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Cornellia Aihara was born in northern Japan on March 31, 1926. She learned macrobiotics from George Ohsawa when he visited her town for lectures.
Shortly thereafter she went to Ohsawa's school and became one of his best students at remembering exactly what George said. In the early days she sold newspapers on street corners while learning his unique philosophy.
In the early 1950s she began corresponding with Herman Aihara, who was living in New York at the time. He invited her to New York in 1955. She traveled to New York with only ten dollars in her pocket without having met Herman.
Soon after they were married. In 1956, it was Cornellia who sent Ohsawa lifesaving supplies after he had infected himself with tropical ulcers during his stay at Dr. Schweitzer's hospital in Lambarene.
She studied macrobiotic cooking from Lima Ohsawa and assisted Lima in the first macrobiotic summer camps in the United States from 1960 to 1964. Cornellia continued cooking at the French Meadows camps until 1998.
From 1961 to her passing she devoted her life to the teaching of macrobiotic cooking, childcare and home remedies, and philosophy. Along with Herman, she traveled extensively throughout the world.
Cornellia and Herman founded the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation in 1971 and the Vega Institute in 1974. Her books include Natural Healing from Head to Toe (with Herman), The Do of Cooking, Macrobiotic Kitchen: Key to Good Health (formerly The Chico-San Cookbook), and The Calendar Cookbook. Cornellia is survived by her son Jiro and daughter Marie.