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Inventory of the Lester E. Suzuki Collection
GTU 2000-11-02  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Index
  • Bibliography
  • Other Finding Aids

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Lester E. Suzuki collection
    Dates: 1942-1995
    Collection number: GTU 2000-11-02
    Creator: Suzuki, Lester E.
    Collection Size: 1 linear foot (1 box)
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
    Berkeley, CA 94709
    Abstract: The collection consists of three drafts of his doctoral thesis Ministry in the Assembly and Relocation Centers of World War II, as well as books and other research materials donated by Suzuki. The thesis describes daily life and worship in the Japanese relocation centers. These materials were donated to the Graduate Theological Union by Seda S. Suzuki, widow of Lester E. Suzuki.
    Physical location: Stored at GTU.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Suzuki, Lester E. collection, GTU 2000-11-02. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    The materials were donated to the Graduate Theological Union by Mrs. Seda S. Suzuki.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Lester Suzuki was born in Waipahu, HI in 1909. He moved to San Jose in his teens and later graduated from San Jose State University. In 1934 Suzuki met and married Seda Shizuko Ito. He went on to receive a Masters of Divinity in 1935 from Drew Seminary, New Jersey. Suzuki became one of the first Nisei Methodist ministers; his first pastorate was in Wapato, Washington.
    During World War II Suzuki and his family were moved to a Japanese relocation center. One of his sermons may be found in "The Sunday Before: Sermons by Pacific Coast Pastors of the Japanese Race on the Sunday before Evacuation to Assembly Centers in the Late Spring of 1942." Suzuki was active in the Historical Society of the United Methodist church and wrote a biography on the Life of Bishop Merriman Colbert Harris.
    In 1976 he received a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, his thesis was inspired by his experiences in the relocation centers was called: Ministry in the Assembly and Relocation Centers of World War II. He died in Berkeley, CA in 1999 after an extended illness.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The materials were donated to the Graduate Theological Union by Mrs. Seda S. Suzuki. They contain some of Lester Suzuki's books and three drafts of his doctoral thesis.


    The box has been arranged with research materials first followed by the three drafts of the thesis, one chapter per file.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Japanese Americans--Religious life.
    Japanese--United States--Religious life.
    Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.


    Suzuki, Lester E


    Guthrie, Clifton F. (Clifton Floyd) For all the saints c1995
    Renge, Melvin Celebration, 75th anniv., 1908-1983, Japanese Congreg. Church 1984

    Other Finding Aids

    Japanese-American internment camp church bulletins and newsletters collection, 1942-1945, GTU 94-9-02; J. Stillson Judah: Japanese Camp Books Collection, 1942-1946 , GTU 2001-3-01.