JAPAN TO HONOR WOMAN FOR PROMOTING U.S. TIES
By Peter Rowe –
SAN DIEGO — Del Cerro resident Kaneko Bishop’s efforts to introduce Americans to Japanese culture have made her a well-known figure in San Diego.
And in Tokyo.
During ceremonies in the Japanese capital this month, Bishop will receive one of the government of Japan’s most prestigious decorations: The Order of the Rising Sun, with Gold and Silver Rays. She was cited for contributing “to the promotion of regional relationship between Japan and the United States.”
Kaneko Oshima Bishop, 83, was born in Nagoya, Japan. Since moving to San Diego in 1972 with her husband, H. Kenneth Bishop, she has been prominent in the Japanese-American community. A master of the Japanese tea ceremony and ikebana, the art of flower arranging, she is president of the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society. Co-founder of Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden, she has served on the San Diego Human Relations Commission, the San Diego International Affairs Board and the Mingei International Museum’s board of trustees.
While she’s demure and soft-spoken, Bishop is known for her ability to get things done. After an earthquake and tsunami devastated northeast Japan, she led a fundraising campaign that netted $10,000 for relief efforts.
But citizen diplomacy, as Bishop practices it, is a two-way street. When San Diego County was ravaged by wildfires in 2003, residents of Yokohama sent a $17,000 donation.
“The citizens there know San Diego,” Bishop said in a 2006 interview, “and take a special pride in San Diego being a sister city.”
Established in 1875, the Order of the Rising Sun is the Japanese government’s oldest decoration. Bishop’s conferment ceremony will take place May 15.
Peter Rowe • U-T Original article Below