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E. Y. Okazaki [Dec.]

President E. Y. Okazaki [Dec.]

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Spouse: Chieko Okazaki
Served: 1968 - 1970
Associated Alumni
LDS Church News
Week Ending June 15, 1968

Appointed as a mission president was Edward Yukio Okazaki of Denver, Colo., a convert to the Church from Hawaii.

Pres. Okazaki has been serving as scoutmaster in the Denver 10th Ward, where he also has served as an Aaronic Priesthood Youth advisor. Previously, he has served as a counselor in the bishopric of the Monument Park Eighth Ward, Monument Park West Stake, as a teachers' quorum advisor, and as an assistant scoutmaster in the Bonneville Ward, Bonneville Stake.

The new mission president is employed as an assistant regional representative for the Administration on Aging with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He has been in this position for the past three years. Previously, he was director of the Utah State Council on Aging for two years, and also served as a psychiatric social worker for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Salt Lake City for 10 years. For two years he was homeservice director for the Salt Lake County Chapter of the American Red Cross in Salt Lake County.

During World War II, Pres. Okazaki was a member of the 442nd Combat Team, was wounded in France and received the Purple Heart and Silver Star medals. He is an Eagle Scout, as are his two sons, Kenneth, 15, and Robert, 13.

Pres. Okazaki was born in Paia, Maui, Hawaii, in 1923, and joined the Church in 1950. He attended Maui High School, the University of Hawaii, where he received his bachelor degree and 5th-year certificate in social work. He received a master's degree in social work from the University of Utah in 1953.

Mrs. Okazaki is also a native of Hawaii and has held many positions of responsibility and leadership in the Church. She has served in the Sunday School, Relief Society, Primary and Mutual Improvement Assn., was a member of the MIA General Board for five years, and is currently the Denver Tenth Ward Junior Sunday School coordinator.

A professional teacher, Mrs. Okazaki has taught in Hawaii and in Utah, and presently is a teacher in the Cherry Creek School District, Englewood, Colo.

In 1968 she was the runner-up as the Colorado Teacher of the Year. She came to Utah as an exchange teacher in 1951, and has been a consultant in team-teaching, non-grading, and multi-age grouping for Cherry Creek School District and other districts in South Dakota and Alabama.

The Okazakis were married in Paia, Maui, Hawaii, in 1949. Their two sons will accompany them to their field of labor.

� 2001 Deseret News Publishing Co.

(Submitted by Brother McCune)

President of the Japan Okinawa Mission which encompassed Kyushu and also Okinawa and half of Honshu until it was divided and Kan Watanabe took over Okinawa and Kyushu in 1970. From 1970 to 1971 Okazaki took over the new Japan Central Mission reigns.

Sister Chieko Okazaki was released from her calling as 1st Counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency at April General Conference, 1997. She is a best-selling Church author.

President Okazaki passed away in the spring of 1992, following a general Relief Society conference in Salt Lake City, where his wife Chieko had just spoken.

Era, March 1970-
The Mission Presidents in Asia Report

Japan-Okinawa Mission

By President Edward Y. Okazaki

Our mission serves about half of the land area and population of Japan, or half of the island of Honshu and all of Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. There are about 50 million Japanese in our area. (The total population of Japan is 100 million.)

Interestingly, there seems to be evidence in Japanese customs and national religion that the truths of the gospel were once planted in Japan: (1) in Shinto they have a ceremony in which they baptize for their dead; (2) when someone dies he loses his earthly name and the priest gives him a heavenly name; (3) they believe they must do "work" for their ancestors; (4) Japanese believe in the patriarchal order: (5) they believe in covenants, that sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven; (6) the story told of the creation of Japan is similar to the story of the creation of the earth.

In our mission we have 5,281 members, with 32 branches, six proselyteing districts, and two servicemen's districts. Four chapels have been constructed for us; elsewhere we rent buildings. We presently have 191 missionaries and 18 part-time missionaries. In 1969 we baptized 613 into the Church.

We are well received today throughout Japan, and our prospects for 1970 are high, particularly because of Expo '70, the first world exposition to be held in Asia, and the site, Osaka, is in our mission.

The site of the Church's pavilion is outstanding. One Expo official remarked, "How did you get such a choice location? You must have had some excellent connections." We did! The Lord helped us!

The pavilion is located across the street from the Japan pavilion; it is near the largest man-made lake, where people will rest and cool themselves; and it is one block from the largest public plaza where the biggest and best free shows will be held. We are planning to host between five and eight million persons in the six months.

The First Presidency approved remaking the movie Man's Search for Happiness, with Japanese actors and scenery. In the meantime, we are busily trying to rearrange the missionary lesson plan so it will be more culturally inviting to the Japanese people. We are pleased with the results of the new language training program that is designed to help missionaries learn to communicate in six months.

During the year the Saints will be chartering a plane to the Hawaii Temple for endowments, sealing and patriarchal blessings. Our baptisms are expected to soar from an average of nineteen per month to 200 per month in the near future.

I feel as one does when he thrills to the catching of a big wave with his surfboard. When Expo opens, our pavilion will be the crest that will propel us to break-neck speed. We are paddling hard now to be sure that we catch the crest of this big wave. We want to go sailing along, and we can taste the salt spray in our mouths.

View additional information on President Ivie by clicking here.

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"Obedience is the price, faith is the power, love is the motive, the Spirit is the key, and Christ is the reason." The motto of the Japan Fukuoka Mission can be applied not only to missionary work, but to everyday life. -BYU President Bateman

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