Suzuki, Shizumi


Shizumi Suzuki was born on February 5, 1918, in Renton, Washington, the second of three sons of Sosaku and Tatsu Suzuki, who were immigrants from Japan. Sosaku Suzuki opened a greenhouse in Renton in the years leading up to World War II, and Shizumi Suzuki also worked there and had built a small house on the property that was owned by farmer J.E. Hayes. Suzuki graduated from Renton High School and a local business college before returning to the family greenhouse business. During the forced removal, the Suzuki family was sent to the Tule Lake concentration camp on July 18, 1942, and they moved to Heart Mountain on September 21, 1943, as part of the segregation of so-called disloyal incarcerees to Tule Lake and loyal incarcerees to other camps. They lived in apartment 20-18-D in Heart Mountain. Much of the correspondence between Suzuki and the officials at Tule Lake and Heart Mountain concerned the disposition of his property in Renton and his belongings that were stored by J.E. Hayes, whose land was condemned by the Army for an airport that is now the Renton Municipal Airport. He answered No to Question 27 and Yes to Question 28 on the 1943 loyalty questionnaire. Suzuki had two separate leave clearances in 1944 to report for his induction physicals, and he failed to report for each. He was arrested on November 27, 1944. Suzuki was part of the second group of Heart Mountain draft resisters who were tried and convicted in July 1945 of violating the Selective Service Act. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison. He was pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. After prison, he and his brother Masayo lived with their parents and ran a nursery in Los Angeles. Suzuki married Kiyoko Nakahama on August 26, 1956. Shizumi Suzuki died on September 23, 1989, in Los Angeles.

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