Japan Research Center of Greater Cincinnati



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.    

For the more comprehensive obituary, list of surviving family members and those who preceeded him, and family wishes and means to  share your sentiments, please refer to Obituary for Dr. Kinji Tanaka at Strawser Funeral Home 





Japan Research Center of Greater Cincinnati