Fumiko Fukase Indergaard

fumiko indergaard

Fumiko Fukase Indergaard passed away on June 27, 2022 at home in Kew Gardens, New York.

She was born in Sapporo, Japan on August 27, 1963 to Tadakazu and Ayako Fukase (Takashina). She received her BA in English from Fuji Women’s College in 1987 and worked in Tokyo at Labo, a student exchange service. In 1989 Fumiko moved to East Lansing, Michigan to enroll in the Sociology MA program at Michigan State University. She received her Sociology MA in 1993.

Fumiko married Michael Indergaard on August 6, 1994. They moved to Forest Hills, New York four days later. They had a son, John Tomomichi, on December 16, 1995. She enrolled in the Sociology PhD program at Columbia University. Under the renowned Charles Tilly she studied how Japanese Protestants supported democracy. She received her PhD in 2007.

She taught as an adjunct professor of sociology at St. John’s University (2007-8) and then taught at Queens College until her illness advanced. She had a passion for social theory and was thrilled that Queens College made her one of their regular instructors of that class.

Fumiko loved traveling, dining out and watching films with her family. More recently, she discovered the pleasures of bass fishing in Minnesota. She was an outstanding college professor, who was dedicated to her students. She was a kind, patient, and cheerful person who was passionate about world peace and social justice. She often went to Japan to care for her aging parents.

She was a member of her parents’ Protestant Church (Sapporo Independent Church) and attended services at Church-in-the-Gardens where her husband and son are members. Fumiko drew on her strong faith and loving family in a long, courageous battle with cancer. She was preceded in death by her parents and aunt, Reiko Takashina

She is survived by her beloved husband Michael and beloved son John, her sister Emiko Fukase Nelson, Emiko’s spouse Jonathan Nelson and daughter Emily Megume (Meg) Nelson. Fumiko cherished them all.


Memorial: July 13, 2022 1:00 pm

Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center
123 10th Street
Fargo, North Dakota 58103


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  1. I am actually a student in the UK studying Fumiko’s work on Meiji-era nationalism. It’s one of the more fascinating and evocative writings I have read on nationalism, which is otherwise a really dense academic subject. I appreciate the sharp vividness she wrote with, which other, more boring academics would probably have skipped – it made academia on nationalism way more interesting and, more importantly, accessible. Her writing reflects a bright, interesting storyteller who prioritised engaging with and helping people. I’m really sorry to read that she’s died, but also very grateful that this obituary gave me the opportunity to learn more about her as a person.

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