In Memory of




Obituary for Grace Misuzu Tanaka

Grace Misuzu Tanaka passed away on June 25, 2022 at her home in Tokyo. Born on December 6, 1965 at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in New York City to Yoshio and Kinu Tanaka, Grace had a lifelong love of Cornell University, having received both a BA (1988) from the College of Arts and Sciences, double majoring in Government and Asian Studies, and an MBA from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management (1993).

Her father worked for Kanematsu Corporation and was posted around the world, including tenures in Brazil, New York and Tokyo where Grace attended Nishimachi International School and the American School in Japan. At Cornell, Grace was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, a musical director for the a capella group, The Touchtones, a Cornell Ambassador, and a student advisor. Upon graduating, Grace joined Mitsui Bank in New York and two years later returned to Ithaca to earn her MBA. Grace’s MBA class elected her VP of Fundraising and her class has consistently set new benchmarks for reunion fundraising in each of its past five reunion years. Grace would join Morgan Stanley in international equity sales following graduation.

Grace was a born traveler, fashion icon, and gifted artist who had belonged to the Oratorio Society of New York where she performed at Carnegie Hall several times. Like her mother, she was a passionate fan of the opera who once delighted in attending a performance at La Scala at which both the Italian president and the emperor of Japan were present. Perhaps inspired by her maternal grandfather, the prominent political journalist Ryugen Hosokawa, Grace was also an avid follower of the news and global affairs.

Grace was most notably a devoted and generous friend to the many people she met over the years. She was lovingly known as Auntie Grace to her friends' children, whom she adored. As her parents aged, she moved to Tokyo to be closer to them, establishing her own translation business which served businesses, publishers and individual clients. She was regularly visited by classmates traveling to Tokyo and was a knowledgeable and gracious host to all. She was predeceased by her parents and her maternal grandfather. A memorial service will be announced at a later date in conjunction with her Cornell reunion in June 2023. As a way to honor Grace presently, please share comments and photos below. On Sunday, July 24, 9:00pm, Eastern Standard Time, we will have a “moment of opera” and will set aside this time to listen to a video excerpt from Grace’s favorite opera, Verdi’s La Traviata. Please click here
for video. We can view your comments and photos while listening. Remembrances by way of donations can be made via check payable to “Cornell - Grace Tanaka Memorial Tribute” mailed to Cornell University, Box 37334, Boone, IA 50037-0334 or to the Metropolitan Opera, New York, by