John Toshiyuki Wakisaka
John Toshiyuki Wakisaka

WAKISAKA, JOHN TOSHIYUKI, 84, passed away Dec. 11, 2014 after a long battle with prostrate cancer. Born July 30, 1930 in Lockeford, Calif. to parents Sanaemon and Shizuno Wakisaka, he grew up in Hiroshima, Japan in the outskirt town of Kabe-Cho. He survived the atomic bomb during high school.

John returned to the U.S. after World War II, and went to night school to learn English in San Francisco. He worked the farmlands in Salinas during the summers. Drafted into the U.S. Army, he was stationed at Fort Ord, Monterey, and deployed to fight against the North Koreans, during the Korean War as a tank surveillance and reconnaissance scout (25th Division).

After the war, he returned to Japan and married Yurie Ishii before moving to Los Angeles where they had a son, Kenneth, in 1956. Yurie was stricken with illness and passed away in 1967. John later met and married Yuriko Fujimori, where they worked together at the Hokubei Mainichi, he was the head advertising manager. He lived in San Francisco’s Japantown, a short walk across Geary Street’s pedestrian overpass for 44 years.

John enjoyed riding racehorses in his earlier years, karaoke, and driving, maintaining, and working on American cars. He was especially proud of his Oldsmobile and 1967 Ford Mustang. He was a member of the Japanese Shigin Folk Singing group of San Francisco. He was also an active member of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco, where he performed magic tricks after service and was often called the ‘Magic Man’ at church.

He is survived by son, Kenneth (his wife Roberta Wakisaka-Fellezs), current wife Yuriko, daughter-in-laws Juliet and Mercy, sisters Ayako, Ayame, and Hanako Goto & her husband Charlie Goto, with nephews and niece, Mark, Eddie and Joy Goto.

Service to be held at Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park (Portola Room), Highway 92 at Skyline Blvd., San Mateo, Calif., on Dec. 19, 2014 at 1 p.m. For full obituary, please go to:

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