Yoichi (John) Asakawa, 77, passed away on January 27, 2021 of a brain bleed. Yoichi (John) was born to Kiyoko Handa and Seiichi Asakawa in Niigata, Japan on July 22, 1943. After graduating from Niigata High School, he attended Rikkyo University in Tokyo, Japan.
His dream was to come to America and through the aid of his pen pal in Hooker, Oklahoma, he came to stay with them. He attended Panhandle University for a year, but transferred to Oklahoma State University where he majored in Accounting. He graduated OSU in 1967.
He then joined the staff of Price Waterhouse in NYC. Deciding he wanted to go back to Japan, he joined Price Waterhouse in Tokyo. Before he began work, he toured the world for 8 months, making many friends along the way.
His heart was still in America so he went back to OSU to work on his Master’s degree. Then in 1972 he joined the International Tax Division of KPMG in NYC. He passed his CPA exam that same year.
At that time, he met his wife, Mickey, and they married in 1976. In 1978, he and Mickey decided they wanted to move to Japan, and KPMG, not wanting to lose him, gave him a transfer to the Tokyo office. He became a partner while in Japan. On December 25, 1979, his daughter, Mie, was born.
In 1988, he was asked to come back to the New York office and become the national partner in charge of tax services to Japanese companies. John, Mickey and Mie resided in Westfield, NJ.
After suffering a heart attack in 1999, John decided to retire from KPMG. This was in June 2000. He then became a full-time professor at the MBA program in Urasa, Japan, which he continued doing until 2019. He also was appointed an auditor at Takeda Pharmaceutical and served for 4 years.
He decided at 45 to take up skiing with his daughter, Mie, and became an avid skier, skiing at more than 40 resorts. His dream was to ski with his grandchildren, Naomi and Noah and that dream came true.
He and Mickey lived in Westfield, NJ for 28 years, but when his daughter moved to Florida, he decided he and Mickey had to follow. They moved to Vero Beach, FL in the fall of 2014.
In order to keep his brain active, he took up bridge lessons at Vero Beach Bridge Center and became a familiar face there. He was very interested in other people’s stories and different cultures, so he made friends with many people. He was never afraid to ask questions. He has enjoyed golf for many years, and often played without a cart. He never thought he excelled at golf, but still did not give up. He loved doing his Japanese exercises, and listening to Japanese news. He also enjoyed music. John loved traveling to new places and often did that with Mickey’s brother, Richard, or Hank and Haruyo. He, Mie. and Mickey loved Japanese food and he was often at the stove cooking up something. He hoped his grandchildren would learn to love things Japanese as well.
During his professional career, he was a frequent speaker at KPMG conferences and seminars. In 1996 he was named one of the top Asian Pacific tax advisors by International Tax Review, In 1998, he received the distinguished Accounting Alumni award From OSU.
He is survived by his wife Mickey (Thelma), extraordinary daughter Mie Powell, son-in-law Byron Powell, two sisters Ikuko Miyazawa(Noboru) and Keiko Hara(Koichi), of Japan, two very special Grandchildren, Naomi and Noah Powell, nieces and nephews, his Oklahoma family, his KPMG family, and many friends all over the world.
John did not want donations made in his memory but wished for people to show an act of kindness to another person. He wanted people to be tolerant of other cultures and for there to be peace in the world.
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