Guide to the Katsuichi Satow Papers, 1938-1979


Katsuichi Satow was a Japanese-American pastor interned at Gila River War Relocation Camp during World War II. The collection includes Satow's diaries, dating from 1938 through 1979.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Katsuichi Satow papers
Satow Katsuichi
1 Linear Feet, 38 diaries
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials in Japanese.

Collection Overview

This collection consists of a group of 38 diaries, 140 x 65 mm each, kept by Katsuichi Satow (also possible as Satō Katsuichi), a Japanese-American pastor who served at various Japanese Congregational churches between 1935 and 1981. Satow appears to have used the diaries mainly as datebooks and dayplanners, recording daily pastoral and business-related activities. Typical topics include prayer meetings, sermons, church member addresses, etc. The diaries are in Japanese.

Most notably, Satow and his family were detained during World War II at the Gila River War Relocation Center, an internment camp in Arizona. Diaries from 1941 and 1942 are missing, but volumes for 1943 and 1944 include occasional descriptions of his daily life at the camp.

Satow appears to have grown more introspective as he aged; later diaries from his work as a pastor in Waimea on Kauai in Hawaii (beginning in 1967) tend to include more details about his work and personal health. The years 1962 and 1975 are also missing from the collection.

Also included are a small, red letter New Testament, and a photograph of Satow's son with a troop of Boy Scouts at the internment camp.

More Biographical / Historical Info

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More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Katsuichi Satow Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Diaries, 1938-1979

Yearly diaries kept by Satō between 1938 and 1979, excluding the years 1941, 1942, 1962, and 1975.

Box 1
Accompanying materials, 1945-1992

One folder of miscellaneous accompanying materials, particularly correspondence describing the collection's provenance. Also includes a 1935 photograph of Satow's son at the Gila River War Relocation Center.

Box 1

Historical Note

Katsuichi Satow (also spelled Satō), was born in Wakayama, Japan, in 1896 and immigrated to the United States. He lived in Utah in the 1920s. Satow was ordained in 1932 and appointed associate pastor of the Japanese Congregational Church in San Diego, California, in 1935. He then served as pastor of a Japanese Congregational Church in Pasadena in 1942, until detained with his family in the War Relocation Authority (WRA) Camp at Gila River (Butte), known as the Gila River War Relocation Center during World War II. He was a Baptist pastor at the camp until the end of the war.

In 1946, he became pastor of the Mission Congregational Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He lived in Cleveland for the next twenty years, working as a pastor and as at a ceramics factory. In 1967, he moved to Waimea, Kauai, in Hawaii and worked there until his retirement in 1981. According to his obituary, he was one of the first Hawaiian residents to receive reparations from the U.S. Justice Department for his imprisonment during World War II. Sato died in Hawaii in 1992. He was married to Yoneko Satow and had two children.

Related Material

Additional materials created and collected by Katsuichi Satow are held as part of the Henry Thomas Tanaka Papers at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Ohio.

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Processing Information

Processed by: Nanako Thomas and Meghan Lyon, March 2014.

Accessions described in this finding aid: 2012-0259.