Rose Yamamoto, translator of Father Hisanori Kano’s autobiography, Nikkei Farmer on the Nebraska Plains returned to Scottsbluff on July 14 for a celebration of her life. Family and friends gathered to congratulate her on her long life of accomplishment. She turned 95 in January. Rose, born Yoko Kubo, was fortunate to have stayed with her grandparents in Japan where she completed her High School education graduating from Meizen Girls’ High School in Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture. There she gained the knowledge of Japanese that would make it possible to translate Father Kano’s manuscript.
But her translation is not her only service to the church. She was strongly influenced by Deaconess Clara LeHew who was assigned to the Japanese mission in Mitchell. So Rose entered the New York Training School for Deaconesses and Church Workers. During summers she attended summer sessions at Union Theological Seminary and Teachers’ College, Columbia University. Upon completion of her studies she might have become a Deaconess, but Yutaka Yamamoto won her heart. So she returned to Scottsbluff to marry her sweetheart and began working at St. Mary’s, Mitchell and St. George’s, North Platte. She organized Sunday schools and Christian Education ventures so that when Father Kano returned from Nashota House Seminary he found thriving missions with large classes of children. Truly, Rose is a hero of the church in her own rite. Those of us who gathered to wish her well know that.