Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sus Ito, 1919-2015

Kumiko Yamamoto & Sus Ito
Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival
May 9, 2015

I met Sus Ito a few years ago, at The Genki Spark's Pilgrimage to the Past: Tule Lake and the Japanese Incarceration Why it Matters Today where he was speaking about his experiences in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service. When I was introduced to him I was expecting to shake his hand and was surprised when he grabbed me and gave me a big hug. I didn't grow up near my grandfathers – one lived in Hawaii and the other in Japan, while I was on the US mainland – and both passed away when I was young, so seeing Sus at JACL and Genki Spark events was always special for me and I could always count on a hug from him.

Sus Ito speaks at The Genki Spark's
Great Grandfather's Drum screening
June 28, 2013

I didn't know Sus well, but have read about his remarkable life. From the 442nd to Cornell, where he got his PhD, to Harvard Medical School, where he taught for 30 years, to being in the Rose Parade last year and having his WWII photography exhibited at the Japanese American National Museum this year, he led a busy life. And of course no one can forget his special spam musubi! Sus was a fixture in Boston's Japanese American community and a supporter and friend to The Genki Spark. He will be greatly missed.

Sus Ito with his head in the lion's mouth during
Stuart Paton's (Burlington Taiko) shishimai performance
Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival
May 9, 2015

Sus Ito's special spam musubi!
Learn more about Sus Ito's life:

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