Haruo Makimoto was born on March 27, 1940 in Hiroshima, Japan and passed away peacefully at home on February 12, 2020 in Sacramento, CA at the age of 79 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Haruo was a survivor of the atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima. Haruo leaves his loving wife of 32 years, Joyce, along with his children Gordon (Lucy), Diane Samia (Gilbert), Jeremy Lim (Monica) and Tracy (Maria) and grandchildren Alexander, Sebastian, Sophia, Devon and Nancy. Haruo also leaves behind his brothers Takayuki, Akihiro and many nieces and nephews in Hiroshima, Japan. Haruo is preceded in death by his parents Ukuichi and Kuni Makimoto and his siblings Takeshi, Fudeko, Chikara, Mitsuko, Kiyoshi, and Yoshiko. Haruo came to the United States in 1957 and settled in Loomis, California. Haruo was a Judo instructor for more than 50 years in the Sacramento area. Haruo is an 8th degree black belt and an International Judo Federation (IJF) B Referee. In 2019, Haruo was inducted into the United States Judo Federation Hall of Fame. When he came to the United States, Haruo was a first degree brown belt. In 1959, he started a Judo club for the Auburn Parks & Recreation, and in 1962 he began teaching Judo at Aerojet in Sacramento. In 1965, Haruo went to the Sacramento Judo Club to train under Ben Campbell, who was team captain for the first U.S Olympic Judo team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. In 1971, Campbell Sensei moved to Colorado and passed the title of head instructor of the Sacramento Judo Club to Haruo. Makimoto Sensei served as the head instructor at the Sacramento Judo Club for 21 years until his departure in 1992. Three months later, he opened the Okubo Judo Club. Over the years, the Okubo Judo Club formed affiliations with the Sacramento Asian Peace Officers Association and the Boy's and Girl's Club of Greater Sacramento. Haruo continued teaching on the mat until September 2019. Haruo also taught a Judo class at Sacramento High School's Visual and Performing Arts Center. He taught high school Judo from 1999 until the school closed in 2003. Haruo worked at Keyes Fibre Company for 28 years and Riverview Ranch Apartments for 8 years until he retired. Haruo enjoyed golfing, fishing in the ocean and fresh water, diving for abalone, hunting, bowling and he loved cooking for his family and friends. A Memorial Service is scheduled for 1:00pm on March 20, 2020 at Sacramento Japanese United Methodist Church, 6929 Franklin Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95823.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Mar. 11, 2020.