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21 October 2017

Obituary Announcement

Ralph Masayuki Yoshizuka, son of the deceased William and Alma Yoshizuka, loving brother to Grace Namba, William Yoshizuka (deceased), Violet Makishima, Ruby Naruto, and Elaine Sanjo, and adored uncle to 15 nieces and nephews, 22 grandnieces and nephews, and 10 great-grandnieces and nephews, passed away suddenly on June 25 in Sacramento, at the age of 79.  Born on Aug. 16, 1937, Ralph called Sacramento home his entire life.  After the signing of Executive Order 4066 during WWII, Ralph and his family were relocated to internment camps, first in Tule Lake and then in Topaz.  They returned to the Sacramento area when released in 1946.  Ralph attended and graduated from Sacramento High School.  He was drafted by the US Army and served in Germany during the Cold War.  Ralph worked 42 years for the State of California during which he attended night classes, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Sacramento State University.  Ralph was an outdoorsman and skier and devoted his retirement to his family.  A private family service was held on Aug. 19, at the George L. Klumpp Chapel of Flowers.  Donations to a favorite charity in Ralph’s memory are welcome.


Fred Kasai was born in Santa Rosa, California on Aug. 28, 1922. He sadly passed away on Oct. 4, at 95 years of age. Fred was the second oldest of ten children who together with parents were evacuated during WWII to Amache Camp in Colorado. After their release, his family was directed to the Richmond Housing Project where Fred met Mary Nagasugi. He fell in love and they married in 1947. They lived for brief periods – first, in San Francisco and later, in Berkeley – until they found their home in El Cerrito where they lived for 42 years. Fred worked 30 years for Simmons before his retirement. He and Mary moved to Lincoln, California where they enjoyed their last 17 years together. Fred enjoyed horse races, playing at the casinos and mahjong, and working in their beautiful garden. He also loved learning to cook and grocery shopping as some of his favorite activities. Fred and Mary were happily married for 70 years. Preceeding Fred’s passing were brothers, Sam and Tokio. He leaves behind his dear wife, Mary, his siblings, Asano, Aiko, Masako, Haruo (Grace), Hana (Mas), Sasako (Harry), Mitsuko (Cal), and many nieces and nephews. Fred was a private person. There will be a private family burial. Donations may be made in his name to your favorite charity or to JASEB.


Reverend Shodo Toyoji “Jimmy” Yanagihara, 85, Buddhist Churches of America Minister Emeritus, passed away on Sept. 19, in Fresno, California.

Born and raised in San Diego, Rev. Yanagihara was initially interned in the Santa Anita Race Track Assembly Center and later imprisoned in the Poston Concentration Camp during World War II along with all other West Coast Japanese Americans.

During the Korean War, Yanagihara served in the United States Army as a medic. He returned to civilian life and spent his early career as an x-ray technician before deciding to enter the Buddhist ministry. After marrying, he and his wife Patsy immediately moved to Kyoto, Japan where he studied and graduated from Ryukoku University and then returned to the USA to serve for nearly 30 years as a Buddhist minister at the Gardena, Watsonville, San Jose, and San Luis Obispo Buddhist temples.

Rev. Yanagihara enjoyed his final years at the Vintage Gardens Assisted Living Community in Fresno.  Rev. Yanagihara is survived by son Dale Michio (Boku) Yanagihara of Fresno and many relatives. Pre-deceased by his wife, the late Patsy Harue and his siblings, brother Tom and sister Mari Tanizaki of San Diego.

The Buddhist Churches of America-sponsored Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, Nov. 12 at the Gardena Buddhist Church, 1517 West 166th Street, Gardena, beginning at 3 p.m.