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Sam Shigeru Miyamoto

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Sam Shigeru Miyamoto Obituary
Sam Shigeru Miyamoto (89) passed away peacefully on March 7, 2017. He was born in the city of Brawley in the Imperial Valley, California, and grew up in a loving family with his parents and 5 siblings. During World War II, his family was forced to abandon their home, pack all of their valuables into one suitcase, and move to Poston, Arizona, where they lived in a Japanese-American internment camp. About a year later, they became part of the Gripsholm Exchange in which Japanese-American civilian hostages were shipped across the US by train, sailed across the Atlantic to India, and landed in Japan in exchange for US prisoners of war. Documents that he uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act showed that his family was sent to Japan against their will. As US citizens, Sam and his family struggled to fit into a foreign country, one they understood to be the country of their ancestors, but had never been to themselves as second-generation Americans. While in Japan, Sam and his brother had to leave the family to pursue an education. As American citizens, they were denied access to public education and services in Japan and Sam ended up graduating from Tamagawa Gakuen. After the war ended, he returned to California, attended UCLA, then graduated from USC's School of Business in International Trade. Sam served in the US Army during the Korean War in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). With his unique background through which he became fluent in both Japanese and English, Sam was selected for an intensive Korean-language program through the MIS. After the Korean War ended, Sam worked for Mitsubishi International for over 30 years and managed Mitsubishi's trade of aircraft, ships, and heavy equipment. In 1960, Sam married his loving wife, Jean, with whom he shared a philanthropic passion. Throughout their retirement, they actively served the Little Tokyo Nutrition Center (Koreisha Chusoku Kai) a nutritional and social service center for Seniors, and their Meals on Wheels program through which he delivered meals Monday through Friday to the elderly and homebound. He is survived by his wife Jean, son Dr. Steven (Angela) Miyamoto, daughters Dr. Sharon (Steven) Miyamoto-Oda, and Julie (Denny) Sunabe; grandchildren Rachel Oda, and Elizabeth and William Miyamoto; brother Archie (Kay) Miyamoto; sisters Terry Hashimoto, Yooko Honda, Lillian Fujii, and many nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his brother, Frank (June) Miyamoto. A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, April 8, at 10:30 am, at Centenary United Methodist Church, Los Angeles. To carry on Sam's spirit for service, in lieu of flowers, visit an elderly and/or homebound person to show them you care. Sam will always be an inspiration to the many whose lives he touched with his kind heart and sharp intellect. We love you Dad! You will be missed! www.fukuimortuary.com (213) 626-0441
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. 26, 2017
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