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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: Joan Santano
Relation: friend

My heartfelt condolences to Yoshiko and Yosuke. Yoshi was a special
man. We met in chi gung class. He always asked how I was doing and how my golf game was. He made the best sushi and always served it with a smile. He will be sorely missed.
Joan Santano

From: David Gluns
Relation: Pictures and becoming friends

I always enjoyed the food over the years but it was photographing him and his food for several cookbooks that we became friends. I would always enjoy seeing him outside the restaurant where we had time to talk. It was a great shock to hear of his passing. So sorry. He will be really missed by me and many others. Sending love.

From: Brian and Dawn Moulson
Relation: Friend

Dear Yoshiko and Yo,
We are all thinking of you and sending our love. Dawn, Brian, Nathaniel, Jeremy, Aaron and Rachael.

From: Mark & Joan
Relation: Fellow restauranteur

We were surprised and saddened to hear of Yoshi’s passing. He was a good man with a good heart. We enjoyed the chats we were able to have when he came and picked up brisket. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. May your loss be filled with peace and loving memories.

From: Michael and Mitsuko
Relation: Friends

We were so sad to hear that Jack had suddenly passed away before we could visit. We remember him as always being a kind and thoughtful person. It is wonderful that Jack and Yoshiko could live their dream of having their own Japanese restaurant in beautiful Nelson with their son Yosuke, and their cat Popo-chan.

From: Brenda Fitzpatrick
Relation: Acquaintance

My deepest condolences to Yoshiko and Yosuke, I met Yoshikatsu through my son Lance Lucas who has been friends with Yo for many years while living in Nelson. I will always remember the wonderful smile and genuine greetings he always had for me when I came to enjoy his his amazing culinary delicacies! Truly a great man, take care

From: Nanette
Relation: Frequent Customer

My Heart goes out to your family Yoshi. My late husband and I Loved going to yourplace. You were always smiling and we always felt so welcome . I will miss seeing you and I will miss how you made us all feel so special when we ordered your delicious Sushi. Sending Love to your family❤

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

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