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"Returning Japanese II" is the one hundred-twenty-sixth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on May 12, 2002.

The episode is a double feature, which is split during syndication.


After the awkward moment between Hank and the stranger, Cotton happily greets the stranger and declares that he's the man's father, before asking his name. The man announces himself as Junichiro (which Cotton can't pronounce) and informs the group that he already knows of Cotton and that his mother Michiko isn't there and will be back tomorrow. Cotton gives Junichiro the card for the hotel and the group leaves. Outside the building Hank confronts his father about the fact that he had another son which forces Cotton to reveal the story of he and Michiko: After the American victory in Japan in World War II, Cotton was sent to the hospital where he had his feet attached to his knees. While there he met Michiko, a Japanese nurse who was assigned to him and the two fell in love at first sight. Since the solders were forbidden from "fraternizing with the conquered women" they kept the romance hidden. Things were okay until the Armed Forces took Cotton to be shipped back to the States. Cotton tried to stay behind but he was knocked unconscious and forced on the boat heading out leaving a crying Michiko behind, but apparently left something inside of her: their son Junichiro.

Back at the hotel, Hank is happy that he has a Japanese half-brother. Bobby who can't sleep goes outside to an arcade where he spots and plays a step-dancing game. While playing he develops a crush on a Japanese schoolgirl in a traditional sailor fuku uniform and they begin to play the step-dancing game together. Later that night, everyone is in a dining room in the hotel where Junichiro and Michiko along with an unknown person arrive. While having dinner, Cotton tells Michiko about what he did after the war and she in response tell him that after he left she had a hard time raising Junichiro alone, but found a man willing to help her: Wataru (the unknown person). Hank tries to be friendly to Junichiro, but since he works with robots and Hank works in propane they can't find anything to relate with each other. The T.V. producer filming this event tells the group that Cotton has been invited to a ceremony promoting peace between the U.S. and Japanese forces by the Japanese Emperor. Cotton is delighted with everything that has happened so far and asks for Michiko and Junichiro's forgiveness over what happened to them in the past. Junichiro however refuses to forgive Cotton saying that what he did was unforgivable. Cotton demands the he take back his word, but Junichiro refuses by renouncing his American heritage. This pushes Cotton over the edge and becomes extremely livid, he re-declares war on Japan and rampages out of the room. Hank tries to defuse the situation, but Junichiro coldly rebuffs him and leaves.


The next day Bobby gives his mom the slip and heads to the arcade to be with the schoolgirl again, and after another round of the dancing game, Bobby tells the girl that he has to go, but she takes him to a photobooth where she kisses him and the two agree to meet up later. Hank goes to Junichiro's workplace and asks for his help to find their father. Junichiro refuses at first, but then joins his brother once Hank points out the consequences if Cotton is caught. During their search for the crazed Cotton, they struggle at first due to culture clashes between the two men, but the half-brothers eventually come to an understanding and bond over a beer, their jobs, and the fact that both Hank and Junichiro have narrow urethras. The two brothers eventually catch up to Cotton at the bullet train station, but they are too late as he has boarded the train with plans to spit on the face of the Emperor at the ceremony. Should this actually happen, Junichiro's business reputation would be ruined, as no one would want to do business with the son of such a disrespectful man, so Hank agrees to thwart Cotton for Junichiro's sake. It is difficult to track down Cotton until Junichiro shows Hank ways connections are made in Japan. Back at the hotel Bobby tries to get away again to meet with the girl but Peggy won't let him and forces him to go with her on a sightseeing trip, meanwhile at the arcade, the girl realizes the Bobby is late and sadly begins to play the dance game with another boy.

At the ceremony the two brothers see the ceremony is crowded. Junichiro now tries things the American way, being brusque in pushing past the spectators, making their way to where Cotton is. Hank tries to talk his father out of spitting on the Emperor, but the veteran won't listen. However once Junichiro calls the war hero his father, Cotton is stunned. Junichiro tells his father that after spending time with Hank, he is no longer ashamed of his American heritage and is proud to call himself a Hill. Touched by this, Cotton awaits the Emperor, who is presenting awards, by now comporting himself properly. When the Emperor presents Cotton with an award, Cotton says he no longer holds any grudges for the war injuries suffered at the hands of the Japanese, and proudly introduces Junichiro and Hank. Back at the hotel, the Hills are packing for their trip back to the states, and when Peggy tells Junichiro about the news article she is writing, he shows the family that the hotel room was much bigger then they thought (complete with a gift basket of now-rotten fruit). Cotton apologizes to Michiko once again, but she tears up an old picture of the two in half and gives him the half with her on it, accepting his apology. On the way to the airport Cotton notices Bobby's pictures with the schoolgirl, but when he hears the he never said goodbye to her Cotton stops the cab and tells his grandson that he needs to gain closure and say goodbye. Bobby runs back to the arcade to meet the girl where she happily ditches the other guy and greets him. After the two kids share a small tender moment, they agree to have once last dance game with each other before Bobby has to fly back home to America.

Back in Arlen, Luanne, who is walking the two dogs while thinking of an excuse to tell Hank, sees the shadows of Dale and Bill from the window the the Hill home, and believing them to be robbers calls the police. The police soon arrive and put the two men in cuffs, and as they are being hauled off, Dale tells Boomhauer to collect Hank's newspapers in his place to which Boomhauer agrees as the police leave with Dale and Bill.


  • Though the emperor of Japan at the time of this episode was Akihito, the character who presents Cotton with the medal is drawn to resemble Naruhito, who succeeded his father as emperor in 2019.
  • The schoolgirl Bobby dances with has a lollipop of the popular Japanese character Doraemon, although it's red instead of blue.
  • Unlike the rest of the episode which uses traditional cel animation, the shot of Cotton walking through the streets of Japan seems to be colored using digital ink and paint.


  • When Bobby talks to schoolgirl for the final time. For a few frames, one of the kid's head disappears.

Season 5 Season 6 Season 7

Bobby Goes Nuts · Soldier of Misfortune · Lupe's Revenge · The Father, the Son, and J.C. · Father of the Bribe · I'm With Cupid · Torch Song Hillogy · Joust Like a Woman · The Bluegrass is Always Greener · The Substitute Spanish Prisoner · Unfortunate Son · Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret Hill · Tankin' it to the Streets · Of Mice and Little Green Men · A Man Without a Country Club · Beer and Loathing · Fun with Jane and Jane · My Own Private Rodeo · Sug Night · Dang Ol' Love · Returning Japanese · Returning Japanese II