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June 2019, Volume 69, Issue 6


Hideo J. Sasaki—known as Joe to most—was born in Seattle, Washington on November 14, 1929, to Sawano Mizuta and Yonekichi Sasaki. He had an older sister named Yone. When Joe was 7 years old, his mother died of pneumonia. When Joe was 13 years old, his family was incarcerated, along with all Americans of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. Although his family lived in harsh, rustic conditions during their incarceration, Joe only shared the positive memories of playing basketball with his peers or picking beets and spuds.

Joe went on to graduate from the University of Washington where he graduated with a B.S. in 1951. He lived in the Japanese American students’ SYNKOA House on campus. Joe took a break from his studies to serve in the army during the Korean War. After returning to school, he met another student, May Nakamura. They were married in 1958 and had four children: Pam, Matt, Kim and Becky. He practiced as a pharmacist for several decades until he retired at age 70. Over Joe’s lifetime, he spent many active weekends, skiing at Snoqualmie Pass, playing tennis and pickleball with friends, vacationing with family in Hawaii where he always tried surfing at Waikiki. After retirement, he loved to sing karaoke and play the ukulele, as well as just hang out with his grandkids and pets. He also volunteered with the Nisei Vets organization and attended Blaine Memorial Methodist Church.

Joe Sasaki passed on May 28, 2019 -- just 6 months short of his 90th birthday. He is survived by his wife May Sasaki, his four children and their spouses and grandchildren. Pam Shigaya (spouse Dennis with kids Carter and Kayla), Matt Sasaki (spouse Valerie), Kim Nakata (spouse Arthur), and Becky Fukuda (spouse Randy with daughter Noelle).


Masayuki Shimada was born October 6, 1939 in Torrance, CA to Masao and Sachiko Shimada. As a three-year-old, he was taken with his family to Rohwer Concentration Camp. The US government then transferred them to Tule Lake Concentration Camp for the remainder of the war. After WWII his family moved to Cleveland, OH. He graduated from East High School and then from UC Berkeley with a degree in Engineering. He was then drafted and served two years in the US Army. His love of math and interest in computers led him to work for the City of San Francisco as one of their first computer programmers. After he moved to Seattle, he continued to work as a programmer/systems analyst, primarily at Puget Sound Energy until his retirement in 2003.

Masayuki died peacefully surrounded by family and friends following a brief battle with cancer. He leaves his wife of 49-years, Shirley, and daughter Midori, her husband Ian and two grandsons, Alexander and Nathan. He is also survived by sister Keiko and nephews Martin (Emily), Warren (Hannah) and Ward and sister-in-law Nancy. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Koichi and sister Hiromi.

The family invites you to remember Mas by joining us at this year's From Hiroshima to Hope lantern floating ceremony held every August 6th on the northern shore of Green Lake in Seattle. Mas and Shirley both served on the board of this peace group which honors victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all victims of war and violence. http://fromhiroshimatohope.org/ A memorial is scheduled for August 10th at 11:00 am at the Seattle Buddhist Betsuin Temple.


Susumu Tsutsumi passed away on May 10, 2019 with his family by his side after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on July 11, 1940 in Seattle, WA to Tomatsu and Kii Tsutsumi. He served in the US Army for 26 years and was awarded the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medals (3 awards), Army Commendation Award (2 awards) and Meritorious Unit Citation. After retiring from the Army, he spent many years in civilian life, contracting to the Army.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Hideko Kinjo, whom he married in Okinawa, Japan, and by daughters Kimberly (Alan) Morihiro, Sharon (Rich Hamilton) Tsutsumi and his most favorite people -- his grandchildren: Tyler and Justin Morihiro. In addition, he is survived by his two brothers Tsuneo (Kyoko) and Shigeru (Midori), and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.