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NVC TAPS

August 2022, Volume 73, Issue 7

TAKASHI AKIYAMA
October 24, 1923 – July 11, 2022

Takashi Akiyama, 98, passed away peacefully at his home on Beacon Hill on July 11, 2022.  He was the beloved father of Louise Wright and Nancy Fujimoto, who were with him when he passed.

Tak was born in Seattle to Tomota and Koyoshi Akiyama.  He was the winner of the 1937 Old Woody pitching contest, representing Collins Playfield.  He played 2nd base on the Garfield High School varsity baseball team. In the spring of 1942, Tak, then a senior at GHS, and his parents were incarcerated at the Minidoka Incarceration Camp in Idaho, where he coached and played baseball.  While in camp, Takashi was drafted into the U.S. Army, and later stationed in Tokyo, Japan. There he met the love of his life, Hiroko Kono. They were married for 64 years until her passing in 2015. 

In 2012, Tak received the Congressional Gold Medal for his service in Military Intelligence, along with fellow recipients who served in the 442nd Infantry and 100th Battalion in WWII. Tak was honored at the 2012 Garfield High School commencement at the Memorial Stadium, in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the forced removal and incarceration of people of Japanese descent to Minidoka.  He retired from the USPS in 1985 after 39 years.

Tak is preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife Hiroko, brothers George and Harry, and son, Jesse.  He is survived by daughters Louise Wright and Nancy Fujimoto, daughter-in-law Maralyn Akiyama, and their families.  A family celebration of his life was held. Special thanks to Todd, Echo, Tomoko, and the compassionate care provided by Evergreen Hospice.  In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to Nisei Veterans Committee, Evergreen Hospice, or Keiro Northwest.
 

ALAN ARAMAKI
1944-2022

Alan Aramaki passed away suddenly at home at the age of 78. Alan was born in Hunt, Idaho, and spent his youth in Bellevue, graduating from Sammamish High School. After serving in the Army, he obtained his Master’s degree from the University of Washington College of Engineering, began his own company in Bothell with two partners, and retired in 2010.

Alan leaves behind his wife Fran; two sons David (Kaelen) and Scott; four grandchildren; brothers Aubrey (Young Sun) and Arvin; sisters-in-law Maxine (Ed) Yakushijin and Jane Hamada (Fred Silber); nieces and nephews; several cousins; and an Aunt. He was preceded in death by his parents Akira and Hanako Aramaki and his grandparents. Remembrances may be made to Medic One or your favorite charity.
 

SATORU “SAT” ICHIKAWA
November 2, 1929 - June 29, 2022

Satoru Ichikawa, 92, passed away peacefully on June 29, 2022. He was born in Fresno, CA, and came to Seattle at the age of 6. During World War II, his family was imprisoned at Minidoka W.R.A. Camp, Idaho, and Crystal City Texas Department of Justice Camp. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1951 with a BA in Commercial Art and worked for Dinner & Klein, a local printing and mailing service for 42 years.

Satoru was active at the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, the Nikkei Horizons Ukulele Band and was a life member of the Nisei Veterans Committee. He visited schools to teach children the importance of citizenship. He enjoyed playing pickleball and creating banners and signs for local organizations.

Sat is survived by his wife of 59 years, Grace, daughter Dana Nakashima (Craig), grandchildren Emi and Tai, and son Kyle Ichikawa, plus six siblings, their families, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Rev. Tatsuya and Yasashi Ichikawa.

Remembrances may be made to the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, Seattle Nisei Veterans Committee, Keiro Northwest, or a charity of your choice.
 

JAMES TETSUO MAYEDA
October 4, 1948 - May 29, 2022

Jimmy Mayeda passed away at age 73 in Elma, Washington. He is a Franklin High graduate and joined the Navy being assigned to a patrol squadron, which was deployed to Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam. Upon military discharge he pursued a variety of civilian careers. His enjoyment was bowling, and his goal was to visit all the major league baseball stadiums in the country. He frequently visited friends in different campgrounds in Oregon and Washington.

Jimmy is preceded in death by his wife, Lori (Lorraine Toy) Mayeda as well as his parents Tom U. and Yoshiye Mayeda. Survivors include two sons Masao and Jiro, Renton; and two sisters JoAnn (James) Nakamoto, Seattle; and Gloria (Calvin) Kunimoto of Cerritos, California.
 

FRANK KEN NISHIMURA
April 9, 1924 - September 25, 2021

Please join us for a Celebration of the Life of Frank Nishimura on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at Terry's Kitchen, 5625 - 119th Ave SE, Bellevue, from noon to 4:00 PM. 

[You can view Frank’s obituary in the October 2021 issue of the NVC Newsletter at: https://www.nvcfoundation.org/newsletter/2021/10/nvc-taps/

or at the Seattle Times: https://obituaries.seattletimes.com/obituary/frank-nishimura-1083446845]
 

DONALD SHIMONO
January 14, 1943 - July 19, 2022

On 7/19, Don joined his parents Kiyoshi and Fujie, sister Maryann and brother Yuji after a hard battle with pancreatic cancer. He passed away peacefully at his new home at Emerald Heights with his wife and close friends at his side.

During WWII his family was forced from their home along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans and incarcerated at the Tule Lake, California concentration camp where Don and his twin were born. He grew up in Bellevue and Seattle where he graduated from Garfield HS and U of W with a degree in Landscape Architecture. He was employed by the City of Seattle until he joined the Army. Later he formed his own Landscape Architect firm. He met his wife, Elaine while in college and they were married for 54 years. He pursued his passion for skiing, bowling, golfing, mushrooming, gathering seafood, fishing, koi keeping, gardening, traveling, Seattle sports, entertaining family and friends and life in general. Whatever he did in life, he did with gusto and gave it his all. He will be missed for his sense of humor and love of life.

He served on the Washington State Licensing board for Landscape Architects, Houghton Community Council of Kirkland, and City of Highline Design Review Board, and taught at South Seattle Community College. He was active in the Washington Koi and Water Garden Society, American Society of Landscape Architects of Washington, Minidoka and Tule Lake Pilgrimage committees, Nisei Vets and Kubota Garden Planning, Historical and Garden Committees.

Don is survived by his wife Elaine; brothers Terry (Judy), Yoshio (Diane), Ron, and David (Peggy); sisters-in-law Carol Shimono, Naomi Nishimura (Frank), and Susan Isoshima (Michael Gave). Also 24 nieces and nephews and many cousins. A special thanks to the hospice nurse Diane, chaplain Lea, and care giver Loto and to all the family and friends who encouraged and supported Don during his challenging time. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in his name to Friends of Minidoka, Tule Lake Planning Committee, Kubota Garden Foundation, Densho, or Nisei Veterans Committee.
 

TOSHIO TOKUNAGA
January 2, 1925 - July 17, 2022

Toshio, 97, passed away peacefully on July 17, 2022. He was born in Selleck, WA on January 2, 1925, to Tane and Taketa Tokunaga. He attended Selleck Elementary School, Enumclaw High School, and Garfield High School after his family moved to Seattle in 1940. His family was removed to detention at “Camp Harmony” at the Puyallup Fair Grounds during World War II. They were subsequently incarcerated at Minidoka Concentration Camp in Hunt, Idaho. Tosh was one of the youngest volunteers to get the camp ready before the families arrived. While interned in Minidoka, Tosh graduated from Hunt High School in 1943.

Tosh joined the army and participated in basic training with the 442nd Infantry Regiment at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. He later was among the first Japanese Americans to volunteer to become a paratrooper and received airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Tosh was a member of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) which was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. The 82nd Airborne took part in Operation Varsity in 1945, which was the largest single day, one location airborne operation in history. After the war he was assigned to the 508th PIR in Frankfort, Germany, the Honor Guard for General Eisenhower's United States Forces European Theater Headquarters.

After completing his military service Tosh started a gardening business and was an active member of the Seattle Japanese Gardener Association until he retired 50 years later. Tosh met Dolly Hiroo at a Buddhist Church Halloween party and married the love of his life on February 28, 1960. They were happily married for almost 62 years until Dolly's passing earlier this year. They raised three children: Linda, Wayne, and Julia.

Tosh was an active lifetime member of the Nisei Veterans Committee where he served as commander in 1983. He loved playing golf at Jefferson Park Golf Course using his favorite putter. He enjoyed going to his PIR reunions well into his 80's and catching up with fellow paratroopers. He took great pleasure in traveling, going on cruises, attending dances with Dolly, and taking long walks into his 90's. He was very humble, had a great sense of humor, and always had a smile on his face.

Tosh was preceded in death by his beloved wife Dolly Tokunaga, parents Tane and Taketa Tokunaga, and brother Mitsuo Tokunaga. He is survived by his children Linda Tokunaga, Wayne Tokunaga, Julia Tokunaga-King; son-in-law Tom King; brothers-in-law Mickey Hiroo and Robert Hiroo (Connie); nieces Patty Hiroo Mastrude (Jon) and Lisa Kunihiro (Pat); and grandniece Alysse Mastrude.

The family extends their deepest gratitude to his caregiver Dona and the staff at Nikkei Manor for their compassionate care and kindness. Following Tosh's wishes there will not be a memorial service. A private family burial service will be held.

Remembrances may be made to: Nisei Veterans Committee 1212 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98144; Densho 1416 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144; Nikkei Manor Employee Fund, 700 6th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98104; Japanese Baptist Church, 160 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122.