Haruko Terasawa Moriyasu

1932 ~ 2022

Memorial Services

Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, 211 West 100 South.
Jun 17, 2022 11:00 AM

Haruko Terasawa Moriyasu, 89, passed away on April 21, after a short illness. She was born in Salt Lake City to Uneo Terasawa and Kuniko Terasawa on May 18, 1932. She was raised in Salt Lake’s Japantown, where immigrants developed a community with business, churches and homes.

Family, community and education were important features of Haruko’s life. She helped her mother and sister, Kazuko publish a Japanese newspaper until her mother’s death in 1991. She also supported Kazuko as she started a new career a few years later. She married Hideo Moriyasu in 1964 and had a son, Mikio. She always made sure that the family dined together every night and she maintained regular contact with relatives and good friends in Japan.

The well-being of the Salt Lake Japanese community was very important to Haruko. She documented and promoted its history and stood up for its continued existence as a vibrant part of the city. She was a proponent for the arts and served as a committee member of the Salt Lake City Arts Council and on an advisory board for the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks. Haruko was an advocate for diversity and for the aged, serving as President of the Multi-Ethnic Development Corporation Board. She was active in the Matsumoto/Salt Lake City Sister City organization, continuing the family’s decades-long support of the relationship.

Haruko graduated from West High School, the University of Utah, and the Pennsylvania State University. Originally intending to enter the highly competitive field of fashion design, she would eventually receive a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics Education and a Master’s degree in Clothing and Textiles, becoming a University educator and administrator. In 1989, Haruko was appointed the first director of Asian Pacific American Studies in the Ethnic Studies Program at the University of Utah. She remained its director until her retirement in 2012. The program she built remains an integral part of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation. In a teaching career spanning almost six decades, Haruko influenced the lives of generations of people, students and faculty alike.

Haruko enjoyed photography, sewing, knitting, and weaving. She practiced traditional Japanese dance, music, doll making, wood working, and clothing creation. She loved flowers and was an avid gardener and landscaper. Haruko was a loving caretaker of her family.
Haruko is preceded in death by her husband, Hideo Moriyasu, father, Uneo Terasawa and mother, Kuniko Muramatsu Terasawa, and her sister, Kazuko Terasawa. She is survived by her son, Mikio and many cousins.

Memorial services will be held on Friday, June 17, beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, 211 West 100 South. In lieu of Koden and flowers, please donate to a charity or scholarship fund of your choice. Masking is required. For those unable to attend the service, the family invites you to join via Zoom, at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85914343812. A free Zoom account is required and you will need to sign in to join the service.

The family extends a special appreciation to the University of Utah Medical Center, Cardiology Unit and to Community Nursing Services for the care they provided for Haruko.


Condolences to the family— and thank you my friend Haruko for a long career of service at the University of Utah, touching the minds of generations of students and befriending and supporting a great many colleagues. Your contributions to the ethnic studies project will provide a strong foundation for many generations to come.

- Bob Flores

Dear Mikio and family,

I’m very sorry and sad to hear of Haruko's passing. She was the foundation of your family, the Utah Nippo, the JA and AAPI community, the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, the U, and many more communities. It was always wonderful to bump in to you and your mom at Sage Farms, the Matsumoto Sister City Picnic every summer, and many other JA events throughout the years. Her obituary is beautifully written and shows much love. Take care.

- Cassandra Van Buren

A fine and wonderful Professor I knew in Carlson Hall (Which no longer exists) when I worked there in the 1980's as a custodian....May she rest in peace...

- Everett G Amador

I am so sorry to hear of Haruko’s passing. She accomplished so much during her life time, and has been such an inspiration to all. As a young child, I remember her and Kazuko at their mother and father’s Japanese newspaper establishment that provided so much to the Japanese community. My sincere condolences to her son Mikio and extended family.

- Carol Nakamura Iwasaki

On behalf of the Mixco family, I'd like to express our heartfelt condolences on the recent passing of Ms. Huruko Moriyasu. My late sister, Gladys I. Mixco, who worked as the secretary for the Ethnic Studies Program for many years, considered Haruko one of her best friends on and off campus. Both the University of Utah and all the diverse communities of Salt Lake City, have been very fortunate to have had Haruko with all her many talents among us. She will be sorely missed.

- Mauricio J. Mixco