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Toshio G. Tsukahira, Foreign Service officer

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Thursday, March 17, 2011; 5:59 PM

Toshio G. Tsukahira, 95, a retired Foreign Service officer who taught modern Japanese history and politics at schools in the Washington region, died March 5 at a nursing home in Los Angeles of acute cardiorespiratory arrest.

Dr. Tsukahira joined the State Department in 1955 as an intelligence research officer in Washington and later served for 13 years in Japan and three years in Thailand. His last assignment was as a deputy political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. He retired in 1975.

From 1975 to 1996, he taught at the University of Maryland, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and American University, among other schools.

Toshio George Tsukahira, a native of Los Angeles, received a bachelor's degree in history in 1939 and a master's degree in history and political science in 1941, both from the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1951, he received a doctorate in Far Eastern languages and history from Harvard University.

He served as an intelligence officer in the Army from 1941 to 1947 and taught at the Military Intelligence Service Language School at an Army base in Minnesota.

He was a member of the Japanese American Veterans Association and the Japan-America Society of Washington. He was the author of "Feudal Control in Tokugawa Japan: The Sankin Kotai System and "Postwar Development of Japanese Communist Strategy."

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Lilly Fujioka Tsukahira of Los Angeles; two children, Peggy Norris of Los Angeles, and Peter Tsukahira of Haifa, Israel; and four grandchildren.

- Lauren Wiseman


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