On Nov. 3, Japanese government announced 96 foreign recipients of the Fall 2016 Decoration in Tokyo. The Japanese Decoration or Kunsho in Japanese is designed to recognize their efforts of the people who contribute to Japan. The recipients of the Decoration are announced twice a year in Spring and Fall.
Among the recipients of the Fall 2016 Decoration, Kay Kayoko Inose, 75-year-old, of Rancho Palos Verdes, is selected from Southern California, and she will be received the Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays.
Inose is a longtime active member and the driving force of several Japanese American organizations including the Japanese Women’s Society of Southern California, the Japanese American National Museum, and the Omote Senke (school of tea) Domonkai Southern California Chapter.
The Japanese Women’s Society originated over a century ago when a small group of Japanese women met at a hotel in Little Tokyo. The Society has supported various Japanese American organizations through the JWSSC active fundraising efforts. In the inception of the Japanese American National Museum in early 1990s, Inose created the first Policy and Procedures Manuel for the museum and was also involved with the processes for hiring the museum’s first executive director. For the 30th anniversary of the incorporation of Omotesenke Domonkai in Kyoto (Omotesenke Domonkai was formed in 1942), in 2006 Inose led a 32-member delegation of Southern California Chapter members to Kyoto for the celebration.
Japanese government gave her activities merits because she has contributed to the friendship between Japan and the U.S. and promotion of the Japanese American community’s welfare and status, and bonds within the community.
Inose is a third generation Japanese American born in Long Beach in 1941, raised in the South Bay region of Los Angeles. She has been married to Kenichi “Ken” Inose for 55 years. Mr. and Mrs. Inose ran a wholesale nursery business in the South Bay area until 1986 when they sold the property and retired from the business.
Inose became increasingly involved in Japanese American organizations after retiring from her family business, and attributed her active social and cultural life to the legacy of the Inose family.
Ken Inose’s grandfather on his mother’s side was Seijiro Shibuya, a USC graduate in 1906, was one of the three founders of the Rafu Shimpo bilingual newspaper in Los Angeles more than 100 years ago. On his father’s side, Ken’s other grandfather was the founding president of the first Japanese Hospital in Los Angeles in 1918.
Yoshiko Inose, Kay’s mother in law, was also an active member of the Japanese Women’s Society of Southern California, and Omote Senke Domonkai. Yoshiko Inose passed away at the age of 104 in 2013.
Currently Inose holds tea ceremony lessons twice a week at the Gardena Buddhist Church in Gardena and also in her tea room at home.