Name: MIYAGI, SUMIKO
Date of Birth: 08/01/1956
Ascension Date: 03/09/2007
Memorial Location: Rose Hills Memorial Park
3888 Workman Hill Road
Whittier, CA 90601
Contact Name: Takayasu Miyagi
SeongHwa Ceremony March 15th, 2007
Sumiko Miyagi was born on August 1, 1956, together with her twin sister Yumiko, to her parents Bunjiro and Tokie Murayma in Yamagata, Japan. Raised in the Buddhist tradition, her leadership abilities were recognized throughout her elementary, middle and high schools years. Although her early life and held many challenges, she was always positive and would try to cheer up her family and friends.
When Sumiko was about 15 years of age, she joined the Unification Church as a student member. At the time her mother passed aways. Shortly afterwords, she graduated from middle school and took the entrance examination for nursing school. She was the only student who passed the examination even though the other students taking the exam were high school or junior college graduates.
Then her busy life started. During the day time she attended nursing school and worked as an assistant nurse; she attended high school in the evening. On the weekends she went to her church to do volunteer work. All the money she earned as a nurse was used to support her family at home.
After working as a nurse for several years, she became a full time church member. She served as a missionary not only in Yamagata, but also in Hokkaido and Shizuoka. In 1982, she moved to the United States where she experienced living in the American South. She first worked in Little Rock, Arkansas, even joining with fellow church members to sing Happy Birthday to then Governor Bill Clinton. From 1984 to 1989, she did a considerable amount of church outreach work in Texas and Louisiana.
When she married Ted Miyagi in 1989, she became part of the international 1800 couples blessing group of the Unification Church. Ted says that his first impression of Sumiko was that she was kind, warm-hearted and very quiet. He reports that he later found out that the first two qualities were true, but that she was actually very talkative!
Sumiko moved to Los Angeles, to Monterey Park, after their marriage to start their family. She gave birth to five children, starting with her oldest son Takayasu in 1991, and followed by two more sons, Shuhei in 1992 and Yoshikuni in 1994. Two daughters followed: Yuka in 1996 and Mika in 1997. Her children were her pride and joy. You can imagine how busy her life was as a working mother who still managed to do community volunteer work as well.
During the last five and a half years she worked as a shop manager for several "As seen on TV" stores. Her generous, loving style of management and her engaging personality won the hearts of both her workers and customers. Again she demonstrated her leadership in a different field and a different place.
Sumiko was a music lover who was a great fan of karaoke. She loved to sing the songs of Misora Hibari, the greatest singer whom Japan has ever produced . Her twin sister Yumiko also happens to be a great singer who many singing contests. Sumiko also liked making jewelry and cooking.
In April 2006, Sumiko discovered that she had a breast cancer. Although she and her husband tried many kings of medicine and treatments, they could not stop the development of the disease. Thus, she entered hospice care at home after she was released from the hospital December 2006.
Even though the whole family went through such a difficult time, the children were able to nurture a closer relationship with their mother during the time together at home. Since she had been such a hard working mother, Sumiko deeply valued this special time she could spend with her precious children. As a husband and wife Ted and Sumiko could deepen their eternal relationship of love dramatically in ways they had never imagined as they walked down this unexpected path.
Sumiko passed away on Friday night, March 9, at 9:10 p.m. She is now at peace while taking the happy memorable moments with her to the heaven.
Sumiko is survived by her beloved husband Takafumi "Ted" Miyagi and her five children. She is also survived by her twin sister Yumiko, who visited her January 2006, but was unable to come for ceremony, a younger brother, and an older sister from her father's previous marriage.