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Rev. John Yamazaki; 72 Years at St. Mary's

March 16, 1985

The Rev. John Misao Yamazaki, whose downtown Los Angeles ministry at St. Mary's Episcopal Church on Mariposa Avenue extended over seven decades, died March 8 in Hospital of the Good Samaritan. He was 100 and continued until recently to play an active role at the church he joined when it was still a mission in 1913.

A co-founder of the Shonien Japanese Children's Home and founder of only the second Japanese language school in the city, Yamazaki was born in Japan but came to Los Angeles as a young man.

He was among the few Christian Japanese in Los Angeles at the time and attended services at St. Mary's Mission, where he served as a lay reader. Diocesan leaders encouraged him to join the ministry, and he enrolled at Trinity University and Berkeley Divinity School in Connecticut. He was ordained in 1913 and returned to St. Mary's.

In 1932, despite the Depression, he raised funds for a new church building, the one still standing near 9th Street and Mariposa.

Yamazaki, a church spokesman said, centered his ministry around the needs of the ever-increasing number of immigrants moving to Los Angeles, working with both Buddhist and Christian ministers. He served as president of the Southern California Church Federation for 30 years.

He is survived by three sons, Rev. John H. M., Dr. James N. and Peter T. Yamazaki and one daughter, Louise H. Yamazaki. Eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren also survive.

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