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Kosaburo Shimizu was born in Japan. He emigrated to British Columbia in 1907 and began attending classes held at a Japanese Methodist mission. Shimizu entered the University of British Columbia in 1915 and later earned an M.A. in English Literature from Harvard University (1924). He continued his studies and was ordained as a minister of the United Church in 1926. He worked in Vancouver through the 1920s and 1930s to build up and reinforce the Japanese Christian fellowship. Shimizu devoted much of his efforts to bridging the growing rifts between the first and second generation Japanese Canadians and between the Anglo-Saxon Canadians and the Japanese Canadians. During World War II, Shimizu was relocated by the Federal Government to the internment camp in Kaslo, B.C. In 1945 he was transferred to Toronto where he organized the Japanese United Church's work in the Church of all Nations.