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Our History

In 1961, a group of eight community leaders — George Aratani, Edwin Hiroto, Kiyoshi Maruyama, James Mitsumori, Gongoro Nakamura, Frank Omatsu, Joseph Shinoda, and Fred Wada — established Keiro Senior HealthCare to meet the needs of Japanese American seniors. This formidable achievement by the Founders of Keiro created a culturally-sensitive environment with familiar language, food, and values, a place for seniors in their twilight years to call “home.”

 Keiro Founders, from left, are George Aratani, Gongoro Nakamura, and Fred Wada. From far right are the first CEO of Keiro, Edwin Hiroto, (Consul General Henry Shimanouchi), Frank Omatsu, Kiyo Maruyama, and James Mitsumori. Joseph Shinoda not pictured.

The Founders, from left, are George Aratani, Gongoro Nakamura, and Fred Wada. From far right are the first CEO of Keiro, Edwin Hiroto, (Consul General Henry Shimanouchi), Frank Omatsu, Kiyo Maruyama, and James Mitsumori. Joseph Shinoda not pictured.

 

With the purchase of the Japanese Hospital of Los Angeles in 1961, Keiro initially began with hospital care. In the years that followed, the Founders achieved their ultimate goal, for Keiro to move toward senior care. They launched a community-wide campaign to raise funds for an unprecedented endeavor: the start of a nursing home to provide compassionate, culturally-sensitive long-term care for those released from the hospital. Thanks to many personal sacrifices, including generous donations from the community and the mortgaging of private homes by the Founders, Keiro Nursing Home began operating in 1969.

In 1974, Keiro purchased five acres of land from the Jewish Home for the Aging in Boyle Heights for a reported $1,000,000. The value of caring for one’s elders, deeply rooted in both the Japanese and Jewish cultures, continued through the transfer of the land and buildings. On this property, Keiro Retirement Home soon opened in 1975 and Keiro Intermediate Care Facility began operating in 1977.

Thanks to a successful fundraising drive for $1 million by the residents of Gardena and South Bay, in 1982 South Bay Keiro Nursing Home opened in Gardena to care for the concentration of Japanese American seniors in the South Bay area.

The 1987 Whittier earthquake severely damaged Keiro Retirement Home, but through the commitment of the Founders and the generous support in the U.S. and Japan, the facility was rebuilt and then reopened in 1989.

In the 1990’s, Keiro recognized the increasing need to support people caring for seniors living at home. In response to this need, Keiro established two community-based adult day care programs, one in Torrance and the other in Santa Ana. When these programs ultimately proved financially unsustainable, Keiro considered other ways to serve the needs of our community.

Building on the previous success of Keiro's Community Education programs, including three “Caring for the Caregiver” conferences that each drew 250 to more than 300 attendees, Keiro launched The Institute for Healthy Aging at Keiro in November 2006. With a mission to promote healthy aging in our community, the Institute assists people in aging gracefully and equips caregivers with resources to become more effective caregivers.  ...continued

Historic buildings, such as the ones shown here, were among the structures on the land sold to Keiro by the Jewish Home for the Aging in 1974.
From far left, Frank Omatsu, James Mitsumori (3rd from left), George Aratani (5th from left), Fred Wada, Kiyo Maruyama, and Edwin Hiroto participate in the groundbreaking of Keiro Nursing Home.
Historic buildings, such as the ones shown here, were among the structures on the land sold to Keiro by the Jewish Home for the Aging in 1974.
From far left, Frank Omatsu, James Mitsumori (3rd from left), George Aratani (5th from left), Fred Wada, Kiyo Maruyama, and Edwin Hiroto participate in the groundbreaking of Keiro Nursing Home.

Families looking for a Japanese nursing home or Japanese retirement home in Los Angeles often turn to Keiro Senior HealthCare for support. Keiro encompasses Keiro Nursing Home, South Bay Keiro Nursing Home, Keiro Intermediate Care Facility, and Keiro Retirement Home. It also promotes healthy lifestyles – what we call “genki living” – through The Institute for Healthy Aging at Keiro.

 



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