H06-1604. Kanamori, Sakiko (1939-2004). Papers and CD, 2006-2017. 1 folder.


Hope College

Document Type



Sakiko Kanamori was born in Japan in 1939, the only child of a painter and a philosophy professor. Her mother died when Kanamori was young, and she was brought up by her grandparents in Mikuni, a small farming-and fishing village on the Japan Sea. She received her secondary education while living with her father, a professor at the local university in Kochi. It was here that she met a missionary family who suggested she attend Hope College. In 1959, Kanamori was enrolled at Hope College, where she joined the college choir. Two years later, she sang for an audience at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. In 1963, she moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School of Music, where she received her M.S. degree. She went on to win the Eastern regionals and share first prize in the national finals for the Metropolitan Opera auditions, becoming the first National Council winner from East Asia. In 1968, when the Stadtische Buhnen Essen offered her a contract, she became one of only two Japanese female soloists in German opera houses. Between 1969 and 1981, she appeared in more than 400 opera performances. In 1964, she married Byron Mook, an American specialist in agricultural development. In May 2004, Kanamori suddenly developed a rare bacteria-based blood infection and passed away in August 2004. The collection includes a CD compilation of Sakiko Kanamori’s work as an opera singer, produced by her husband, Byron Mook, in 2005; correspondence from Dr. Jacob Nyenhuis to Hope College staff and Byron Mook, 2006; and a program “Sakiko Memorial ’63 Memorial Gala Alumni Concert,” 2017. (K)


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