August 14, 1931 – October 4, 2020
Kogo Yamaguchi, a man who bridged cultures and eras, died peacefully on Sunday, October 4, 2020 in Corning, New York following a brief pneumonia at the age of 89.
The youngest of five children, Kogo was born in Tokyo in 1931 to Kenkichi and Teruko Yamaguchi. He attended Keio University where he majored in political science. His professional career began in freight shipping at Mitsubishi Kaiun Company and States Marine Lines, both in Tokyo and New York. His lasting legacy was his 27 years as an executive at Corning Inc., which included leading the company’s business in Japan. More recently, he was a founding board member of the Corning-Kakegawa Sister City program and a board member of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes.
Kogo was a loving and devoted father and husband who thoroughly dedicated his life to the happiness and well-being of his family. A skilled raconteur, he enjoyed regaling friends and family with stories and re-enacting famous scenes from the Kabuki theater with impressive dramatic flair. He loved to talk about his uncle Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi’s honorable defeat at the Battle of Midway and his family’s escape during the firebombing of Tokyo in March 1945. Every day he fed his curiosity about history by devouring the newspaper cover to cover. And he was the founding Secretary of the Sports Car Club of Japan and loved to drive fast.
A friend in the car club set him up on a date with his future wife Michiko. He knew immediately she was the one and they celebrated 60 years of marriage together last year. In 1959, they moved to New York City and made their first home in Rego Park Queens for what was supposed to have been a short stay. He became a U.S. citizen in 1972. He deeply enjoyed traveling the world and taking his family on trips he had meticulously planned.
Kogo is survived by his loving wife, Michiko (née Nagai) and his four children Michitaka (Len Garcia-Duran), Hanako (Athanasios Dousmanis), Jiro (Lorri Espinosa), and Sachiko (Richard Morocco); his sister Hideko Tsukamoto; and five grandchildren Jason, Kaia, Etsuko, Jack, and Madison.
The family will not be having a public service. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes.
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