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P.O. Box 122842San Diego CA 92112-2842
+1 760 444 4164
Mrs. Bishop joined the SDYSC and became board president in 2002. Through her steady leadership, the SDYSCS enjoyed growing impact and stability as an organization and community presence. She was especially skilled with connecting with civic leaders at all levels and securing funds from numerous individual and institutional donors, which secured the long-term viability and growing influence of the SDYSCS. Through her language and cultural connections with both Japan and the U.S., she facilitated multiple cultural and educational exchanges. In 2011, she helped donate $10,000 to Yokohama to pass on to victims of the Tohoku earthquake victims. That same year, she oversaw the SDYSCS scholarship that sent two Yokohama students from Kanazawa High School and two San Diegan students from High Tech High School on a mutual homestay exchange. In 2012, Mrs. Bishop helped arrange the planting of 100 cherry blossom trees from the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles and “Girl With Red Shoes” statue in the scenic Friendship Bell venue on Shelter Island. This event was in commemoration of the centennial of U.S.-Japan friendship and the cherry blossoms donated to Washington D.C. in 1912. Mrs. Bishop retired from her duties as SDYSCS President in 2013. She is survived by her Husband Harry, her daughter Lisa and son Gregory, both of Los Angeles, and her sister Ayako Kito, of Nagoya.
The Society is eternally grateful for Mrs. Bishop’s tireless service to the community. Her memory lives vibrantly in the numerous artworks that adorn Yokohama and San Diego’s public spaces and the people who were personally impacted from the various exchanges over the six decades of San Diego-Yokohama friendship. Another lasting legacy of Mrs. Bishop along with the first board members of the Japanese Friendship Garden, is the community-supported garden that has become a cultural center that it’s visionaries always desired it to be. Mrs. Bishop will be deeply missed, but we will strive to uphold and emulate her commitment to friendship between common citizens and building a better society.
Kaneko Oshima Bishop was born on March 7, 1930 in Nagoya Japan to Mr and Mrs. Yoshimi Oshima, and passed away of natural causes at her family home in San Diego, California on January 8, 2022, aged 91 years.
Her father was an official in the Japanese government, and the family had a good life until WWII, when they eventually moved to the country to escape bombing raids, which Mrs. Bishop witnessed firsthand.
She worked in as an administrator and translator at the U.S. Air Force base in Nagoya where she met her husband Harry in 1955, while he was stationed there during the Korean War. They were married in 1956.
In 1958, they moved to the United States and settled in Topeka, Kansas, which was Harry's next duty station. After his retirement from the Air Force, they moved to Southern California, where Harry had a job at Aerojet Corporation.
In 1970, Mrs. Bishop began studies in Japanese Tea Ceremony, and eventually earned her teaching certificate. She taught this art at her home for over 20 years.
In the 1980s, Mrs. Bishop led efforts to finance and build the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego, which has become a cultural landmark. A few years later, she became president of the San Diego/ Yokohama Sister City Society, which she chaired for many years.
As a result of these civic efforts, in 2015 Mrs. Bishop was awarded the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun with Silver Rays, presented to her by Emperor Akihito in a ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
She is survived by her Husband Harry, her daughter Lisa and son Gregory, both of Los Angeles, and her sister Ayako Kito, of Nagoya.
A private service will be held next month at the Fukui Mortuary in Los Angeles, with internment at the Los Angeles National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to one of the following organizations in the name of Kaneko Bishop
Omotesenke Domonkai of Southern Californiac/o Sachiko Okazoe6792 Gas Light DriveHuntington Beach, CA 92647