Our dear friend Hatsuro “Hats” Aizawa passed away on October 20, 2013. Hats was a founding board member of the San Francisco Japantown Foundation. Hats and his wife Amey were among the original major donors that helped establish the Japantown Foundation.
We express our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Amey and the Aizawa family. Hats will be sorely missed.
Hats was born in 1924 on Post Street between Laguna and Buchanan Streets and lived there until he was 17. He and Amey have spent a lifetime serving Japantown and the Japanese American community through his leadership of numerous organizations.
As President of Aizawa Associates and later Aizawa & Furuta, Hats ran his own advertising and graphic art business for over 45 years. He served 25 years on the Japan Society of Northern California Board of Directors, and was also a board member and vice president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California, and a member of the San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Committee.
He was a Commissioner and later Trustee of the Asian Art Museum from 1988 to 2008.
In recognition of Mr. Aizawa’s many contributions, the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco presented him with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation in 2008.
In 2011, the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco conferred on Hats the Order of Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, one of the Japanese government’s highest honors.
UPDATE NOV. 3, 2013 – The following text is from an obituary published by the Nichi Bei Weekly and reproduced here by permission.