January 15, 1930 – October 4, 2021
Mrs. Kikuko T. Imamura of Washington, DC passed away peacefully at home on Monday, October 4, 2021. Mrs. Imamura was born on January 15, 1930 in Kyoto, Japan and throughout her life celebrated February 1 as the date of her birth. birth certificate. . At the age of 20, Ms. Imamura was one of the first women of Japanese descent to obtain government permission to leave her homeland for North America after World War II. After graduating from Kyoto Women’s College in 1950, Ms. Imamura traveled to Winnipeg, Canada, to study and then graduated in 1954 from Canadian Mennonite University with a Bachelor of Religious Education. Ms. Imamura returned to Kyoto, Japan, married her husband for 40 years, then emigrated to the United States in 1960 to settle in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1961, she graduated from the School of Medical Record Library Science, Wake Forest University School. of Medicine and was Director of Medical Records for seven years.
Ms. Imamura has dedicated her life to the pursuit of education for herself, her family, friends and acquaintances. She never stopped learning throughout her 91 years. After raising her two sons, she returned to class at Cornell University to study the Japanese language for non-Japanese people. She has published two educational books; “How to Live in America Wisely” for Japanese business travelers; and “English for Medical Students” based on his experience at the Medical Record School. Ms Imamura helped her husband to establish successful exchange programs between Keio University Medical School and Bowman Gray Medical School and later between Tokai University and Wake Forest University. She was appointed by Governor James B. Hunt as a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Center for World Languages & Culture and also as an advisory board of the Friendship Force of North Carolina. After the death of her husband in 1997, she returned to the classroom again as a guest lecturer in Japanese culture and language at the Babcock Graduate School of Management and also as deputy director of the Wake Forest University Center for International Studies. She officially retired in 2006, though she has never stopped helping others understand the similarities between her homeland and her adopted country. Ms. Imamura became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1971.
Ms. Imamura was a passionate instructor and board member of Ikebana International, The Art of Japanese Flower Arrangement. She loved nature and truly appreciated its many wonders. Collecting seashells on North Carolina beaches with her son and drying colorful fall leaves were two of her favorite pastimes. She served on the National Cherry Blossom Festival committees and traveled regularly to Washington, DC in the spring to walk under the cherry trees along the Tidal Basin. She was very proud to travel to Japan with her son’s family and to introduce her two granddaughters to the many beautiful customs of her native country.
Ms. Imamura was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Hideki S. Imamura, 67, and her eldest son, Reginald H. Imamura, 50. She is survived by her younger sister, Senko Tsuda of Kyoto, Japan; son Anthony J. Imamura and son-in-law G. Bryan Slater of Washington, DC; daughter-in-law Lisa S. Imamura of Larchmont, NY; granddaughters Natalie S. Imamura of New Rochelle, NY and Sophie M. Imamura of Brooklyn, NY, and extended family in Japan. The family wish to express their sincere gratitude to the Knollwood military retiree community. Their kindness, professionalism and respect for Ms. Imamura brought her a lot of comfort and joy during her golden years.
A memorial will be held on Saturday May 7, 2022 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Details to follow in the spring. Inquiries may be directed to Salem Funeral Home at 120 South Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC. Condolences can be made online at www.salemfh.com.
Salem Funeral and Cremation Service
120 S. Main St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Published by Winston-Salem Journal on October 10, 2021.