Our Team


Rex and Keiko Ziak are the co-founders of OBON SOCIETY.

Keiko was born into a family of traditional Japanese kimono designers and manufacturers in Kyoto, Japan. Introduced to the rigorous discipline of kendo a the age of ten, she honed her physical and mental fortitude under the guidance of her esteemed master for eight years. She has lived in both Canada and England at different points in her life. Before initiating OBON SOCIETY, Keiko served as a maritime officer aboard a ship that visited every continent, including over 60 countries.


Rex was born in the state of Oregon in the United States. He spent more than 5 years conducting anthropological research in Latin America, later transitioning into a career as an international freelance photographer, documentary cinematographer, and local historian. He has authored several books and, in his spare time, has been actively involved in preserving ancient rainforests. In fact, he is personally responsible for preserving more old-growth forest in southwest Washington State than any other individual or organization.


Both Rex and Keiko actively serve on the OBON SOCIETY Board.  


Board of Directors:

Rex Ziak- President

Bill Garvin- Vice President

Bethany Glenn- Secretary

Keiko Ziak- Treasurer


Staff and Volunteers:

Randy Puseman- Chief Archivist

Beth Kandoll- Archivist

Lloyd Bowler- Fulfillment

Eric Norman- Office Assistant

Yuki Hioki- Family Relations

Kosuke Kudo- Researcher, Public Relations

Takahisa Yamamoto- Researcher, Scholar

Niho Hashimoto- Researcher, Scholar

Taro Ihara- Researcher, Translator

Tatsuya Ishigami- IT Support

Advisory Board:

Ron Regan

Stephen Brookes

Alan Akin

Yoshitsugu Kunimatsu

James Zuiches

 Honorary Veteran Liaison:

Ed Johann:

OBON SOCIETY was honored to count Ed Johann as our Honorary Veteran Liaison and valued advisor.

Ed's journey of service began when he joined the Navy in the spring of 1941 with the goal of supporting his parents by sending home his modest monthly salary of $21, minus the cost of the candy bars he enjoyed.

December 7th marked a pivotal moment in Ed's life, as he was operating a 21-foot launch in Pearl Harbor, ferrying nurses and doctors across to the PX when the attack on Pearl Harbor began. Positioned at ground zero during the ensuing battle, Ed's heroic actions saved dozens of oil-soaked and burned sailors, whom he courageously pulled from the burning waters.

Post-war, Ed pursued various remarkable endeavors, including a career as a professional boxer, serving as a firefighter, and embarking on adventurous mountain climbing expeditions. His climbing feats included summiting most major peaks between Alaska and Chile.

Beyond his physical accomplishments, Ed was a dedicated public servant, having served as a City Council member, founded a local museum, and shared his experiences and wisdom as a sought-after public speaker for over 75 years. In July of 2023, Ed celebrated his 100th birthday, marking a century of inspiring life and service.

On December 26, 2023, Ed peacefully passed away. OBON SOCIETY will undoubtedly miss him dearly, and his contributions and presence will be remembered fondly. 

Rest in Peace, our dear friend!