusso Auto Group. He takes a taxi to Mr. Miyagi’s hometown, Tomi Village, which he had not visited since the events of The Karate Kid Part II. While at the village, which now has a shopping and entertainment center, Daniel sees Kumiko on stage, leading her dance students. The two reconnect over lunch, and Daniel reveals that he came to Okinawa because he misses Miyagi, stating,
I used to go to Mr. Miyagi for help but — you know I am the same age now that Mr. Miyagi was when he met me? He had it all figured out. I wish I still had him. You know? I wish he could be here to help guide me.
“I think I can make that happen,” says Kumiko with a smile.
As seen in the scene above, Kumiko takes Daniel to her aunt’s house that she had inherited after her death. They sit together outside in the dark and Kumiko pulls out Miyagi’s letters, written to his former flame Yukie from a box.
Kumiko Reads Two of Mr. Miyagi’s Letters To Daniel
She reads a love letter before Daniel finds a note “written the week Mr. Miyagi died,” which Kumiko proceeds to translate.
At the beginning of the letter, Miyagi apologized for his lack of correspondence and revealed he had been hospitalized.
“I am sorry to tell you that I am back in the hospital. Please don’t worry. There is nothing to do except watch TV and think. Think about family, think about us. Think about where I have been. Think about where I am going. In life, I have always looked for signs to show me the right way but I got lost. Until I met Daniel-San.”
At the mention of his name, Daniel looks at Kumiko, who continues reading.
“His kind heart, strong chi, and loyalty and love for those around him is a guiding light to me. I’m very proud of the man he has become. Even though he still has a hard head,” wrote Miyagi.
Kumiko holds back tears, as she reads that the sensei “never thought [he] would have a family again,” in reference to the fact that his wife and unborn child had died while he was serving in the war.
“Daniel-san has welcomed me into his family. And he has passed on what I teach him in Miyagi-Do to his daughter. Samantha makes me feel like I am her [grandfather],” penned Miyagi.
Daniel’s mentor ended the letter by asserting “in life we’ll always lose our way. But it is people, not the signs that guide us back to the right path,” a sentiment that he revealed was from “a car commercial.”
When Kumiko finishes the letter, Daniel looks up at the sky and says “thank you, Mr. Miyagi,” before expressing gratitude to his ex-girlfriend. She responds by thanking Daniel and handing him Miyagi’s letter.