Marian Yoshioka, aka 'Mrs. Harry,' of Harry's Music Store
By (Ukjent person)
Advertiser Entertainment Writer
By (Ukjent person)
They called her "Mrs. Harry," because she was the matriarch of Harry's Music Store in Kaimuki. As Harry Yoshioka's wife, she helped musicians, band directors and entertainers with their sheet music and other needs.
Marian Izuko Yoshioka was sales clerk, secretary and unofficial mom to many band directors. She died Saturday at the 'Aina Haina home of son Emmett Yoshioka. She was 94.
"All the band directors in town knew her," said Emmett Yoshioka, a conductor and music teacher. "She really was the matriarch of the family business."
Harry's was co-owned by Marian and Harry Yoshioka and Harry's brother, Masao "Stu" Yoshioka, now all deceased. Clayton Yoshioka, a nephew, is the current president of Harry's Music, which opened in 1946.
Before she married Harry Yoshioka, Marian was a singer-dancer of Japanese songs, donning kimono and playing before private gatherings.
"That's how she met my dad, who had his own band," said Emmett Yoshioka.
"She had to sneak out and do her thing; in those days, respectable Japanese girls never were in show business. I get a kick about this memory of her."
After she joined Harry Yoshioka in running the shop in true mom-and-pop fashion, Marian Yoshioka was bookkeeper, saleslady and secretary for two generations of music students and educators.
"The school bands of Hawai'i — whether it's middle, intermediate, high school or university — are now among the best in the country and Marian Yoshioka helped set that foundation," said Richard Lum, a retired bandmaster who first encountered Marian Yoshioka when he was a novice music teacher at McKinley High School, where he worked before moving on to the University of Hawai'i-Manoa.
"Marian was very efficient in providing us with band music. We ordered from her when there was no one else who could get it, and she'd get it for us," Lum said.
Alan Yoshioka, Clayton's brother and an employee at Harry's Music, said entertainers such as Gabby Pahinui, Lena Machado and Andy Cummings "used to come to the store to play music with Harry. It was that kind of a mom-and-pop place."
Marian Yoshioka was born in Honolulu on April 7, 1912.
She is also survived by a sister, Ruth Nakagawa; three grandchildren; one great-grandson; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Funeral services will be Aug. 16 at Hosoi Mortuary. Visitation will be from 5 p.m., with services at 6 p.m. Aloha attire.
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