Consul General’s remarks at Ms. Kumiko Hatori's Memorial Service, the Mackintosh Church, Glasgow, 24 November 2018

As the representative of the Japanese government in Scotland, I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to Mr. Duich McKay and those whose lives have been touched by deep affection and warm friendship which was characteristic of Ms. Kumiko Hatori.

Born in Tokyo and having worked in Ginza, Ms. Kumiko Hatori started her international journey encompassing Paris, New York, Amsterdam and London before moving to Scotland together with Mr. McKay in 2001. Belonging to same generation and sharing the same social and cultural background with her, I must conclude that she must have been a young, creative and energetic Japanese girl by any standard.
 
And I also think that she must have found a great peace of mind in her life in Scotland together with Mr. McKay, because she continued to enjoy her life here for the past 18 years. During those years, she continuously extended her positive and friendly attitude, which was so much appreciated by people surrounding her.
 
Having assumed the post of Japanese Consul General in Edinburgh last month, I have learnt about so many occasions Ms. Hatori spared no efforts in helping Japanese comrade in need, sometimes in dire situations. Following 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Ms. Hatori led a successful fundraising event, further strengthening the bond between Japan and Scotland.
 
She was also at the heart of many cultural activities and even undertook the leadership role in forming the Scottish Japanese Residents Association.
 
I am truly grateful for what she did for the Japanese community and her contribution to Japan Scotland friendship. Having lived in 6 countries for the total of 18 years, I know a few kind and generous Japanese who did a great service to their community and was so much appreciated and loved.
 
I am sure that Ms. Hatori was one of those heroes. Although I regret the fact that I came to Scotland too late to meet her in person, I feel privileged to deliver a memorial address here today honoring her many invaluable achievements in this Mackintosh Church which was the stage of Kimono Mackintosh 10 years ago, one of the most important and successful cultural events in Glasgow which was her own making,

Let me conclude by once again commending her precious contribution and achievements and quoting William Wordsworth.

Though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight.
Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower.
We will grieve not,
rather find strength in what remains behind.
wishing that her soul should rest in peace.
 
Nozomu Takaoka
Consul General of Japan in Edinburgh


Kumiko Hatori

Kumiko Hatori was born in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo in 1957. She left Japan in the 1986 after working in the Parco Museum store in Ginza.
Kumiko had lived in Paris, New York, Amsterdam and London and finally Glasgow. She met her Scottish husband Duich McKay in New York in 1995 and moved to Scotland in 2001.
She died of heart failure after travelling to care for her parents in Fuji, Shizuoka prefecture, on 19th October 2018

Life in Scotland

2002 Learn Sushi
Kumiko was a very good cook and started Learn Sushi - her cooking school - in 2002. She taught from her home in Glasgow. She was probably the first person to teach sushi in Scotland to the public and she became well known for it through demonstrations on TV, radio, press and in person. Two of her fishmongers attended her memorial.

2004 Scottish Japanese Residents Association Kumiko brought together many Japanese who were permanent residents in Scotland - primarily women - into a loose welfare and arts organisation. The welfare part led to helping Japanese in trouble in Scotland and she worked with the consulate. This also led to commissions for many practitioners of Japanese arts and crafts - such as Mio Shapley and Yoshie Campbell.

2008 & 2009 Kimono Mackintosh Festival at the Mackintosh Church in Glasgow A festival of Japanese culture focusing on traditional and contemporary kimono in a Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed former church. Ran for two years and attracted a large audience.

2011 and after: Japan Fair - in aid of the victims of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami The Japan Fair in Glasgow was Kumiko’s creation. A very successful fundraising event in Glasgow that drew dozens of volunteers and nearly a thousand visitors. The event was repeated for the next four years.

Her efforts were informal and creative and she was a great hostess to the Japanese community.