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Yoshikatsu Shirotani

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Yoshikatsu Yoshi Shirotani

January 14, 1955 - July 5, 2016


Yoshi Shirotani

1955 – 2016

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of Yoshikatsu Shirotani on July 5, 2016 at the Kelowna General Hospital with his loving wife of 32 years, Yoshiko, by his side.

Yoshi fought a brief yet courageous battle against cancer. Yoshikatsu Shirotani was born in Nagasaki, Japan on January 14, 1955 to parents Shizue and Genji Shirotani. The youngest of five children, Yoshi grew up with quiet strength and a curiosity of life outside of Japan.

After completing chef training in the Japanese culinary arts, which was very intense where often the punishment for mistakes were extreme. Despite this strict and often intimidating schooling, Yoshi completed his training, specializing in French Cuisine.

Yoshi set out on his own to explore the cooking opportunities overseas. In 1980, Yoshi made the long journey from Japan to Ottawa. It was in Ottawa that he married the love of his life, Yoshiko and where his Canadian culinary profession began. He began his career in Canada as a chef with Suisha Garden in Ottawa.

In 1989, Yoshi moved to the small mountain town of Nelson, BC

to raise his son, Yosuke surrounded by the beauty in nature. Yoshi was to become a pillar of our community and his contributions will forever be remembered.

Yoshi began his Nelson career as executive chef at the Canadian International College despite language barriers. He served a 500 seat venue with little English but flourished as his wonderful cuisine spoke for him.  It was not long after that Yoshi started out on his own. He was the first person to introduce Japanese cuisine to Nelson. Because of his success other businesses were able to follow in his footsteps offering ethnic cuisine. He soon out grew his store front within KC’s and opened a restaurant of his own, Kurama Sushi.  Kurama is a Nelson staple and has a very loyal customer base that spans generations. Yoshi treated all of his customers like family. Upon entering Yoshi was there to greet you with a warm smile. Unlike the training he received in Japan, Yoshi was a very patient instructor and felt pride and joy in those he passed his knowledge to.

Yoshi also enjoyed many of the extracurricular activities that the Kootenays have to offer including golf, tennis, swimming, skiing among others. But above all Yoshi enjoyed being surrounded by his family. There is a great emptiness that Yoshi’s loss will have not only on his family but also in our community.

Yoshikatsu is survived by his wife Yoshiko, son Yosuke, mother Shizue, siblings Hisako Sasaki, Yoshito Shirotani, Hiromi Shirotani as well as numerous relatives and friends.

He is predeceased by his father Genji Shirotani and brother Toshikatsu Shirotani.

As per Yoshi’s request no funeral will take place. Yoshikatsu Shirotanti will return to Nagasaki, Japan for his final resting place.

In accordance with Japanese tradition the family is honored to receive Koden.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 12

From: Thompson Funeral Service Staff

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: M Joey Gatchell
Relation: acquaintances

Yoshiko & Yosuke and family, I am so sorry to hear of Yoshi’s passing.
We met many years ago at a birthday party that Yo & Dallas were both at for Mike Helfer, you might remember.
Your husband introduced Terry and myself to sushi at the Lord Nelson Hotel many years ago.
He was a very nice man and his sushi was so good….especially Unagi!!!
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
Joey Gatchell

From: Vivian Benedetti
Relation: Friend and neighbor

My deepest condolences to Yoshiko and Yosuke. My son and Yo grew up together since grade 4 and travelled to Japan soon after gradution from LVR. Yoshi was always cheerful and asked of my family every time when encountered each other on our treks downtown or in his restaurant. My family, and especially my son, will miss him dearly.
Vivian Benedetti, Clayton & Amy Muc

From: Margaret Stacey
Relation: Tutor and friend

Yoshiko and Yosuke, my family and I are very saddened to lose Yoshi. Over the last several years I have been an English tutor to him, as you know, thanks to the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, But to be truthful, I have learned much more from him than he did from me. He was one of the kindest people I have ever met, and I will miss our weekly conversations. It was an honour to meet his sister and brother-in-law when they visited from Japan. I also learned much about Japanese traditions and language, as we traded cultures every week. I was impressed how hard he worked for the temple in Sproule Creek and the local Japanese community whom he assembled for the last two years. Both connections show what a good community man he was. He showed great empathy when our daughter was facing critical health problems and I am grateful for that. We will always miss him. May memories sustain your family in the time ahead, and may he lie in peace near honourable ancestors.

From: Colleen Driscoll
Relation: Acquaintance

Always enjoyed his smile when ordering my sushi….Plus will miss seeing him jumping in the lake with all the us Nelson people who also jump in the lake on New Years Day!!! He will be missed….

From: Crayola Boalch
Relation: Acquaintance

My heart is heavy today hearing of Yoshi’s passing. My husband & I frequented your restaurant. You were both so kind when Dan was ill. The simple jesture of miso soup will never be forgotten.
Yoshi was a lovely man that always greeted us with his big smile. Always eager to talk golf with Dan. He will be very much missed!

From: David Hersh & Linda Ford
Relation: Customer

Peace to the Shirotani family. We’re followed Yoshi around town, in each of the locations, since back in 1990, when he was “Jack.” We’ve always enjoyed chatting with him over a meal. He was a winner.

From: Joe Melo
Relation: acquaintance

My deepest sympathies to the family after such a tragic loss. Yoshi was a tremendously kind man during our interactions both at his magnificent restaurant as well as at my workplace. His presence in our community will be sorely missed as he pioneered the high quality cuisine we have grown to expect in our beautiful little town. Rest in peace Mr. Shirotani.

From: Rick & Markie Peterson
Relation: neighbor

Yoshiko and Yosuke,
We carry you in our thoughts now and in the days to come as you grieve your loss of Yoshi. He was a special neighbor. We miss him.

Rick & Markie Peterson

From: Kim (Nick) Nickolchuk
Relation: fellow restauranter, long time patron

It was very sad news when i heard of Yoshi’s passing. My sincere condolences to his family. I had many a happy meal prepared by Yoshi. His fine food was one that my daughter Medina and i enjoyed so much when it was just the two of us.Quality time for a father and teenager. Of course Yoshi and i would always have some “shop talk” as I had Stanley bakers cafe. Although our menus were quiet different the same issues of running the insane business of a eating place were the same.He was a real pro and I have the greatest respect for him. I know Yoshiko you also shared that effort and my heart goes out to you. I have such fond memories of you as well. Coming into my cafe for your afternoon coffee and after a few sips having well deserved nap at your table. You honor me. Yoshi was a good man. I know this is a difficult time for you Yosuke. Take solace that he is in a most wonderful, beautiful place. Closer to your hearts than can be imagined and that you will meet again. Take care of yourselves. With deepest regards. Nick

Pages: 12

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