Shuichi Kusaka was born October 17th, 1915 in Shinkitacho, Asahi Ward, Osaka city, the eldest son of Kiyoshi Kusaka and his wife Tsuya (née Matsui)
In April of 1920, Shuichi’s father Kiyoshi went to work as the head doctor of the Fishermen’s Charity Hospital in Steveston, British Columbia. In August Shuichi and the rest of the family sailed to Canada to meet him there.
In 1929, Shuichi attended Strathcona Elementary School in Vancouver. During the 1920s and 1930s, the Kusaka family lived at 368 East Cordova Street, just south of St. James Anglican Church and Saint Luke's Hospital.
In 1931, Shuichi graduated Vancouver Technical High School and entered Britannia High School.
In 1933, Shuichi graduates Britannia High School and enters the University of British Columbia. He receives a Royal Institute of Technology and Three Sciences Scholarship.
In 1936, Shuichi Kusaka is elected president of the UBC Physics Club and received a Graduation Scholarship.
In 1938, Kusaka received his Master of Science from MIT and moved to California to begin his Doctorate Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. There, he studied with along with Robert F. Christy under renowned physicist, Dr. J. R. Oppenheimer. His first research dissertation was titled On Periodic Orbits in the Equatorial Plane of a Magnetic Dipole （Graef, C., & Kusaka, S., J. Math & Phys. 17, 43）
In the summer of 1939 Kusaka met Japanese physicist Hideki Yukawa in California. Yukawa was returning to Japan on his way home from the 1939 Solvay Conference on Physics. In August Kusaka became a University Teaching Assistant and wrote two dissertations: “Galactic Rotation and Intensity of Cosmic Radiation at the Geomagnetic Equator” (Vallarta, M. S., Graef, C., & Kusaka, S., Phys. Rev. 55, 1) and “Electric Quadrupole Moment of the Deuteron” (Christy, R. F., & Kusaka, S., Phys. Rev. 55, 665 (Letters)
In 1940, Kusaka made a trip to Japan. Visiting Dr. Yukawa in Kyoto. Osaka University’s Masashi Kikuchi urged him to join Osaka University、while Yoshio Nishina of Japan’s Science Research Institute, Riken, pressed him to join Riken.
In 1942, Kusaka received his Phd. from U. of C. Berkeley then moved to Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Study where he studied Nuclear Forces Theory with T. Pauli under Albert Einstein.
From 1943 until the end of the War, Kusaka worked as a Physics instructor for Massachusetts State Smith college. In 1943 he wrote two papers: On the Theory of a Mixed Pseudoscalar and a Vector Meson Field (Pauli, W., & Kusaka S., Phys. Rev. 63, 400) and, The Effect of Radiation Damping on Burst Production (Kusaka, S., Phys. Rev. 64, 256)
From 1944 to 1946, Kusaka worked for the US Military at the American Army’s Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
In 1945 he produced a dissertation titled The Energy Spectrum of the Primary Cosmic Radiation (Kusaka, S., Phys. Rev. 67, 50)
In 1946, Kusaka won the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation scholarship. On July 1st he became a lecturing instructor at Princeton University
In March of 1947, Kusaka was promoted to Assistant Professor under Hungarian-born Eugene Paul Wigner. On August 31, Kusaka went with a number of friends to swim in the ocean at New Jersey Beach Haven. There Kusaka died in a drowning accident at the age of 31.
His funeral took place on September 10, at Princeton’s University Chapel after which he was buried in Princeton Cemetery.
Faculty of Physics
On February 7, 1948 a memorial service was held for Kusaka at Ganjouji Temple in Osaka’s Sumiyoshi Ward. In May of the same year, Princeton University established the Kusaka Memorial Prize in Physics in his memory.