In Memoriam: Masayoshi “Mike” Yamano

Masayoshi “Mike” Yamano, a longtime supporter of the University of Southern California and member of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Board of Councilors, passed away October 16, 2021 in Japan. He was 85.

Yamano was born September 19, 1936 in Tokyo, Japan and served as president and chairman of the Yamano Beauty College, which was founded by his parents in 1934. He spent many years in Los Angeles, where he met his wife, Diane, and maintained strong connections.

A strong advocate for linking aging and aesthetics, his relationship with USC began in 2013 when, while serving as chancellor of the Yamano College of Aesthetics and Arts, he approached the USC Leonard Davis School, a global leader in gerontology research and education, with a vision to incorporate gerontology education in his curriculum.

“Nobody in Japan paid attention to the needs of older adults until we started our wellness course and our program with the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology,” Yamano once said of the collaboration. “Beauty is for all ages, and I believe that when you look better, you feel better, too.”

To date, over 5,300 students have completed the curriculum he championed.

Yamano was appointed to the USC Leonard Davis School Board of Councilors, on which he served until the end of his life. Over the past decade, he hosted dean Cohen and other members of the school leadership at the Yamano Gakuen and was awarded the Leonard Davis School Dean’s Medallion in April 2013.

Yamano is survived by his wife Diane, daughters Jane Aiko Yamano (Stan Nakagawa) and Tina Yamano Nishida (David), and grandchildren James Nishida ’19, Brandon Nishida, Mark Nishida ’21, Ryan Nishida ’21 and Mia Yamano-Nakagawa.

A private service was held on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 in Japan.