Frederick "Fred" Shizuo Matsuo was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, in 1927, and grew up in Duncan, Britsh Columbia. His family was relocated to Manitoba during the Second World War to work on a sugar beet farm.
He studied architectural drafting for two years, but dropped out before completion in order to provide for his family. Fred soon found a job with Smith Carter Architects, After two years of architectural drafting, he joined Smith Carter Architects and worked for 39 years as a draftsman and went on to be a highly regarded and well-respected project manager.
He was involved with the Manitoba Japanese Canadian Cultural Association and Manitoba Japanese Cultural Community Centre. Fred was also the brother in law of Henry Takatsu, a draftsperson for the Winnipeg firm Pratt Lindgren Snider Tomcej and Associates, and uncle of interior designer and artist Ryan Takatsu.