Known as "Big Jim" by family and friends, he was born on August 13, 1936 in Honolulu, HI to Michael and Elizabeth (Rice) Shizuru. On November 10, 1956 he married Nancy (Stillman) Shizuru at Holy Trinity Church in Kuliouou.
A scholar athlete, he attended Waialua High School where he lettered in 3 sports-track, basketball, and football-leading Waialua to 2 of its 4 Oahu Interscholastic Association football championships during the 1950s (1952-53). He graduated in 1954.
He then attended the University of Hawaii where he was a member of the 1955 UH Athletics Hall of Fame team (the entire team was inducted in 2006). On September 17, 1955, UH's 25-man football team upset powerhouse Nebraska 6-0 in Lincoln in one of the greatest upsets in UH and Nebraska football history.
His love of football led him to assistant coaching jobs at both Damien and the Pac 5.
Never one afraid of risk or hard work, he left the security of Hawaiian Telephone to found and run several refuse companies, Da Rubbish and Oahu Scavengers.
Big Jim had a passion for the ocean and a deep love for his Hawaiian roots. In the early 1980s he got involved with the Polynesian Voyaging Society, leading the restoration efforts of the sailing canoe Hokule'a. He was a key factor in saving Hokule'a, which had been left to languish in the mangroves of Kaneohe Bay. Following Hokule'a's restoration, he then joined the Voyage of Rediscovery (1985-1987) as a crew member. In July through August of 1985, he was a crew member of the Hawaii to Tahiti trip, but perhaps his proudest achievement was as a member of the Aotearoa crew. Departing the Cook Islands on November 21, 1985 and making landfall in Aotearoa on December 7, 1985, Hokule'a became the first Polynesian canoe to arrive in Aotearoa in over 500 years. His calm demeanor, quick wit, compassionate spirit, and Samurai toughness made him the perfect open ocean sailor.
A veteran, Big Jim served for 6 years in the Hawaii National Guard and US Army Reserves.
A faithful man of God, he served in numerous church ministries with the Prison Ministry being the most fulfilling.
Big Jim was preceded in death by his father, Michael, his mother, Elizabeth, his sister Janet (Kaninau) and his brother-in-law Rudolph Kaninau. He is survived by his wife Nancy, his brother Thomas (Rosalie) and children, James "Jim Boy" (Cindy), Dawn (Scott) Mukai, Richard (Lisa), Matthew (Ceciy), Nanea Clemens, Moana (Kekoa) Sua, Lee Chow, Jamie (George) Kaopuiki, Elizabeth Iseke. He was blessed with 24 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren.
Big Jim's funeral service will be held on Monday, February 14, 2022 at the Diamond Head Memorial Park chapel with visitation from 1030 -1130, service 1130 - 1230 and burial to follow at 2 pm at Valley of the Temples .
Arrangements Provided By:
Diamond Head Mortuary Chapel