Hizeko Yoshimura passed on January 23, 2023 at age 102.
Born and raised in Colusa along with 5 other siblings, she attended local schools including language lessons at the Japanese Community Schoolhouse. After high school, her father sent her to study Japanese cultural arts and live in Hiroshima with her maternal grandmother. But when war seemed imminent, her father beckoned her home, and she returned to California on the second to the last boat departing Japan — the last boat left 10 minutes later. Shortly thereafter, the US entered WWII and her family was uprooted to the Amache Relocation Center in Colorado. More than 120,000 individuals of Japanese descent, a majority US citizens, were unjustly forced into wartime imprisonment then faced the difficult task of rebuilding their lives in post-war America.
Her family returned to Colusa after the war. In 1946, she married Akiji Yoshimura upon his return from serving as an Army military intelligence linguist in the China/Burma/India theatre of operation. Together, they operated Vogue Cleaners until they retired in 1987. A week after retirement, Aki died on a trip across the country.
Hizi remained a lifelong resident of Colusa and an enthusiastic volunteer. She was active in the Trinity Methodist Church and tutored for the Library Literacy program.
She is survived by daughter Lani Yoshimura, siblings Earsei Hinoki and May Mineta and many nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death were her husband Akiji Yoshimura, parents Frank and Miyako Hinoki, and siblings Emi Shimizu, Koe Hinoki and George Hinoki. She will be missed by her friends and neighbors.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, March 18, 10am at the Colusa Trinity Methodist Church. Burial and a reception will follow,
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: Colusa County Library or your favorite charity. ■
PUBLISHED 03/09/2023 • COLUSA COUNTY PIONEER REVIEW #2023-0161