Harry Hirowo Aoki (1921-2013) devoted his life to music and intercultural harmony. A beloved friend and mentor to many in Vancouver and elsewhere, he was a special friend of St. John’s College and regularly performed at the College in the last few years of his life. This site was created to enable Harry’s friends and admirers to share thoughts, stories, and memories. We will also post the latest information about memorial arrangements and the Aoki Legacy Fund here. You are welcome to sign our our Guest Book.
Harry passed away peacefully on January 24th at the age of 91. Harry experienced a varied career well into the 80s. Logger, timber cruiser, ski instructor, B.C. Electric systems analyst for Power Projects, musician, musical arranger, and musicologist and leader.
During the 1960’s, together with good friend James Johnson, Harry operated a family oriented “folk” coffee house in Qualicum Beach. The duo hosted the CBC TV show “Moods of Man.” This was followed by tours of the U.S.A. college circuit with their menu of multi-cultural folk music.
Later in life, Harry was honoured by the Asia Pacific Foundation with the “Living Heritage” Award in recognition of his contribution towards preserving traditional Asian culture for the enjoyment and enrichment of future generations of Canadians.
Harry leaves this world in accordance with his own vision of being true to oneself. No service will be held by his request, but there will be a private family gathering at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Aoki Legacy Fund established through the Friends of Harry Aoki in partnership with St. John’s College at UBC), or to a cause of your choice will be deeply appreciated.
Harry was predeceased by brother Dr. Ted Aoki. He is survived by brother Tats Aoki and sisters Mary Malcolm and Judy Matsuba.