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US-American Lieutenant Pinkerton marries Cio-Cio-San, but only for a short time; a commonly accepted convention at this time. Whilst for him it was but a fleeting affair, for her, it was true love. After his departure, she waits longingly for his return. When he finally reappears, Cio-Cio-San – the mother of his child – realises that he has remarried. Out of utter desperation, she kills herself: “He who can no longer live an honorable life must die honorably”.