The Ocean Child- Part One. Don’t Worry Kyoko

Cover Photo:  Yoko Ono in En Trance, 1997; Half-A-Wind Show, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013; photo by Bjarke Ørsted © Yoko Ono


OH! Yoko….

Where to begin? Love her or hate her, Yoko Ono is a key player in the continuing Beatles saga. This mysterious “witchy woman” literally and figuratively volleys between light and dark, black hat white hat metaphors unlike any other woman in the Beatles entourage. Who is Yoko Ono? And how did she come to be one of (if not THE) most influential characters in John Lennon’s and therefore the Beatles lives? Her story is either best suited to be told properly by Shakespeare or perhaps Stanley Kubrick – and though likely highly unqualified to tell the tale adequately, I will do my best to convey this very odd and convoluted story for you.

Ono’s Background in a nutshell:

Yoko Ono was born into a very wealthy banking aristocratic family on February 18, 1933 in Tokyo, Japan. Coming from a long distinguished line of Samurai warriors, Ono was the eldest of Isoko and Eisuke Ono’s three children. Eisuke, Yoko’s father worked for the Yokohama Specie Bank, and was transferred to San Francisco, California in 1933. Ono’s mother held the nobility line in the family. Her grandfather, Zenjiro Yasuda established the Third National Bank in 1876, the Yasuda bank in 1880 (later known as the Fugi Bank- and now the Mizuho Financial Group) which became the financial arm of Imperial Japan.

For a bit more on Yoko’s interesting extended family background see Thenumbernine’s article On Cuban Heels?

The family moved to New York in 1940 and then back to Japan in 1941, when her father was transferred to Hanoi on the eve of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Ono remained in Tokyo through World War II, enduring the great firebombing of 1945. At the age of 18, Ono moved with her parents to Scarsdale, New York. She studied at Sarah Lawrence College, but left to elope with her first husband, Toshi Ichiyanagi in 1956.

Her marriage with Ichiyanagi ultimately fell apart, and ended with a suicide attempt by Yoko in 1962. Her family had her committed to a mental facility- and like a ‘Knight in Shining Armor’ an alleged “fan” by the name of Anthony Cox (who happened to be a film producer) managed to get her released from the medical facility. They married June 6, 1963 and a daughter, Kyoko was born two months later.

Yoko Ono, Kyoko and Anthony Cox

Anthony Cox and Yoko Ono had a seemingly strange relationship. There have been many rumors and stories floating about over the years about this couple, some of which may or may not have any merit. However, the strange circumstances that unfolded mere years later between the Ono-Lennon’s and Cox and Kyoko are a bit more concrete.

Don’t worry Kyoko

Ono and Cox were divorced in 1969, the same year John Lennon and Yoko married in Gibraltar. At first, all seemed well with John Yoko and sometimes Kyoko, whom Yoko did not have custody of. Reportedly Anthony Cox tried to hide Kyoko  away from both John and Yoko for quite some time. Yoko actively sought Kyoko and her whereabouts for years, hiring private investigators and other heavies to find her without much success.

Here’s where it gets weird. I don’t intend to make light of this situation. I’m sure it was a traumatic experience for all those involved, especially the children. However let’s consider this- if your ex-wife just married a Beatle, and you were actively trying to keep your child away from that situation, would you go to India to the Maharishi and ask for asylum? I don’t know if that would be my first choice personally, but that is exactly what Anthony Cox did. The Maharishi camp… where the Beatles had stayed only a few years earlier. The same Maharishi camp that Cynthia Lennon claimed Yoko Ono was at secretly during the Beatles stay in 1968 (and then still married to Anthony Cox) perusing John. The same Maharishi camp that John wrote “Julia” a song supposedly about his mother, Julia Stanley using the lyric:

Julia, ocean child

calls me

so I sing this song of love for Julia

Yoko means Ocean child in Japanese, and John referred to Yoko as “mother” quite frequently. Irony? Coincidence? Perhaps. If you believe in that sort of thing.

If that wasn’t weird enough for you, you’re in luck!  After Cox was discovered there with Kyoko one way or another, and other kidnapping attempts by the Ono-Lennon’s, as well as an attempted kidnapping of Julian Lennon, John son, Cox and Kyoko ran to Houston Texas, where a court order demanded that Yoko be able to visit with Kyoko. Cox ran again, this time to California where they joined a fundamentalist cult group known as The Living Word, aka The Walk. According to this original people magazine article (linked) from 1983, the Walk group was known for its mix of Pentecostal, occult and eastern mysticism belief system. Anthony Cox climbed quickly into the upper echelons of this cult.

“The Walk’s beliefs have been described by a cult expert as a mixture of Pentecostalism, occult practices and Eastern mysticism, and Cox became a prominent figure, a “prophet and set-aside elder.” Cox claims in Vain Glory that cult founder John Robert Stevens, in addition to praying for the deaths of political leaders, considered himself the earthly incarnation of Jesus Christ and practiced “forehead bonding,” a form of mind control and hypnotism, with his disciples. (When Stevens died in 1983, Cox claims, cult members kept his body lying in state for eight months awaiting his resurrection.)”  Source

Another cult connection! There seem to be so many surrounding the Beatles story. Here’s yet another to add to that list.’The Walk’ has been said to be a Doomsday type of mind-control cult, where the former leader John Robert Stevens would instruct his followers to pray for the deaths of certain political leaders.  According to Anthony Cox and his documentary film ‘Vain Glory‘ (linked below), Stevens prophesied and took responsibility for the  assassination of Robert F Kennedy, and prayed for the demise of Walter Mondale who was labeled a Nephillium by Stevens and his disciples, President Jimmy Carter and other political leaders and influential persons. Source

Something to consider:

As we have seen, the mind-control techniques and (for lack of a better term) spellcasting of death or wishes of harm to political leaders was practiced within ‘The Walk’ on a regular, ritualistic basis, and Anthony Cox was a upper-echelon elder member of this group. Cox was also on the run at this time hiding Kyoko away from her mother and John Lennon.  He has also mentioned in interviews that his reasoning behind the abduction was due to the fact that John and Yoko were “corrupt”, “evil-doers” and “heavily influenced by the occult”. He obviously had a major distaste for John as well as Yoko at this time. Was John Lennon on the list of those political leaders that were targeted by this group?

Anthony Cox and Kyoko left ‘The Walk’ in 1982, but didn’t contact Yoko again until 2000. Kyoko finally reunited with her mother in 2001, after being told for the majority of her life by her father that Yoko and John were “corrupted, drug users that were heavily into the occult.”  There were even rumors of Kyoko moving into the Dakota apartments- although never officially confirmed. Kyoko’s daughter, Emi is believed to be entrusted with half of the Lennon estate, which she will share with her half-brother Sean Lennon. Source


Yoko Ono’s story is complex and mysterious. This is just one tiny fraction of the oddities and mysteries surrounding Ono. In future parts of  “The Ocean Child” series, I plan to dive even further down the walrus hole into the life and legacy of this very strange ‘witchy woman’. Her nearly obsessive fascination with Egyptian artifacts, occult beliefs as well as a host of other curiosities make Yoko Ono a fascinating subject for the whimsical musings of the Number Nine Blog. Stay Tuned for more soon!

Your comments, critiques and questions are always appreciated in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!






  1. Hi Dezy, another great post. Thanks.

    The strangest aspect for me about Yoko Ono is her serendipitous appearance on the scene just when things are getting really weird with The Beatles. Paul grows three inches and changes his part from the left to the right, Aleister Crowley exerts his influence over the band and everything goes psychedelic. Funny how both John and Paul changed partners around this time. As they said, ‘Nothing is real.’


    1. Thanks for your comment.
      Absolutely! 1966 was a very strange year in many more ways than one. Probably a subject for a future article, but if you go looking- it is said that John and Yoko met at her Indica art exhibition on November 9th, 1966. This has since been debunked- it was probably the 7th- but yet it is still cited pretty much everywhere as being THE date they met. 11/9/66 or 9/11/66 when in Europe. I don’t know how far down this rabbit hole you have gone- but for me, those are quite interesting numbers, and just the fact that it was named as being the date (even though it wasn’t) makes it that much more curious.
      Anyhow, thanks for reading. Much appreciated.


  2. Interesting! I knew John and Yoko met at an art exhibition but I hadn’t realised that it was at the Indica and furthermore, I hadn’t realised until I checked with The Ministry of Truth that there were two shops – the Gallery and the Bookshop. For such a fringe player, owner Peter Asher seemed to be everywhere!


  3. 1. “Why me/ Why You/ Broken mirror/ White terror.”

    2: Imagine: ‘Cover design & photo: Yoko Ono’. C.f rear sleeve with Rosemary’s Baby poster.

    3: New York Magazine, 22 Jun, 1981: “The salesclerk -whose name, ironically is Ono- sold him a snub-nosed Charter Arms .38 caliber revolver.”

    4: 1971 – The Lennon’s leave for New York, at mostly Yoko’s behest.

    5: Loving John: Yoko shows May the (Dakota) apartment, claiming she found it herself.

    6: Ibid, p.56: ‘Yoko got up and stared down at Central Park. She mumbled, “I did primal therapy with him. I watched him go back to his childhood. I know his deepest fears.”

    7: Geomancy. C.f Mark Chapman’s around the world trip in a westerly direction to the similiar trips imposed by Yoko on herself, Lennon, John Green etc.

    8: Hypnotism and pregnancy. 1975 (but c.f 1968/9). See May Pang + John Green.

    9: Heroin usage.

    10: 1977 trip to Colombia to make pact with witch known as Lena. See Dakota Days. See The Lives of John Lennon.

    11: Lennon In America, p. 97. “He received a disquieting letter from the National Organization for Women, claiming that various medications Ono was receiving were potentially life threatening. Lennon dubbed the entire matter crazy but was clearly unnerved. In the wake of that troubling episode, someone left a black cross with a satanic motif with the doorman, only to come back days later asking to have the amulet returned, saying it belonged to a relative. This was not the first such incident…”

    12: “It was obvious to me that John’s murder was working to her advantage,” Peebles says. “I was embarrassed and ashamed at some of the decisions she made.”

    13: Fred Seaman: “Yoko was upset when she left the hospital. I believe she viewed J’s bloodied corpse, which must have freaked her out. But by the time she got back to the Dakota she had regained her composure. Some have argued that her businesslike demeanor was perhaps a means of coping. Maybe, but I don’t think so, especially in light of the obvious act she put on for the detectives & media. The moment she was among her intimates (about ten people: staff members, several lawyers, Geffen…) the tears instantly dried up. Now, this in itself is not necessarily sinister. Those who know Y understand that she had shut off a part of herself (the part that felt affection towards JL) many years before J’s death. She didn’t love him anymore. He had become a nuisance in her life. She saw him as a needy child who demanded constant attention, reassurance, etc. Her behavior in private left no doubt whatsoever that J’s death was a good thing for her. The prevailing sentiment was: The King is dead; long live the Queen… The question of Y’s possible involvement in J’s death is a thorny one.
    Many (if not most) of the people on the staff & in Y’s inner circle assumed that Y & SH had recruited MDC (many still believe it). Even average fans thought it. I remember how surprised I was when an acquaintance who was a recording engineer told me (this was about a week
    after J’s death) that many of his friends in the music industry believed that Y had arranged to have J shot. Even the police quickly zeroed in on Y & SH as suspects in a possible conspiracy. A few days after J’s death I was interrogated by one of the detectives investigating the murder. I
    was asked some very pointed questions about Y’s relationship with SH & her plans to divorce J the previous summer. Toward the end of our meeting the detective asked me point blank if I though Y & SH were involved in J’s assassination (I waffled, as i didn’t think it would be prudent to openly admit my suspicions). In any event, the police did mount an investigation into Y’s possible role in the murder.
    Albert Goldman interviewed one of the cops who worked on the case & was told that the cops initially did not believe Chapman was crazy because his behavior after his arrest was extremely rational. They assumed he was a hired killer. And Y had the best motive for hiring him. Indeed, the police were stunned by the speed with which Y managed to probate the will. They believed that she knew ahead of time that J would be killed on Dec.8 & that her lawyers had prepared the legal work in advance. There were other things that could be viewed as circumstatial evidence (eg MDC’s round the world trip: Y liked to send her associates on such trips with the route determined by her directionalist; If memory serves, J embarked on such trips twice, as did John Green & others…) However, the investigation was shut down after MDC pled guilty & it was clear that there would not be a trial. The results of the investigation (several file drawers full) were sealed & placed into storage. By now they’ve probably been destroyed…”

    Walking on Thin Ice was inspired by a visit to Lake Michigan. C.f Chapman’s mysterious stopover in Chicago.

    15: “I wonder if she knew about it?”

    Liked by 1 person

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