Albert Toshio Kuyoma (1919-2010), was born in Pasadena, California, the son of Japanese immigrants. While a young man in college, he and his family were relocated to the Gila internment camp in Arizona. Making sense of his life experiences as “sacred story” first drew Al to Bread of Life where he became a foundational supporter donating nearly $50,000 to the mission during his lifetime. His niece, Laura Sugano continued the family legacy with a significant gift from his estate last year after Albert’s death. It is with the family’s permission we share a little bit of Albert’s sacred story.
Albert’s parents came from Japan and settled in Pasadena. His father started the Japanese Association and built the building by clearing a eucalyptus grove. Many of the single men had done some smoking, drinking, and gambling, but some decided with their new wives to move to church and to live differently. The church in Pasadena started out as a mission, but became a “Union Church” embracing all denominations. The church services were conducted in Japanese with a Japanese pastor. On Easter in 1923 (April 1), Albert, his mom, and his sister were baptized. One of the Bible verses that most stuck with him was II Timothy 2:15: “Study thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
After finishing Pasadena Junior College in 1940, Albert attended Cal-Aggie (UC Davis). He felt his job was to keep himself open.
“God guides the way,” he said. “If and when I do a little planning, I think of Proverbs 16:9: ‘The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.’”