Yoko Matsuoka McClain: Sensei to many UO students

I was saddened to hear of the loss of Yoko Matsuoka McClain today at the age of 87. She was my Japanese teacher at U of O and it was a privilege to have known her as a college student and later as a Japanese teacher myself and in other Japan related projects over the years. I remember her sense of humor and her vivacious and positive attitude. She was a wonderful influence on many students over the years. I studied about her grandfather, Japanese novelist Natsume Soseki in Stephen Kohl’s Japanese Literature class at Oregon and while attending Waseda University. Her handbook on Japanese Grammer was a very useful resource that came in handy when I lived in Japan as a student and later working for a firm in Tokyo. Later she wrote a book “Soseki’s Granddaughter’s America” that included some amusing stories about her American students of Japanese. I recall her laughing uproariously over one of my translation errors once that I was not too happy about at the time but later found to be quite funny. It was a treat to visit her at home and I treaure one of Robert’s wood block print that she and her husband Robert gave me as a wedding present.



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