Yoko Ono Born into a privileged background in Tokyo, Japan, she was the oldest child of Isoko Isuda, a member of one of Japan's wealthiest banking families, and Eisuke Ono, who sacrificed a career as a classically-trained pianist to work as a banker. She attended the exclusive Gakushuin academy in Tokyo from primary school to the college division. Ono has mentioned in interviews that her parents left the upbringing of her and her younger brother to nannies; her parents were often distant, emotionally and physically.
During World War II, the Ono family survived the bombing of Tokyo in an underground shelter. Ono and her siblings fled to the countryside, and were forced to beg for food while pulling their belongings in a wheelbarrow. It was during this period in her life she developed what some would refer to as her "aggressive" attitude; local children taunted the once well-to-do Yoko and her brother, now reduced to poverty. Her father remained in the city and, unbeknownst to them, was incarcerated in a prisoner of war camp in China.
After the war, Ono's family moved to Scarsdale, New York. She soon enrolled in Sarah Lawrence College. While her parents approved her choice of college, they were dismayed at her lifestyle, and often chastised Ono for befriending people they considered to be "beneath" her. In spite of this, Ono loved meeting artists, poets, and people who represented the "bohemian" freedom she longed for herself. Visiting galleries and art "happenings" in the city whetted her desire to publicly display her own artistic endeavors.
In 1956, she married composer Toshi Ichiyanagi. They divorced in 1962. On November 28 that same year, Ono married American Anthony Cox. Cox was a jazz musician, film producer, and art promoter. Their marriage was annulled on March 1, 1963; they re-married on June 6, and finally divorced on February 2, 1969. Their daughter, Kyoko Chan Cox, was born on August 8, 1963. After a bitter legal battle, Ono was awarded permanent custody of Kyoko. However in 1971, Cox, who had become a Christian fundamentalist after his divorce from Ono, abducted Kyoko and vanished. Ono and her daughter were finally reunited in 1998.