Former Maui resident, judge, state legislator and 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran Katsugo Miho died Sept. 11 in Honolulu. He was 89.
Although his professional career and adult life were on Oahu, Miho was born in Kahului in 1922 and retained ties to home after relocating.
Wailuku resident Wayne Hamamura, who has been involved with sumo on Maui for many years, said Miho helped his classmate and Happy Valley resident Jesse Kuhaulua with legal issues, including a move from Hawaii to Japan in the 1960s. Kuhaulua was known as Takamiyama in the world of sumo wrestling.
Former Mauian, 89, dies
Hamamura said Kuhaulua had just joined the National Guard when people from Japan wanted him to immediately fly there so he could train to be a sumo wrestler.
Miho used his many connections and called then-Gov. John Burns to help Kuhaulua leave the guard early to go to Japan.
On Maui, Miho attended and graduated from Kahului Grammar School and Maui High School. He then went on to study at the University of Hawaii and George Washington University.
His military service included being a member of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team from 1943 to 1946.
He was in the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, B Company.
He was a lawyer in private practice beginning in 1954 and then served as a Family Court judge on Oahu from 1971 to 1979. He later returned to private practice and served as counsel to Servco Pacific.
In the early 1950s, Miho was nonpartisan and supported candidates without party affiliations, family members said. He then joined the Republican Party in 1958 and that year unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Honolulu Board of Supervisors. In 1959, he was elected from Manoa to the first of five terms in the state House of Representatives.
Miho also was involved in Japan-Hawaii high school baseball goodwill games along with Japan Goodwill sumo tournaments in Hawaii.
Family members said the tournaments were sponsored by the 442nd Veterans Club, of which Miho was a charter member and a past president.
He was a member of the board of trustees of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation.
His funeral will be held Sept. 29 at Hosoi Garden Mortuary in Honolulu. Visitation will be at 3:30 p.m., followed by a service at 5 p.m.
He is survived by his wife, Laura Miho, and children, Carolyn Mariko Miho, Arthur (Lani) Miho, Celia (Derek) Fujikami, Ann (Jack) Johnson, and seven grandchildren.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at email@example.com.