Rosie Miyeko Hori Furusawa
Rosie Miyeko Hori Furusawa

FURUSAWA HORI, ROSIE MIYEKO, 88, of San Francisco, CA passed away at 8:56 pm on Friday, April 24, 2015. Rosie was born in Stockton, CA on September 1, 1926, daughter of Tanekichi Furusawa and Marie Tatsu Furusawa.

Rosie’s birth and first 8 years was on a farm where she enjoyed plenty of fresh air, peace and quiet with nature all around. Her family returned to Japan at age 8 to be raised and educated. She married the love of her life, Kazuichi Yano who also graduated from Tokyo University in Aeronautic engineering and team lead designer of the Zero sen aircraft, who suddenly and tragically, passed away in an auto accident. She returned to her hometown, Kurume, Kyushu with her daughter. She began her teaching career there as a high school voice teacher. Two years later, her choir became 2nd in the nation. She then decided to leave Japan for a complete change of direction to recharge her life. In 1956, she took a 2 week voyage by ship to America and chose San Francisco to be her home.

She enrolled back to school to learn English and found a little studio to gather students and provide piano lessons. Two years later she met Mr. Tsugio Hori. They married in 1958. Together they had 4 children. MaryAnn Kazue Hori, Robin Kinue Hori, Kenneth Kenji Hori, and, just before his death 8 years later, Meiji Max Hori, all to be raised as a single parent.

She loved being a music teacher, but decided her Japanese language ability would be of greater service to the community and provided Japanese language classes for children. Then, she started a Japanese language class for adults at Marina Jr. High school at night where she continued to teach Japanese language classes for many years.

In 1966, the Japanese government decided that it is critical for Japanese nationals’ children to maintain their education while overseas and started up a Japanese School, “Hoshuuko” and asked Rosie to become the first principal and set up the curriculum.

Her first daughter Kazumi attended Lowell High School of SF, and she believed it would be helpful to provide high school students with a Japanese language class option in addition to western European language classes. She proposed this idea to the principal of Lowell High School and was accepted on a trial basis. It was a volunteer and unpaid position that was a huge success. The first semester Japanese language class offered filled 3 full classes. The next semester, George Washington High School did not want to be left behind and requested for her to be the first Japanese language teacher for their school as well, on a part-time paid basis. It was a great success and continued until she retired at age 68.

At age 80, Rosie Miyeko Hori received the “Certificate of Honor” from the City of San Francisco in recognition for being the pioneer of Japanese language classes offered in a unified public school system and the first of its kind in the Nation.

As she received the “Certificate of Honor” with great humility, she said, it was the greatest moment of her Life!

She is survived by her sons, Kenneth Kenji Hori, age 52, Meiji Max Hori, age 46, Maryann Kazue Hori, age 58, Robin Kinue Hori, age 55, grand-children Misako Cassandra Arnberger, age 31, Kyle Isamu Arnberger, age 28, Yutaka Kikuchi, age 40, Emi Kikuchi-Arai, age 38, great grand-daughter, Sakura Arai, age 1.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Kazumi Yano-Kikuchi, age 59.

Memorial services are pending.  Please continue to check back for schedule at

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