In Memory

Vivian Campbell

Vivian Campbell was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She passed away after a battle with cancer on October 4, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan, with her husband James and friend Tatsuki Matsuda by her side. 

She loved Japan and lived and worked here for the last 30 years. Her father was from Naples, Italy. Her grandfather was Italian and her grandmother was from France, so she was a third-generation immigrant to the USA. She was her mother’s only child. 

Her mother was a teacher and Vivian followed the same path. After receiving a National Merit Scholarship, she attended the University of Pittsburgh to study Analytical Philosophy. She received her Master’s Degree there and later studied at Rice University in Houston. She also loved accounting and obtained a degree in tax accounting. 

She worked for the University of Maryland from 1992 until 1999, teaching in Okinawa, Korea, and Japan. After she left Maryland, she taught for Tokai University for about ten years. When she was sixty two years old, she obtained a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics which helped her obtain a teaching position at Waseda University where she taught for twelve years until she retired. Even after that, she continued to be an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland Global University. 

She was a very humble and private person who never liked to talk about herself. Those who knew her well, knew that she was a strong person with a brilliant mind. She worked in the American Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, traveling with the Freedom Riders through Mississippi and other parts of the South. She followed the principles of Non-violent protests taught by Dr. Martin Luther King. 

She loved to travel and explore new cultures. She went to India three times, to Oxford University in England to take classes, to Canada, Egypt and Ethiopia Her husband James-san went with her to Thailand, China, Bali, Italy, Greece, Sicily, the Philippines, Spain, and Portugal. 

She was a wonderful companion and a fabulous cook who also loved jazz and spy and detective stories. James-san says she was the smartest person he ever met. Her favorite word to things she didn’t like was an immediate “No,” and sometimes if it was really bad, “Oh my, no!” She had a mysterious Mona Lisa smile and if you ever saw it, you would never forget it just as we will never forget her. 

She loved her life in Japan, her friends, her husband, and Mr. Cat, her favorite pal.