Yoko Matsuoka McClain

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Yoko Matsuoka McClain (January 1, 1924[1] – November 2, 2011) was a Japanese-born American professor of Japanese language and literature at the University of Oregon.[1] She was the granddaughter of Japanese novelist, Natsume Sōseki, from her maternal lineage.[1][2]

McClain was born Yoko Matsuoka in Tokyo. She graduated from Tsuda College in 1945 and found work as a translator during the Occupation of Japan by the Americans following World War II.[1] She obtained a scholarship, the forebearer of the Fulbright Program, to study at the University of Oregon. As a student, Matsuoka worked as a receptionist for the University of Oregon's art museum, now called the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.[1] She received a bachelor's degree in French from the University of Oregon in 1956 and a master's degree in comparative literature in 1967.[1]

McClain taught Japanese literature at the University of Oregon from 1964 to 1994, when she became a professor emeritus.[1] She authored more than a dozen books and scholarly works on Japanese studies. Her husband, George Robert McClain, collected Japanese prints and art, which she donated to Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art following his death.[1]

The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs honored McClain for her contributions to Japanese-U.S. cultural relations in 2003.[1] The University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences also awarded her the Alumni Fellows Award in 2003.[1] In August 2011, McClain received the Gertrude Bass Warner Award from the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.[1]

Yoko McClain died from a stroke on November 2, 2011, at the age of 87. She was survived by her son, Ken McClain; one grandchild; and her sister, Mariko Hando.[1]

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