Sakaye Aratani of the Aratani Family Foundation dies

LOS ANGELES – The Japanese American National Museum issued a statement mourning the March 18, 2024 passing of Sakaye Aratani. Aratani was raised in Gardena, Calif. After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, her family lived with relatives in Reedley, Calif. before being incarcerated in the Poston concentration camp in Arizona.

“While visiting another camp she met her future husband, George, and they married in Minneapolis, Minn., while he was serving in the Military Intelligence Service. After leaving camp, Sakaye and George returned to the Los Angeles area, raised a family, and supported  many Japanese American institutions in Southern California.”

Sakaye was a founding member of the Montebello Japanese Women’s Club, and was one of the first women to serve on the board of the Sumitomo Bank of California. George was a member of JANM’s founding board of directors. He went on to serve on the JANM Board of Trustees (1990–2004) and JANM Board of Governors (2005–2013). “Through the Aratani Family Foundation, they were generous patrons of all the foundational institutions and organizations who made a significant impact in Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo and across Southern California.”

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