The Chairman of the Japan Research Center of Greater Cincinnati, Dr. Kinji Tanaka, 92, of Cincinnati, Ohio, passed peacefully on Saturday, September 5, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Reiko and children, grandchildren and family (see link below).
Prior to his founding of the Center in 1981, he was a founding member and first principal of the Japanese Language School of Greater Cincinnati in 1975, and also a Special Consultant to the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce in matters related to Japan. As president of the Center, he promoted strong relations and connections between Japan and the United States and especially in the Greater Cincinnati region. This included consultancies with businesses and program offerings and activities with area organizations and universities.
Under Dr. Tanaka's leadership, the Center's focus has been on improving cultural understanding of diversity and in particular, through examples of individuals' achievements towards this goal in the region. A notable contribution was the establishment of the Lafcadio Hearn Society/USA, with the help of colleagues to promote the study of the 19th century Cincinnati journalist and author in Japan at the turn of the century who bridged literature and culture. Additional Greater Cincinnati notables highlighted by the Center under his leadership included Etsu Sugimoto (author of the "A Daughter of the Samurai"), Edwin Dun (known as the father of the dairy industry in Hokkaido), and Kitaro Shirayamadani (one of the first Japanese immigrants and accomplished artists of Rookwood Pottery).
Because of Dr. Tanaka's many achievements, he was awarded the Certificate of Commendation of the Consul General of Japan, in 2002; Japan's Foreign Minister's Commendation, in 2011; and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, bestowed by the Emperor of Japan in 2015.
The Honorable Consul General Tsutomu Nakagawa, of the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit, conveyed his "deepest condolences to the family, and to the Center and it's membership." He asked to convey his respects, and to share that Dr. Tanaka's advice and counsel were and continue to be greatly valued.
Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto
Thank you to
The Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati
and its sponsors
Hearn Commemorative Plaque
Why a permanent
commemoration of Hearn
There is no permanent
commemoration of Lafcadio Hearn in
the Cincinnati region. A memorial
plaque would be both a tourist
attraction and an education tool for
people to learn of Hearn and his
work in the fields of journalism and
literature. The plaque will
highlight the global nature of Hearn
and his interests in other cultures,
supporting diversity and improved
cultural understanding. It will
also commemorate Hearnís time here
in Cincinnati where he got his
start, and his career
accomplishments. It could also
serve as a starting point for a
walking tour of the Hearn sites in
We are launching a fund drive for
the Lafcadio Hearn Cincinnati
Memorial Plaque. All donations will
be tax deductible and applied to the
development of the plaque and the
installation. The project will not
start until all funds have been
received to complete design,
construction and installation. If,
for any unforeseen reason, this
project gets cancelled, all proceeds
will be refunded.
We are also accepting
pledges. Donations and pledges can
be reported in grant proposals and
helps secure funding. We will be
seeking grants and will be
submitting proposals to area
foundations and corporations. If
you are employed or retired from a
company, please check with your HR
office to determine if the company
matches donations and if so, secure
a matching form from their offices
and send it with your donation.
Many companies do so, to meet their
community service goals.
information on how to pledge or
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organization...and we welcome your tax