By FLOYD MORI
Miyeko Meg Kiriyama turned 100 years old on March 4, 2021. Her children, Lane Kiriyama, Karen Setjo, and Glenn Kiriyama, had been planning to hold a big birthday party in her honor for the milestone birthday. Because of the COVID pandemic, the party was changed to a small family dinner held at the home Meg shares with her daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Danny Setjo in Salt Lake City.
Her church group held a drive-by birthday gathering for Meg. KSL-TV News in Salt Lake City came to film that event and had a news segment about her that night. Two billboards were placed in Salt Lake City for Meg by her nephew, Dewey Reagan, owner of Reagan Outdoor Advertising.
Some of Meg’s immediate family was in attendance along with her brother, Floyd Mori, and his wife, Irene, and her sister, Selma Yagi, with her son, Steve. As part of the birthday celebration, many other family members were able to join via a Zoom meeting. Meg’s son, Glenn, who lives in New York, joined on the call along with her brother, Tom Mori, and his wife, Betty, who live in Pleasanton, Calif., and her brother Steve Mori, who lives in San Diego. Many other nephews, nieces, and various family members joined the call, as did a cousin from Japan and his son, who lives in Washington, D.C.
A special birthday gift to Meg came as her grandson Kyle Kiriyama and his wife Hailee had a baby daughter born on Meg’s birthday. Her name is Rosalie Miyeko Kiriyama. The new great- granddaughter was born in Maryland, where Kyle is serving in the U.S. Army. Also celebrating with Meg were her two great-grandsons, twins Issac and Lucas, who are the children of Meg’s granddaughter Kristin and her husband Nick. They were born two years ago on Meg’s birthday and live close by in Utah.
The oldest child in the family of eight children, Meg was born in Cache County in the northern part of Utah. Her parents were immigrants to the United States from Kagoshima, Japan. Her younger brother, Shig Mori, was killed in the crash of an Army airplane in Japan while he was serving with the Military Intelligence Service of the U.S. Army during the occupation of Japan at the end of World War II. Another brother, Nob Mori, died of cancer in 2000 in Utah. The other siblings are still living, three in Utah and two in California.
Meg grew up in the Salt Lake Valley and graduated from Murray High School, just south of Salt Lake City. After World War II ended, she moved to California, where she married and had three children. She moved back to Utah in the 1990s and now lives in Salt Lake City.
One of her main activities was bowling. She bowled in a Nisei league in California and then joined a bowling league in Salt Lake City. She was bowling regularly until the COVID pandemic caused the league to suspend play last year.
Meg continues to enjoy good health and looks forward to the pandemic ending so that she can get back to some of her normal activities. She lived in the Los Angeles area for many years, still subscribes to The Rafu Shimpo, and is a member of the JACL.