Barbara Nobuko Muramoto

Aug. 3, 1932 – Nov. 10, 2022

Barbara Nobuko Muramoto, Aug. 3, 1932 – Nov. 10, 2022

Barbara was born in Palo Alto, California and with her family, was a survivor of the internment of Japanese Americans at Topaz and Tule Lake during WWII where she learned to play the Koto (Japanese Harp). After the war, her family moved to Japan where Barbara continued to study the Koto. She received the degree of Jun-Shihan at the age of 17, and began teaching Koto. A year later she received her Shihan degree which is a very high honor. She returned to America, married and started a family, living in Oakland and later in San Lorenzo.
Madame Kazuko Muramoto continued to teach Koto and in 1966 was presented with her Dai-Shihan degree.

Madame Muramoto returned to Japan on a regular basis to continue her studies. In 1979, she received the honorary degree of “Tobiume No Tsukasa Dai Shihan”, at the time the only Koto master outside of Japan to hold such an honor. Of her numerous students, 50 have earned degrees of Jun-Shihan and above, including Dai-Shihan. Madame Muramoto played a large role in bringing Japanese music to the Bay Area and Canada teaching Koto to many students for over 50 years.

In her later years, Barbara enjoyed spending time at the Eden Japanese Senior Center down the street from her home in San Lorenzo. She enjoyed talking on the phone with friends and relatives and doing crossword puzzles.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Yasuki and Masaye Hori, and by husband Roy Naoto Muramoto.

She is survived by her sister Jane Yoshimoto (Junichi, deceased), and children Shirley Wong (Bob), Pat Chin (Allen), Gary Muramoto, Greg Muramoto (Doreen, deceased), Linda Kim (Steve), six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
Eden Japanese Senior Center
P.O. Box 264
San Lorenzo, CA 94580

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