June 5, 1928 – March 5, 2018
Sakiko Monuki passed away at the age of 89 on March 5, 2018. Sakiko was born in Shanghai in 1928, the fourth daughter and fifth child of Masa and Yakichi Shimosato. Her parents, originally from Japan, were living in China at the time. She moved to Japan at the age of 12 to attend middle school in Kobe with her 3 sisters. She was 17 years old at the end of World War II and left Japan to return to Shanghai. Her boat came under fire during the journey but she arrived safely to her waiting family. Sakiko worked in Shanghai for the Japanese Embassy until the war ended and they were ordered to leave Shanghai. She moved back to Himeji in Japan and attended Kobe College, earning her bachelor’s degree.
She moved to Tokyo where her sister was living after graduation and took a job at Sumitomo Trading company. She met Albert “Al” Toshiharu Monuki in Tokyo and they married in 1956. Sakiko and Al moved to the United States and she worked at the American Insurance company and Blue Cross while he attended school at the University of California, Berkeley for his Masters degree. Sakiko and Al had two children, Edwin and Louise, and Sakiko worked as a homemaker. She became active in Japanese tea ceremony with the Urasenke school and achieved the level of Kyoju (professor). She taught numerous students and held true to the spirit of tea, that with every bowl of tea you give your heart. She had a large circle of friends, and was always known for her kind and generous spirit.
Sakiko is survived by her children, Edwin and Louise, grandchildren Chrystopher, Madeleine, Keira, Bennett, Brandon and Lauren, her brothers, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and sisters and brother and her husband Al. Services will be held at Green Hills Memorial Park at 9:00 am on March 24, 2018. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of California Irvine.