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 Susumu Hirota  (1898 - 1979)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts / Japan      Known for: landscape, coastal views

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Susumi Hirota is primarily known as Susumu Hirota

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Ad Code: 4
Susumu Hirota
from Auction House Records.
Sutton Gore in Nov
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted August 2005, is from Virginia Wells Tosico Hirota Robb, daughter of the artist.

"My father was born in Kochi City, Japan December 18, 1898. He came to the USA at the age of nineteen to work for Yamanaka Oriental Gift Importers in Boston, MA. He met my mother who was working as a secretary for Yamanaka's. My mother was Hazel Rebecca Wells, born in New Hampshire. They were married in New York February 18, 1930. They spent their homeymoon traveling through Japan and China buying for Yamanaka's and themselves.

Hazel and Susumu made their home in Boston and went on to have their own little Oriental Gift shops. They had two children, Elizabeth Anne Hirota and Virginia Wells Hirota. Elizabeth was born 4/4/1933 and died 3/12/1973. Virginia was born 4/23/1935. I live in New Hampshire.

Susumu painted many paintings mostly oils. We moved to Rockport, MA,and he was active in the Rockport Art Association and had a shop on Bearskin Neck. Eventually we moved to Pigeon Cove where he had a home built on the granite foundation of a barn at the oceans edge at 163a Granite Street. The hardwood floors, 12 over 8 windows, the marble fireplace and some of the doors were purchased from salvage operation from old houses in Salem, MA.

My parents had many artist friends with whom I visited with one or both. Among them were painter Lester Hornby; sculptor Richard Recchia and his lovely wife Kitty Parson Recchia who wrote stories aboutDogtown Connon on Cape Ann; Mae Bennet Brown and so many others.

During the war years he taught Japanese to servicemen going overseas. He refused to teach me. His philosophy was that I was born an American and should speak only my country's language.

We saw convoys sailing up the coast to head out into the Atlantic. We also saw a submarine periscope in the water in back of our house and a parachute drop there. Each time my father notified the authorities but we never found out what was going on.

He became an American Citizen.

Eventually his mother in Japan died and he went there to settle her affairs.His health was deteriorating, and he traveled overseas a few times. He had several heart attacks there, and the last time he came back, he had been very ill on the ship. He returned to help a friend do an art show and hadseveral heart attacks and eventually succumbed to them in the Kochi City Hospital

I own many of his paintings at this time. If I can answer any questions you have please don't hesitate to e-mail. If I can answer, I would be glad to.

I realize this is brief but I am 70 and the last relative alive who knew him well.


Virginia W. T. H. Robb

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