Obituaries

Wat Misaka, who broke professional basketball’s color barrier, dies

Wataru “Wat” Misaka, the first person of color to play in professional basketball when he broke the color barrier in 1947, died Nov. 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was 95. A 5-foot-7-inch guard, Misaka was a legend on the basketball court. He led Weber Junior College to two ICAC junior college titles in […]

‘Ultimate volunteer,’ JACL’s Greg Marutani, dies

Greg Marutani, 72, of San Francisco, died Nov. 27, 2019, the Japanese American Citizens League said in a statement. The civil rights organization recognized the longtime chair of their National Education Committee at the 2019 JACL Convention in Salt Lake City. “Marutani was instrumental in training hundreds of teachers on how to utilize the story […]

OBITUARY: Misao Otsuki

OTSUKI, MISAO, 92, passed away peacefully at her home in San Francisco on October 22, 2019. She was born in 1926 in Turlock, California to Yonehichi and Suye Sugiura, the second of eight children. In 1942 at the start of WWII her family was sent to the Amache Internment Camp in Colorado. There she met […]

OBITUARY: Diane Sakaye Nakano

NAKANO, DIANE SAKAYE, 95, of SF passed peacefully on Nov 3, 2019. Born on Sept 16, 1924 in Colusa, CA, she spent her childhood in Hiroshima and teenage yrs in Stockton until imprisoned during WWII at Gila River, AZ. Upon release, Diane moved to SF where she married and raised 4 children. Diane is preceded […]

OBITUARY: Emiko J. Nakano

NAKANO, EMIKO J., 100, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on October 26, 2019. She was born on October 15, 1919 in Hiroshima, Japan to Utaso and Ai Fujikawa. She grew up in Isleton, CA and was the second child of 10 children. In 1940, Emiko married Mario Masaharu Nakano. They raised 4 children, […]

OBITUARY: Patricia Kikuno Namba

NAMBA, PATRICIA KIKUNO, 98, peacefully passed away at home on September 2, 2019. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Minoru Namba, and her devoted brothers Masateru, Yasuo, Katsumi, and Jitsuo. On October 20, 1920, Patricia was born to issei parents, Torazuchi (immigrated to USA 1907) and Shige Hashimoto who settled in Taishoku […]

OBITUARY: Fumiko Kunihara

KUNIHARA, FUMIKO, 95, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Oct. 31, 2019. She was born in Sacramento and raised in Auburn, California. In 1942, Fumiko was interned at Tule Lake where she met her husband, Kenji. After camp, they had a dry-clean business for over 40 years. Fumiko is survived by […]

OBITUARY: Kirk Eiji Akahoshi

AKAHOSHI, KIRK EIJI passed away at the age of 44 from pancreatic cancer on November 6, 2019. He was a devoted husband, beloved son and grandson, dear brother, doting uncle and friend to many. Born on June 24,1975, and raised in Saratoga, Kirk was a graduate of Lynbrook High School. He received his Bachelor of […]

TULE LAKE ICON PASSES: Hiroshi Kashiwagi was a noted poet, playwright, author, actor and symbol of wartime resistance

When Hiroshi Kashiwagi was born in a boarding house in Sacramento, Calif. on Nov. 8, 1922, no one imagined that he would become a successful activist, writer, playwright, actor, and a poet of such regard that he would be known as the “Poet Laureate of Tule Lake.” Although his first book, “Swimming in the American: […]

Isao Tanaka, photographer and ‘No-no,’ dies

Isao Tanaka, a so-called “No-no” who resisted the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans and took countless community photographs that were featured in various media, passed away peacefully at his San Francisco home on Oct. 27, 2019. He was 93. He was born the eldest of four children of Satsumi and Sasaichi Tanaka in Santa Maria, […]

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