2014 / Little Tokyo activist Nancy Kikuchi, 52, passed away

Nancy Kikuchi (Little Tokyo Service Center)

Nancy Kikuchi (Little Tokyo Service Center)

Nancy Kikuchi, active supporter of many organizations in the Japanese American community, passed away on Sept. 10, 2014. She was 52.

Kikuchi was involved with Koban (Little Tokyo Public Safety Association), the Tofu Festival, Nisei Week, the Japanese Restaurant Association, Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, the Japan America Society, and Habitat for Humanity.

Kikuchi served on the boards of the Little Tokyo Public Safety Association, Ehime Kenjinkai of Southern California, the LA Beat dance troupe, Nisei Week Foundation, JCCSC and TaikoProject.

Kikuchi was honored in June 2014 by the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center with its Community Spirit award. She worked at JACCC as director of facilities in 2007 and obtained a matching grant to help renovate the maple bridge in the James Irvine Japanese Garden.

In 2012, Kikuchi was honored as a Woman of the Year by the Downtown L.A. Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and the Japanese Women’s Society of Southern California.

In 1989, Kikuchi co-founded the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Alumni Association of Southern California, which is now the largest and most active JETAA in the world. She lived in Kanagawa and taught English for four years.

Born July 15, 1962, Kikuchi earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA in 1984 and a Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1994.

A funeral service was held on Sept. 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm at Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple, 505 East Third Street in Little Tokyo.