Tsutakawa – an author, journalist, and activist – to present to Omoide on May 9th


Mayumi Tsutakawa, daughter of internationally famous artist and sculptor, George Tsutakawa,  is the featured speaker for the May 9 Japanese Cultural and Community Center (JCCCW) monthly “Omoide” program.  Ms. Tsutakawa is an educator, journalist, author and activist from the prominent and talented Seattle family.

“We are extremely pleased to have Ms. Tsutakawa give an insight to her famous father, multi-talented brothers and her own record of leadership in the arts, women’s and civil rights,” said Dee Goto, “Omoide (memories)” program director. A sansei (third generation Nikkei), she was born and raised in Seattle, attended Franklin high school and holds a masters degree from the University of Washington.

Her father was a kibei- American born and educated in Japan. He returned when he was 16 and attended Broadway high school. He began his career in the arts while attending UW, specializing in oil and sumi painting. He received his Master of Fine Arts from UW. He taught Art and Architecture, retiring after 34 years.

Soon after the onset of World War 2, Mr. Tsutakawa was drafted in the US Army. He served as a Japanese language instructor in Military Intelligence Service in Minnesota. While visiting friends and relatives at Tule Lake Incarceration Center, he met his future wife, Ayame. They married in 1947.

Their children are: Gerard, 1947, apprenticed with his father and is an accomplished sculptor; Mayumi, 1949, currently with the Washington State Arts Commission and Wing Luke Museum; Deems, 1951, noted NW Jazz pianist; and Marcus, 1954, music director of Garfield high school’s renowned orchestra.

George Tsutakawa is best known for his avant-guarde bronze, stainless steel and aluminum fountains. He designed, built and installed 75 fountains in the U.S., Canada and Japan.

Locally, best known are his sculptures at the downtown Seattle Public Library and the WW2 Memorial for the incarcerated Japanese- Americans at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup (“Camp Harmony”). He died December, 1997, at 87.

Ms. Tsutakawa will speak from 1 pm to 2 pm at the Omoide program at the JCCCW Building #1, 14l4 South Weller street. The public is invited. The event is free.

From 2- 3pm, the Omoide “Writers Read” workshop will be held. The public is invited to participate in this monthly writing class. The program is an effort to encourage and assist Nikkei to write their unique family histories for future generations.

Additional information can be available by contacting: www.JCCCW.org by calling 206-568-7114