2018 (Journal)

[Obituary] Katsuhide Kitatani (1931-2018) (09/04/2018)

 Mr. Kitatani passed away at 6:00 a.m. April 6, 2018 in Tokyo with his wife, Akiko, at his side. The funeral took place at the Minato Citizens’ Funeral Hall “Yasuragi Kaikan” in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo, at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, April 9. Mr. Kitatani was 86 and 6 months old and was survived by Akiko, his wife of 56 years, his twin sons Jun and Ken, their wives Nicole and Nina (Mami) and Jun and Nicole’s two children, Noah and Laila.

 In 1962 Kit joined the UNDP and served first in Indonesia and Pakistan and then moved to New York. He enjoyed his work at UN and good food in New York, admitting that his passion for good food was due to his adolescence during World War II with little or nothing to eat. Kit was then struck with stomach cancer and was told he had just a few months to live. But thanks to his strong will and macrobiotic cuisine he adopted, he survived and after 3 years returned to work in Myanmar where he spent 5 years. He later moved back to New Year to serve as Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA until his retirement in 1993.

 Kit was born in Kawazu Village, Izu in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1931. He was an only child and grew up in a small village in the Izu mountains. Kit’s father was an official in the Manchurian Government (present North China) and he attended his first years of schooling there until his father’s reassignment to the Manchurian embassy in Tokyo. Later he graduated from Tamagawa University with a degree in American Literature and continued his studies at St. Paul’s University (Rikkyo). Both institutions gave him a good Christian education, which influenced him throughout his life.

 After retirement from the UN, he established NPO 2050 in Tokyo and NGO WINI (Women In Need International) in New York. His mission was to help women in need in developing countries. For he and his wife Akiko believed that if all the women in this world were educated, the world would change for the better and help create lasting Peace. The three main projects of NPO 2050 were the scholarships for women in developing countries, the Eri-Silk project in Palawan, Philipines and the Tree Planting project in Guanjo, China. He organized study tours throughout Asia, which influenced many young women and men who followed his path all over the world to this day. Kit loved music and photography.


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