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The family and friends of Fred Shigekawa gathered at Vista Cove at San Gabriel to celebrate Shigekawa’s 100th birthday on November 15, 2012.
San Gabriel Mayor, Kevin Sawkins presented Shigekawa with a certificate from the San Gabriel City Council recognizing the centennial of his birth.
Mr. Shigekawa was born in Oregon turned 100 on November 16.
Mr. Shigekawa went to Japan at age six and returned back to the United States at the age of 18 after he finished his schooling. At the age of 23, he married Fumiko. He owned and operated a produce stand until 1942 when he was ordered to report to the Santa Anita Assembly Center. From Santa Anita he was relocated to Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming where he stayed for the next year and a half. He later came to Minnesota where he worked on a farm and later for a national bakery as a donut maker.
In 1957, Mr. Shigekawa relocated to California where he owned and operated Ray’s market in Highland Park, he sold produce, milk and groceries and as the owner he worked 7 days a week without ever taking a vacation. In 1973 he sold the market and moved on to be a tour guide for Japanese tourists/businessmen. He also took Nisei for tours in Russia, Canada, Hawaii and all over Europe. He retired in his late 70’s and enjoyed spending time with wife and taking his kids and grandkids to theme parks.
Mr. Shigekawa drove until the age of 95 and could be seen around town with Fumiko at Japanese restaurants where he always ordered buta dofu (pork tofu). A dish that may be attributed to his longevity.