notice, funeral

notice, funeral

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
This is a funeral notice for Shinsuke Sugimoto, who died in the Amache, Colorado Prison Camp at the age of 61 on March 24, 1945. The funeral was a Buddhist service and held on March 30, 1945; Sugimoto's Buddhist name is written on the notice in Japanese.
Sugimoto was an Issei and born in Kyoto, Japan on September 10, 1884. Sugimoto lived in Japan for 20 years before immigrating to the United States in 1906 when he was just 22-years-old. Sugimoto became an insurance salesman and lived in the Los Angeles, California area.
Sugimoto met and married Misao Sugimoto (nee Toyama) on July 22, 1918 in Marysville, California, where they then lived. Misao Toyama was from the Kumamoto-Ken Prefecture of Japan. Together they had four children: Kathleen, Mary, Roy, and Paul.
Sugimoto then became the Secretary of the Japanese Association of Marysville before relocating to Boyle Heights in 1928. It was there that Sugimoto also taught kendo, a Japanese martial art using bamboo swords.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1945. This Executive Order authorized the designation and removal from military zones of anyone considered a threat to national security, although mostly those of Japanese descent were affected by this. 110,000 people of Japanese descent were relocated to prison camps in Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Idaho, Arkansas, California, and Colorado.
Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated in waves, and Sugimoto was one of the first to be arrested after Executive Order 9066 was signed. It is believed that because of Sugimoto's kendo expertise that he was considered a danger by the U.S. government and thus the reason for his sudden arrest. Sugimoto was arrested so suddenly that he wrote to his family and told them he had barely any time to get dressed, and that he had left an unfinished tax return on the desk.
Sugimoto was brought to the Tuna Canyon Detention Station in Tujunga, California, where he stayed and wrote letters home to his family until his relocation to the Santa Fe Alien Detention Camp in New Mexico. Sugimoto instructed his eldest son Roy to sell the family belongings, and left more instructions with his eldest children on how to deal with familial finances and business. From the prison camps, Sugimoto was able to write to his family, tell them he loved them, that he thought of them often, hoped they were well, expressed his worry for them, and reassured them that he was well, and to comply with orders and not worry about their eventual relocation.
During Sugimoto's stay in the prison camps, his family was relocated from their home in Los Angeles and moved to the Santa Anita Assembly Center, a racing track turned temporary housing facility until the prison camps were finished. The Sugimoto family (minus Shinsuke Sugimoto) were then relocated to the Granda (Amache) Prison Camp in Colorado, and Shinsuke Sugimoto was finally able to reunite with his family there at the age of 58.
Sugimoto's daughter Mary and her husband Yoshio were sent to the Rohwer, Arkansas camp. Sugimoto's youngest son Paul was still of school-age, and Sugimoto encouraged Paul to study hard and get his education, even when Sugimoto was separated from the rest of the family. Paul attended the Amache Junior High School and Amache Senior High School inside the Amache Prison Camp.
Sugimoto unfortunately did not live to see liberation from the Amache Prison Camp. He died just two months shy of his family's release at the age of 61 on March 24, 1945, in the Amache Prison Camp.
Sugimoto's Buddhist funeral service was held on March 30, 1945 inside the camp. Sugimoto was cremated by the Fairmount Cemetary Association in Denver, Colorado, and his ashes were sent to his widow, Misao Sugimoto.
Currently not on view
Object Name
notice, funeral
date made
circa 1940s
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 3 1/4 in x 6 in; 8.255 cm x 15.24 cm
overall: 6 11/32 in x 3 3/4 in; 16.129 cm x 9.525 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
gift of Donna Sugimoto
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Japanese American
Executive Order 9066
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object