Yukie is portrayed by Nobu McCarthy.
Miyagi also tells Daniel more of the story about his leaving Okinawa: he'd fallen in love with a young woman named Yukie who was betrothed to his best friend, Sato. Miyagi talks about how he was young and foolish and had told the entire village that he was going to marry Yukie despite her parents wishes. Sato, whose karate teacher was also Miyagi's father, challenged his friend to a duel to the death. Miyagi chose to leave rather than fight his best friend.
Yukie is happy to see Miyagi and reveals that after Miyagi had left, she hadn't married Sato. Miyagi reconciles with Yukie, saying he's sorry for leaving her. She tells him that she'd never married because of Miyagi's conflict with Sato. Daniel and Kumiko later see Miyagi and Yukie engaged in an ancient tea ceremony where they declare their love for each other.
Yukie did not end up accompanying Miyagi back to the United States, possibly because she was Kumiko's legal guardian and Kumiko had to stay in Japan so she could focus on her dance career. It is possible that Miyagi did rekindle his relationship with Yukie in the decades before he passed away, though this is just speculation.
In season 3, it is revealed that Yukie had gotten ill when Kumiko came home to Okinawa after her years of performing abroad and Yukie had passed away.
Behind the scenes
The character of Yukie was a last minute addition to the film. Originally the love interest of Nariyoshi Miyagi was intended to be a woman born to a Japanese mother and a British father, and the producers had in mind British actress Lynne Frederick. The script for the second film would have had Mr. Miyagi fleeing over the stigma of his younger self professing his love for a hapa, or half-Japanese woman. Frederick, who had retired from acting in 1978, expressed interest in the part, but ultimately decided against coming out of retirement as she had a small daughter to care for.
- Yukie and Miyagi's song was the same song that Mr. Miyagi shared with his wife.