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THE PRCC AND NBHRN EXTENDS ITS DEEPEST SYMPATHIES TO THE IKUTA- WATSON FAMILY ON THE PASSING OF MUTSUKO IKUTA

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Mutsuko Ikuta, 97, was the Aunt of Rev. Nozomi Ikuta, is a stalwart ally of the NBHRN and PRCC, died December 8, 2022. She was a Nisei born in Fresno, California to the late Torakichi and Ume (Negishi) Ikuta who emigrated from Japan in 1899 and 1906, respectively, the latter just days before the great San Francisco earthquake. She was the youngest of eight children, the only one whose name was not changed by their teachers. The course of her life was forever altered by World War II. At age 17, after graduating in a special ceremony for the Japanese students, she rushed to the train to join her family as they were forcibly evacuated from their home in Reedley, CA and sent to a concentration camp in Poston, AZ while her brothers served in the US Army. On July 4, 1943, along with her parents and two sisters, she resettled in Cleveland, where she and her parents worked as domestic servants for Dr. James Gardner, considered the “grandfather of neurosurgery in Ohio.”

This relocation, managed by the War Relocation Authority, was part of President Roosevelt’s policy goal of dispersing and assimilating the Japanese into the dominant culture. She graduated from Case Western, where she majored in business. She dedicated her professional life to managing the office for the Russell V. Faulks company. Like her sister and many other Nisei of her era who remained in the Midwestern diaspora, she never married or had children, but she doted on her numerous nieces and nephews. She traveled extensively with her sister Teruko and helped care for her grand-niece and nephew, Peter and Hannah, after her retirement. Friends and family are invited to gather on Sunday, December 18, at 5:00 pm at The Emperor’s Palace, 2136 Rockwell Ave, in Cleveland. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Hālau Kū Māna New Century Public Charter School, 2101 Makiki Heights Drive, HonoluluHawa`i 96822. (See https://www.halaukumana.org for more information)

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