Shimizu, Rev. Kosaburo

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Shimizu, Rev. Kosaburo

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  • Reverend Kosaburo
  • Shimizu, Kosaburo
  • Kosaburo Shimizu

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Rev. Kosaburo Shimizu was born in 1893 in the village of Tsuchida, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. He and his family immigrated to British Columbia in 1907. Shimizu attended public school, then studied at the University of British Columbia. He obtained an MA in English Literature from Harvard University in 1924, and became an ordained minister of the United Church in 1926. His first appointment as pastor was with the Vancouver Japanese United Church on Powell Street in 1926.

Shimizu always worked towards building Japanese Christian fellowship, and strengthening ties between the Nisei and Issei (Second and First Generation) Japanese Canadians, and the Anglo-Saxon Canadian and Japanese Canadians. He worked tirelessly to build positive relations between these groups, even during rising tensions and racist ideologies.

During the Second World War, Shimizu worked for the Co-operative Committee on Japanese Canadians (CCJC), the United Church Board of Home Missions, and the British Columbia Securities Commission to visit Ontario and Quebec. As before, Shimizu worked to foster better relations between the different communities, including the Japanese Canadians expelled by the Canadian government and Anglo-Saxon Canadians with racist’s ideologies against Japanese Canadians. Shimizu traveled across the country for CCJC, stopping in major cities to report on potential work, housing arrangements, and recreational activities Japanese Canadian may find if they chose to relocate to Eastern Canada. While traveling, he tried to speak and listen to every Japanese Canadian he met, listening to their concerns and offering counseling.

After the war, Shimizu and his family moved to Toronto where he formed the Toronto Japanese Nisei Congregation in 1954. He was married twice, his second wife was Hide Hyoto, CM, an educator and activist. He was conferred by the United Church a Doctorate of Divinity in 1955. Shimizu passed away in Winnipeg in 1962.


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Created September 3, 2019 by Elizabeth Carroll.


  • English



Arai, Grace. “From the Diaries of the Rev. Kosaburo Shimizu.” Nikkei Images 9, no.1 (Spring 2004): 1-6.

Arai, Tsuguo & Grace Arai. “Review.” Review of Kosaburo Shimizu: The Early Diaries, 1909-1926 by, Patricia Roy. BC Studies, November 4, 2013.

Dowe, David. "The Protestant Churches and the Resettlement of Japanese Canadians in Urban Ontario, 1942-1955." Canadian Ethnic Studies 39, no. 1 (2007): 51-77. doi:

Gwiazda, Emily. “Hide Hyodo Shimizu.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Last updated March 15, 2019.
Ito, Sam. “Reverend Kosaburo Shimizu, M.A., D.D.” The Bayview United Church. Accessed August 30, 2019.

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