Commencement
Past Honorary Degree Recipients

John Fujiwara

  • John Edward Fujiwara was born February 1, 1920, in Seattle, the third child of four born to Tetsujiro and Kosao Fujiwara. John's parents came to Seattle from Japan and were tailors to, among others, Seattle Bishop Edward John O'Dea. According to John's family, the bishop allowed their four children to attend Catholic schools at no cost. John Edward and his older brother Edward John were both named after the bishop.

    John graduated from O'Dea High School in 1939 and had completed nearly three years of college when he was forced to leave with his family. His family went to the Puyallup Assembly Center and was incarcerated at the Minidoka Relocation Center in central Idaho until the war was over.

    John married Makiko Takahashi, who was a senior at Garfield High School at the time of the internment. He joined the military and was never able to earn his college degree.

    The couple returned to Seattle in 1949 and raised three daughters. John worked in real estate for a while before taking a job as a camera man for The Boeing Co., where he worked for over 25 years before retiring. He took care of Makiko until her death in 1976 after a long battle with cancer. He married Yukie, a co-worker from Japan, in 1981. He died in November 1983 while vacationing in one of his favorite places: Mazatlan, Mexico.