For this sentence, how does past tense apply with noun clauses
Mr Suzuki was writer who wanted to live near the forest
Do I say
This is how I would parse it: focus on the tense of the modifying clause.
森林の近くに住みたい。 (present state)
Mr. Suzuki wants to live near the forest.
Mr. Suzuki wanted to live near the forest.
Hence, we have the following:
a) Mr. Suzuki was a writer who wanted to live near the forest.
b) Mr. Suzuki was a writer who had wanted to live near the forest.
However, if the order of events is clear from the context, we can reduce had wanted to wanted in the translation. That is, a may be equal to b in meaning, but not in this case. In other words, we could translate B using a although it offers less information if no context is provided.