KAZUKO SINOTO

Posted On August 23rd, 2013 -

KAZUKO SINOTO Mrs. Kazuko Sinoto was born in Japan to parents Shigeomi and Kinuko Sato. She came to Hawai`i in 1957, gained permanent residency in 1966, and became a US citizen in 1982, upon the passing of her father, to sponsor her mother to live in Hawai`i. On Monday, August 5, 2013, following roughly two-months of illness, she passed away surrounded by her loving family at home. She was 85-years old. She is survived by her husband of 64-years, Yosihiko Sinoto; son, Akihiko (Lucindy); and three grandsons, Luke Kaneko, Laurent (Brandy), and Leigh. Kazuko came to Hawai`i in 1957 with her son to join her husband. She was a housewife for about 5 years after which she began to work at the Bishop Museum bookstore and gift shop. She continued at the shop until 1976 when the Hawai`i Immigrant Heritage Preservation Center was established at the Museum and she became one of its staff members. Her interest turned to researching the heritage of Japanese immigrants to Hawai`i. From that time, she embarked on a 37-year occupation of collecting, cataloging, and curating various objects acquired from the general public. At the Center, she coordinated the mounting of several exhibits dealing not only with Japanese, but also other ethnic immigrants to Hawaii. In 1985, to coincide with the centennial anniversary of the first arrival of Japanese contract immigrants to Hawai`i, a pictorial history book was published by Bishop Museum. This book, co-authored by Dr. Franklin Odo and Kazuko Sinoto, resulted from her 8-years of research reviewing historic Japanese language newspapers. She researched and compiled the photographs, other illustrations, and prepared the captions. Kazuko also translated the Japanese language edition of the publication. A travelling exhibit was prepared and presented in the home prefectures of the Japanese immigrants and Kazuko accompanied the exhibit. Following her tenure at the Museum, she became an independent consultant and continued her work on Japanese immigrant history in Hawai`i. She also lectured on the subject of immigrant history to various groups in the community and to visitors. She was also a founding member of the Joseph Heco Society of Hawai`i. Recently, her efforts had been focused towards the completion of a digital catalogue of the Bishop Museum Hawai`i Japanese Immigrant Collection comprising more than 13,000 items including objects, documents, books, and photographs. She was also working towards an illustrated and annotated catalogue of selected items for publication. Her work in compiling the heritage of Japanese Immigrants to Hawai`i has received recognition both in Hawai`i and Japan. Her family fondly remembers her love of plants and flowers that she cultivated and cared for tirelessly in her garden at home. She was also an accomplished cook who would prepare the Osechi ryori or New Years feast for her family every year. A private service will be held. The Bishop Museum has established a “Hawai`i Immigrant Heritage Preservation Fund” in honor of Kazuko Sinoto. Should you wish to provide a donation, please address it to the Bishop Museum specifying this fund. The funds received will aid in the continuation of immigrant-related research and educational programs. The Sinoto family wishes to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who provided support and encouragement through many kind words and deeds during this difficult time.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran