They first met while filming for 2009 spring drama 'Atashinchi no Danshi' and he said he was taken in by her mental strength although she was only 20 or 21 years old at the time. He asked for her number and got it, but it was the number for her agency.
He did not give up. After that, whenever she had a stage play, he will go backstage to say hello and give her handwritten letters asking if maybe it was about time he could have her mail address but she never responded. (not in direct interview, off-camera & from Daily Sports Online)
Daily Sports Online)
That night, she contacted him on LINE.
'Otsukaresama deshita. Maki da yo.'
At first he thought it was a fake, but it was the real thing.
Then, he got to know that Horikita was heading to Kyoto. Following his intuition, he got on the shinkansen at Tokyo Station. He thought that if she got on the same train, it would be a miracle or destiny. At that moment, he had with him a ring 'packed with all his emotions' as he described it. Then, at Shinagawa Station, Horikita actually boarded the train. He gave the ring to her and asked her, not to start dating him, but to marry him. He thought that if marriage was something important to her at that moment, he would get through to her heart if he said it. Apparently it did.
From there, the relationship progressed rapidly and they moved in together in early August. 5 days before they submitted their marriage registration, he wrote her another letter asking her to marry him. This time, she finally replied with 'Yoroshiku onegai shimasu'. (not in direct interview, off-camera & from Sanspo)