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 Kouzen.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.thompsonfs.ca.
Megan Johnson of Thompson Funeral Service has been entrusted with the cremation arrangements.