Philip was born in a banana patch in Kahalu'u, O'ahu on June 28, 1925 as an Okinawan Nisei. He spent his early life in Maunaloa, Molokai before moving to a family farm near Wai'alae-Wailupe.
As an avid reader and life-long student, Philip earned a Bachelor's and Master's of Education from the University of Hawai'i and a Doctor of Philosophy in English and Education from Columbia University in New York.
Finding a passion for education, Philip spent 28 years in the Hawai'i State Department of Education. He taught at many high schools and colleges and especially enjoyed teaching special-ed classes at Dole Intermediate. Thereafter, he became Provost of Kauai Community College, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, and Provost of Leeward Community College. After retiring, he spent 12 years as a Visiting Professor of English at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts & Music (Tokyo Geidai) and fulfilled his dream of studying Japanese language and culture.
Besides education, Philip also had a passion for writing and literature. He was one of the first Hawai'i writers to use pidgin English and is regarded as a pioneer in Asian American literature.
As a mentor, father, and grandfather he taught us the importance of having a dream that fills you with hope and purpose, broadening your perspectives through education and travel, and respecting your heritage and all cultures.
Philip is survived by his wife Janet, three daughters - Paulyne Kawamura, Joy (Lennie) Ige-Akau, Arleene Ige, sister Sachiko Kaneshiro, brother Masao Ige, five grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Due to the pandemic, no services will be held.
Arrangements Provided By: Hosoi Garden Mortuary