Japanese businesswoman marries Chiang Mai elephant trainer

PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

A Japanese businesswoman tied the knot with a Thai mahout in Chiang Mai province this weekend.

Staged based on the Karen traditions, the wedding ceremony took place on Saturday with more than 200 locals and elephants joining the procession of dowry from the bridegroom's house to a Catholic church.

Ray Omata, the 32-year-old bride, and Amnuay Sukkasem, the 42-year-old bridegroom, then walked down the aisle in Karen costume.

The bride and groom.Photo: The Nation/Asia News Network

"I came here four years ago to conduct research on Thai elephants and mahouts," Omata said, "That's how I met my soul mate".

As Amnuay taught Omata about elephants and elephant training, the couple fell in love. As their years-long relationships blossomed, they decided to get married.

Omata said she was willing to live with Amnuay in Chiang Mai.

She said she would have to travel to Japan quite often to attend to her family businesses there.

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