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Jane Michiko Imamura (1920-2011)

Jane Michiko Imamura, who was in charge of the music practice studios at UC Berkeley’s Department of Music during the late 1950s and 1960s, died December 26 at her Berkeley home of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. A memorial service was held January 7 at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple. She was married to the late Reverend Kanmo Imamura of the Berkeley Buddhist Temple. Reverend Imamura worked at the University’s Lowie Museum of Anthropology (now the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology) from 1947 to 1967. He became the museum’s head curator. In 1940 Jane Imamura attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she majored in music. But her university education was cut short in 1942, when she and her husband were relocated to the Gila River internment camp in Arizona.

jane_imamura_2b In 1958, Jane Imamura joined the staff of the UC Berkeley Music Department. She was in charge of publicity for concerts, supervising student staff, making posters and flyers for events. “The music faculty and students came to rely on her for the smooth and cooperative functioning of the department,” said Reverend Ryo Imamura, son of Jane Imamura. “She was loved by everyone.” (The black and white portrait of Jane Imamura was made in 1972 while the Imamuras were working in Hawaii. The color photograph below is of her at the practice desk in the late 1960s.)