Japan Personal

Kazuko Oshima

Our family friend and long-time New Yorker Kazuko has passed away. I will miss you Kazuko-san.

Simon Doonan wrote a nice obituary in The New York Observer.

When Kazuko first came to New York from Japan in 1968, to study drama at N.Y.U. on a Fulbright scholarship no less, the town was knee-deep in freaks. They lived la vie bohème, little knowing that the loft spaces where they ate, shagged, staged their happenings and wrote their poems would, less than half a century later, be occupied by hedge-fund dudes and the like.

New York cannot afford to lose any more wackadoos. When a great eccentric leaves Manhattan, especially one as sweet, kind, talented and demented as Kazuko, one can only hope and pray that a new one, maybe some loopy Harajuku gal with Kazuko’s extreme arty sensibility and lack of preconceived ideas, is waiting in the wings to take her place. Fingers crossed. New York is nothing without the Kazukos of the world.

Sayonara, Sweet Kazuko: Jewelry Designer, Loveable Kook | The New York Observer

The NY Times also has a short obituary for her.

Ms. Oshima was born in Tokyo on Jan. 4, 1942, and came to the United States when she was in her early 20s. Her early career was as a video artist and photographer, and she was a familiar presence in Manhattan’s Downtown art scene. She was a narrator on the soundtrack of the documentary film “Hiroshima-Nagasaki, August 1945,” released in 1970.

Kazuko Oshima, Designer of Stone Jewelry, Dies at 65 – New York Times