Emiko Miyagawa
Emiko Miyagawa

MIYAGAWA, EMIKO AMY, 90, made her transition in peaceful fashion on August 23, 2014 in San Rafael, CA.

The widow of Daisho Miyagawa, she is survived by daughters Yuri and Misako, son Taiji, grandson Troi Pang, many nieces, nephews and their children.

She was born April 25, 1924 in Clovis, New Mexico to parents Shiro and Fujiko (Kobayashi) Ebihara in 1924. Along with over 100,000 Japanese Americans, most of whom were U.S. Citizens, she and her family were unjustly incarcerated into an American concentration camp during WWII. From the age of 17 to 24, much of her time was spent caring for her family, most notably the difficult resettlement to Cleveland, OH in 1943. She also helped many other families resettle after the war before turning attention to her own life.

For 43 years, her life was filled with the challenges of working professionally in the field of women’s fashion design. Her career began on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan in formal, cocktail and bridal design. In the 60’s, assessing the casual fashion trends of the youth during that era, she developed and invented the innovative “Crinkle Gauze” cotton textile which became copied by others in the industry several times over. She was a trend setting designer in separates for young Baby Boomers and later for professional career women. She traveled extensively throughout Europe for work, particularly to Italy, France, Switzerland and England. She made many lifelong friends during these trips. Before retirement, she began to do work in Asia. Many of her designs continue to be replicated or emulated in the industry to this day.

Following the passing of her husband in 1989 and eventual retirement, she moved to Portland, OR and pursued and attained a B.F.A. at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 1995. Moving to San Rafael in 1998, she was an active member of the Marin Society of Artists (MSA) for 13 years. A prolific painter, she contributed many paintings to MSA and also to the retirement home where she lived her last 16 years.

Her final years in residence at the Villa Marin Retirement Community were ones to envy as she made many wonderful friendships with both residents and staff at this exceptional facility. A strong proponent of “participatory democracy,” she was active on several volunteer committees and made significant contributions such as in the community garden and helping to establish procedures and protocols for other volunteer committees.

Following in the footsteps of her father, she lived her life with boundless energy, curiosity and optimism. She loved good food, political discussion and the arts. She will be missed by many, but much of her life can be held up as an example for what the living can aspire to, and the impact of what she accomplished remains.

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