JAVA Blog 

TAPS: Kiyo Jean Kariya

01 Feb 2021 2:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Bethesda, MD.  Kiyo Jean Kariya passed away on December 29, 2020 at the Wilson Health Care Center, Asbury Methodist Village, Gaithersburg, MD.  She was 95. 

A member of the Japanese American Veterans Association’s Speakers Bureau with the late Dr. Norman Ikari, Mrs. Kariya spoke of her life in the internment camp during WW II at K-12 classes in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC and at government and community organizations.  

Along with her family, she as confined in the Topaz Internment Camp in Utah, located about 150 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, from 1942-45.  Subsequently, the family moved to the Crystal City Family Internment Center, located in Crystal City, TX, about 100 miles southwest of San Antonio.  

After the war, Mrs. Kariya’s family moved to Japan, where she worked for the US Occupation and subsequently for the International Business Machines (IBM) in Tokyo.  

Mrs. Kariya then moved to New York City where she married Shigeyoshi Kariya, co-founder of Mikasa, a large tableware company.  Following retirement in 1991, the family moved to Bethesda, MD, where Shigeyoshi passed away in 1999.  She is survived by three sons: Steven of Potomac, MD (wife Suzanne Rogacz); Scott of New York City (husband Robert Gramzay), and Kent of Kensington, MD (wife Julia).

Mrs. Kariya excelled in Ikebana and traditional Japanese doll making, taught Japanese at Great Falls Elementary School, VA, served as a docent for the Freer and Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC, and shared her knowledge and skills with numerous other community and government organizations. 

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