In the third season of Cobra Kai, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) takes a trip to Tomi Village, located in Okinawa, Japan. While he is at a shopping center, he sees his ex-girlfriend Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) perform with her dance students. The former couple reconnects over lunch, where Kumiko reveals that she never married because Daniel set such a high standard by saving her life while they were dating. She later invites him to her house so that she could read him letters written by his late mentor, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita).
During these scenes, Ralph Macchio and Tamlyn Tomita had strong onscreen chemistry. This may have led some fans to wonder if the actors, who first met while filming The Karate Kid Part II, were ever romantically involved.
While Macchio and Tomita play convincing romantic partners, it does not appear that they have dated. During the filming of The Karate Kid Part II, Macchio was in a relationship with his now-wife Phyllis Fierro. The couple married a year after the movie’s release in 1987.
Tomita Has Discussed Macchio’s Relationship With His Wife
During a March interview with film critic Steve Varley, Tomita revealed that she was introduced to Fierro during the production of The Karate Kid Part II. She explained that she adored the couple, who started dating when they were still in high school.
“I met Phylis on the set of Karate Kid 2 and I go ‘wow this is the true love story, high school sweethearts’ and, you know, you just — I felt it then and I still feel it now and it’s just like oh wow everybody should have that and luckily Tamlyn has that,” said the actress.
During the same interview, Tomita also spoke about her character’s relationship with Daniel. She revealed that Kumiko may still be interested in the Miyagi-Do Karate owner. However, she did not believe her character will try to rekindle the romance, as he is a married man with two children.
“We’re allowed to dream. We’re allowed to fantasize. We’re allowed to hope, of course, and we keep those hidden because to act upon those will have consequences, you know, for Kumiko to you know sashay in to the LaRusso’s household in Encino … it would be really bold and it would be and it would really upset that universe,” asserted the Joy Luck Club star.
Macchio Also Shared His Opinion on Daniel’s Relationship With Kumiko on ‘Cobra Kai’
While speaking to Comic Book Resources, Macchio shared similar sentiments about Kumiko and Daniel’s romance. He explained that Daniel may not just have platonic feelings for her.
“LaRusso, you know, he’s a family man, that’s his life. But you wonder if he thought boy what if, what if this ever continued. You know, does he have those feelings?” stated Macchio.
He suggested, however, that his character does not have a desire to date Kumiko again and is content with his current relationship.
“It’s more like ‘we always had Paris’ kind of thing,” said Macchio, in reference to the 1942 film Casablanca. “She’s moved on with her life and he’s moved on with his and she hands off wisdom. She’s like an extension of Mr. Miyagi.”
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