Katsuichi Satow

Name Katsuichi Satow
Born November 15 1896
Died July 14 1992
Birth Location Wakayama, Japan
Generational Identifier


Katsuichi Satow (1896-1992) was a Japanese American pastor who painted watercolors and kept detailed diaries throughout his wartime incarceration at Santa Fe internment camp and Gila River in Arizona. He was born on November 15, 1896, in Wakayama, Japan, and immigrated to the United States as a missionary student in 1926, settling first in Idaho Falls, Idaho. From 1931-41, he served as a pastor and Japanese language teacher in congregational churches in Coachella, San Diego, and Terminal Island , California. In 1928, he married Yone Kawai in Weber, Utah.

Reverend Satow was the pastor at the Japanese Congregational Church in Pasadena, California, in 1942, when the war broke out, forcing his family into the camp at Gila River, Arizona. Reverend Satow was initially taken into custody and sent to an internment camp in Santa Fe, New Mexico, before he was reunited with his family in Arizona. Throughout the war, he kept a group of diaries in Japanese about his experience (from 1943-44). In addition, he painted watercolors and helped develop educational and study materials for the public schools while in camp.

After the war, he served as pastor in Cleveland, Ohio, and later in Waimea, Kaua'i. In 1990, the then 93-year-old Satow was among a group of four former inmates who were the first in Hawaii to receive a governmental apology and reparations checks under the provisions of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. [1]

He died on July 14, 1992, in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

Authored by Patricia Wakida

For More Information

Katsuichi Satow papers finding aid, 1938-1979 . Duke University.

The View from Within: Japanese American Art from the Internment Camps, 1942-1945 . Los Angeles: Japanese American National Museum, UCLA Wight Art Gallery, and UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1992.


  1. Hawaii Herald , Oct. 19, 1990, A-5.

Last updated Jan. 16, 2024, 3:52 a.m..