Wednesday 17th January 2018,

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LA Times: Japanese American Entrepreneur & Philanthropist Dead at 95

posted by Randall


George ArataniGeorge Aratani who founded Mikasa China & Kenwood electronics firm and donated millions to Japanese American charities died in Santa Monica at 95, reports the Los Angeles Times.

In 2004 he gave $500,000 to UCLA to establish the the first endowed chair to study the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. He and his wife were both imprisoned in separate camps in Arizona and married in 1944. During his incarceration, Aratani ended up losing most of the agricultural company he had launched  earlier.

“Japanese Americans suffered terribly with the forced evacuation, and a guy like me, fortunate enough to have succeeded in business, should help keep the memories alive,” Aratani said in the 2004 interview.

In 2001 An American Son, a biography on his life by Naomi Hirahara, was published.

Aratani also donated millions to Japanese American educational and cultural causes. The full story of his wonderful life can be found in the Los Angeles Times.

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