Tsuyuki, Sumio


Sumio Tsuyuki was born on October 21, 1917, in Lompoc, California, to Kinzaburo and Yoshi, who ran a 40-acre ranch. Tsuyuki was their only son, and he had eight sisters. Kinzaburo Tsuyuki eventually left the ranch and worked as a farmhand on a nearby farm in Santa Barbara County. After high school, Tsuyuki worked for the Burpee Seed Co. in Lompoc until 1941, when he moved to Los Angeles to work as a butcher and clerk in a grocery store. Tsuyuki’s mother died in 1938 after a car accident, leaving his aging father to care for his children alone. During the forced removal, Tsuyuki, his father, and six of his sisters were sent to the Pomona Assembly Center on May 10, 1942, and then to Heart Mountain on August 23, 1942. They lived in apartment 8-4-E. He received leave clearances to work construction in Cody, Wyoming, and at the Blue Mountain Canneries in Dayton, Washington. Tsuyuki answered No to Question 27 and Yes to Question 28. He gave his reason for answering No as “Reason: I have to look after my young sisters. Father too old.” Kinzaburo Tsuyuki died on March 1, 1944, and Sumio Tsuyuki received his notice for his draft induction physical on March 5, a day before his father’s funeral in Heart Mountain. Tsuyuki did not appear for the physical and was arrested on March 29, 1944. He was tried and convicted as part of the trial of 63 draft resisters in June 1944 and sentenced to three years in the federal prison at McNeil Island, Washington. Tsuyuki was released from prison in July 1946 and pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. After prison, Tsuyuki moved to Los Angeles, where he married Satsuki Fukuda. They had six children. Sumio Tsuyuki died on November 27, 2007, in Whittier, California.