Toshiko Yoshikawa

Region: Toronto Ontario
Nisei | Born 1920, Mission British Columbia
Died 2006


“Toshiko Yoshikawa (maiden name Kodama) was born in 1920 on the family owned strawberry farm in Mission B.C. She departed for Hiroshima Japan with her father just prior to the start of the Pacific war. Yoshikawa’s love of ikebana (flower arrangement) started while living in Japan when she asked her husband for permission to take weekly lessons as a hobby, not knowing at the time that ikebana would play a major role later in her life. After losing her husband and a daughter to the after-effects of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Yoshikawa decided to return to Canada with her son in 1961. While working full-time in Toronto, Yoshikawa was requested to teach the Ohara style of Ikebana at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, the Toronto Buddhist Church and the Toronto Board of Education. She was the first to introduce the Ohara style in Canada in Toronto. In 1974, she was asked by the Headmaster Houn Ohara to establish the Ohara Chapter of Toronto where she was president for 32 years. To keep up with current Ohara styles, Yoshikawa attended annual private workshops at the Ohara Chapter in New York, and frequently attended workshops in Tokyo as well. She received her Grandmaster’s Degree from the Ohara Headquarters in Tokyo. Yoshikawa’s ikebana displays and demonstrations were unique in their the combination of her love for flowers and her concerns for World peace after her experience of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.”