Henri Hiroyuki Takahashi, a businessman and philanthropist who emerged
from internment after World War II to build a prosperous trading company, died
Tuesday at his San Francisco home of a heart ailment. He was 87.
Mr. Takahashi was born in Tokyo and raised in Hawaii, Oakland and Riverside,
where he graduated from high school. After graduating with degrees in
sociology and art from Pomona College in 1936, he moved to San Francisco,
where he found work as a sports editor for a local Japanese American newspaper.
With the outbreak of World War II, Mr. Takahashi and his new wife, Tomoye
Nozawa, were shipped to internment camps in Topaz, Utah.
Following the war, Mr. Takahashi returned to San Francisco and founded the
Takahashi Trading Corp. in a small store in Japantown. Selling an array of
wares, he built the business into an enterprise with offices in San Francisco,
Sausalito and New York.
Mr. Takahashi also founded the Henri & Tomoye Takahashi Charitable
Foundation, which helped fund community and arts programs, including the
National Japanese American Historical Society and the National Asian American
Mr. Takahashi is survived by his wife, Tomoye of San Francisco; a daughter,
Masako Cohan of Venice; a son, Norman Takahashi of San Francisco; and sisters
Helen Akaki of St. Paul, Minn., and Julia Takahashi of Japan.
Memorial services will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at the Japanese Cultural &
Community Center of Northern California at 1840 Sutter St. in San Francisco.