Shuichi Sumioka

Born August 18, 1889 in Hiroshima, died January 7, 1970 in Los Angeles.

Shuichi (="S") seems to have grown up in Asagun near Hiroshima.
He landed in Honolulu June 25, 1904 (15 years old!) on the S.S. Gaelic from Yokohama
This information is included on the ship's passenger list, as well as other pieces of information. He is #9. He couldn't read or write (english presumably) and he arrived with $10. There is further information that is not very legible. It is possible that his father paid his fare. There are some numbers written in the column of who is going to visit.

He sent money back to Japan, but when he returned, found that all the money spent, so he went back to the U.S. (?)

On June 5, 1917 (27 years old), according to his world war I draft registration card, he was living at 566 North 5th St (?) in San Jose, CA. Note his signature. In the 1920 census (30 years old, though listed as 22), he was living at 2200 Durant Ave in Berkeley, CA as a servant for the Frank Naylor family. Frank Naylor was apparently the president of the First Bank of Berkeley. He died suddenly in 1923.

In 1919, S. was acknowledged in a paper (see the last line) in the Physical Review (the most prestigious physics journal now, not sure about then!). He was an assistant to Abraham Press, who was an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering at Berkeley. Press's book "Dynamo design: its theory and practice" is still in print and can be bought at Amazon!

He went to Stanford (where he was apparently on the rugby team). According to an Stanford alumni directory on the web, he attended 1913-4 and 1916-7. So far, no records of his graduating from either Berkeley or Stanford have turned up.

S. went to McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, graduating in 1923 and was ordained by the Chicago Presbytery. That institution's records him as attending the College of Wooster (Wooster, OH), and also gives as a past address the Japanese Language School at Honeyville, Utah.

S. was married to Chizu (= "C.") Sumioka probably in 1925-6, in Japan. At the time, S. had been in the U.S. for 20 years. It seems that C. had trained and worked as a teacher. They came back by ship and landed August 12, 1926. When they landed, C. was ~6 months pregnant with Tokiko and apparently was quite sick on the trip.

Chizu Sumioka
Born December 10, 1893, died March 17, 1948 in Los Angeles
From Midorii, near Hiroshima - this can be found on google/apple Maps.

Tokiko, born December 9, 1926
graduated UCLA 1953
Hisako, born November 2, 1928

C. with Toki (right) & Hisako (left) - March 3, 1930.

Toki and Hisako talk about their mother (February 6, 2021) - 8 minute version - 11 minute version

S. was associated with the Centenary Methodist church in Los Angeles, possibly as the minister (see below). In 1930 census, they were living at 1641 West 37th Place, which is a block or two away from the church on the corner of Normandie and 35th St and several blocks west of USC. According to family lore, the ministry didn't work out, because his japanese wasn't good enough!

C. apparently liked the movie "King of Kings", a 1927 silent movie about the last days of Jesus by Cecil B. DeMille. She was a follower of Aimee Semple McPherson, who was very popular in Los Angeles (supposedly, 10% of the population belonged to her church). McPherson is considered to be a fore-runner of today's televangelists, but she seems rather innocent compared to them and was certainly involved in many worthy activities such as aid for victims of the Long Beach earthquake. The church she built on the north side of Echo Park, Angelus Temple, is still active. S. was enthusiastic about Toyohiko Kagawa, there was a portrait of him hanging in their living room. Kagawa was an 'internationalist', and his writings can be bought on Amazon even now. The Christian religion was evidently a big part of the lives of both S. and C. Even now, Christianity has many branches; it seems that S. and C. were associated with forward-looking movements that were oriented towards community activities.

S. started a flower shop, which was on 1st and Fickett St. in Boyle Heights (map). The flower shop was on the northwest corner, apartment building on northeast, hospital on southwest, and a grocery store on the southeast corner. What it looks like in 2021:
Overview of downtown LA - you can key in on 1st Street. From the east, it passes through Boyle Heights, then Little Tokyo / Japantown, then turns into Beverly Blvd. Boyle Heights had a relatively large japanese-american population, but also had many latino, yugoslav, armenian and russian jewish people (who tended to live on the north side). The shop was patronized by many non-japanese.

Los Angeles was a boom town in the 1920's, 1930's.
Center of the movie industry. 1927 "The Jazz Singer", the first movie with sound.
The Great Depression began in September 1929. Franklin D Roosevelt began the turnaround in 1933, but it took years to recover. March 10, 1932 - the Long Beach earthquake. 1932 Summer Olympics. Farmer's Market opened in 1934, and police started using radio for communication.1935 - the Griffith Observatory opens.1936, electricity from the Boulder Dam reaches LA. The mayor Frank Shaw was forced out for corruption, Fletcher Bowron replaced him in 1938. 1939 - Union Station opens. 1940, the first freeway, Pasadena Freeway opens.

The family was relocated to Poston during World War 2. They lived in Block 30, Barrack 1, Apartment B. Map of who lived where in block 30 (1 MB jpg file). Overview of Poston Camp 1 (1 MB jpg file) - legend for overview map

After the war, the family could not afford to live together. Hisako was a schoolgirl for Bertha Schuchett (May 3, 1903 - October 15, 1986) (husband Mike? dime store; daughter Lali had polio), on Kingsley St then Franklin Ave. She went to John Marshall High School and Los Angeles City College (map)

Soon after the war, S. bought property at 2919 Beverly Blvd, this was traded for 2911 where the flower shop was for many years. (map). This building is no longer there.
There was a fire station across the street, and the Reliable Market was on the corner of Reno St. The original Tommy's Hamburgers is a few blocks away, at Beverly and Rampart. It started in 1946 and is still there.

C. died of liver cancer in 1948.

Shuichi was the 2nd son (though Shuichi means first son??). The first son went to Brazil after World War 2.
There was a third brother (Saburo) and two sisters. Saburo went to Canada, died early of a heart attack in his 30's.

A curious thing - there were two Ohori brothers. One married Shuichi's sister (Wataru Ohori married Utami Sumioka) and the other married Chizu's younger sister! It seems then, that there were three families of two siblings each, and these were linked equally to each other by marriage.

Thanks to Reverend Mark Nakagawa (Centenary Methodist Church) for the following information:
Pacific Japanese Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church had an annual meeting
25th session (Sept 7-19, 1923 in Nevada City, CA) Shuichi Sumioka was listed as Director of Religious Education
26th session (Aug 27-31 in Oakland)
27th session (Sept 9-12, 1926 in Santa Cruz) address listed as 1408 West 35th St, Los Angeles (this is a few blocks west of USC) (though this might be just the address of the Centenary Methodist church)
Centenary Methodist Church was at 35th and Normandie (1925), now at 300 South Central ave (1995)

The following is family tree information from a letter to H. Terasaki from Nobue Nagai (daughter of Shingo Sumioka), August 2, 1989:

Shuichi's parents: Risuka Sumioka married Tazu (?) lived in Ewaya (?), Hiroshima ken, Japan (cannot find this village on map)
6 children: Masato (m), Shuichi (m), Saburo (m), Utami (f), Shingo (m), Masako (f)

Masato died in Brazil in 1962;
2 children: Hagime (m), Shizue (f, deceased in Japan)
Hagime married Kazumi Erino
4 children: Kanami (m), Chikaru (m), ? (m), Shizue (all born in Japan)

Saburo died in Vernon, BC; married, no children

Utami married Wataru Ohori
6 children: Toshio (m), Fumiye (f), Susumu (m), Yoshinobu (m), Sumiye (f), George (m), Joe (m)
Toshio married Yuriko Kinoshita, 2 children: Valerie (f), Teresa (f)
Fumiye married Sunshine Sato, no children
Susumu died at age of 16
Yoshinobu married Yoshiko (?), no children
Sumiye married Roy Morito, 2 children: Caryl (f), Ellen (f)
Caryl married Shigeru Age, Ellen married Frank Mena
George married Sanae (?), 1 child: Tracy
Joe married Rita Yamamura, 3 children: Howard (m), Douglas (m), Karen (f)
Douglas married Helen Sawicki

Shingo married Tsuyako Fukuyama
3 children: Nobue (f), Tatsumi (m), Yukie (f)
Nobue married Roy Nagai, 2 children: Mary (f), Linda (f)
Tatsumi married Mutsuko Morishita, 2 children: Nancy (f, married Christopher Lashbrook, 1 child: Kiyomi), Akimi (f, deceased at 100 days)
Yukie married Roy Asa, 4 children: Bryan (m), Ann (f), Shane (m), Andrew (m)

Masako married Hirogi Tanaka
2 adopted(?) children: Hideo (m), Fumiko (f)
Masako died May, 1989