Yasue Oyama, 89-year-old Cupertino resident, died peacefully at home on August 1, 2022. A free spirit, she grew up the second of five children in a little village on the Oki Islands off the western coast of Japan in the 1930s. Her sense of adventure brought her to Tokyo in the 1950s, where she attended Showa Women’s University and later worked in student affairs at Sophia University. Her desire to go abroad to study fashion brought her to the U.S. in 1966, where she met and married Jiro Oyama. She gave her love of the arts (though regrettably not her fashion skills) to their two daughters, Sayuri and Misa. Although her native language was Japanese, she expressed herself best in the languages of fabric, design, and food, producing an abundance of cherished quilts, clothing, paintings, and delicacies. With her creative temperament, she could be bold and fiery as well as petite and charming, and sometimes caught people off guard if they underestimated her.
No memorial service is planned, but Yasue will be deeply missed by her family. In Japan, she was predeceased by her older sister, Yukie Tomita, and younger sister Shigeko Matsuura; she is survived by her two younger brothers, Masao Yukawa and Yoshimitsu Yukawa, and their respective families. In the U.S., Yasue’s first daughter, Sayuri, has shared the same desire to explore the world; she and her husband, Kenji Tierney, have encouraged that love of travel in their two teenage boys, Marcus and Brian, who have already visited more countries than their grandmother could have hoped for. Yasue’s second daughter, Misa, inherited her night-owl sleep cycle and will miss seeing her pop into the kitchen at midnight to satisfy a craving for sparkling cider or ramen. Finally, her husband, Jiro, is enormously grateful for the care that Yasue gave his ailing mother, and for the over fifty years of love and companionship that a lonely bachelor in his 40s never expected to have.