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Remembering Masayuki Kishimoto

March 22, 2023

Seacology is saddened to report the passing of Mr. Masayuki Kishimoto, a longtime member of the Seacology Board. 

Masayuki Kishimoto

Mr. Kishimoto’s pioneering spirit in conservation was manifest in many Seacology projects in Samoa, Fiji, Japan, and other islands of the Pacific and Southeast Asia. He played a key role in the establishment of our affiliate, Seacology Japan, with offices in Tokyo.

Kishimoto was born prior to World War II on the island of Tinian. As a small boy he traveled with his military family to Japanese-held islands in the Pacific, and suffered firsthand the ensuing famine during the Japanese retreat.

After finishing his education at the University of Maryland on a Fulbright Fellowship, Mr. Kishimoto became a Senior Manager for Japan Airlines in Washington, D.C. While there, he met and married his beloved wife, Tamako, who was working for the US bureau of Tokyo’s Asahi newspaper. His stature with the Japanese government helped with rapid approval of Seacology Japan as one of the few foreign-linked charities in the country. His family charity in Okinawa led to the acceptance of Seacology throughout the Ryukyu Islands, and he has brought dozens of Japanese students as Kishimoto Fellows to California to cement better understanding between Japan and the USA. During his tenure on Seacology’s board he made numerous site visits to our projects in Samoa and Hawaii.

His and Tamako’s homes in both Tokyo and Palos Verdes, California became havens for conservation-minded individuals, particularly after his translation of Nafanua: Saving the Samoan Rainforest into Japanese. Mr. Kishimoto published several books in both Japanese and English arguing that conservation of the world’s resources and the abandonment of armed conflict are necessary steps to a better world. 

Seacology extends our condolences to his wife, Tamako, and to his brother, Masuhara.

Paul Alan Cox, Ph.D.
Chair, board of directors


Seacology is honored to accept donations in memory of Mr. Kishimoto.