Kenichi "Ken" Sato
U.S. Army - M.I.S.
World War II

Brick #2100   Wall Location  Column: 18   Row: 27

Ken was born on April 4, 1926 in Keahua, Maui. He is a WWII Military Intelligence Service (MIS) veteran who served in occupied Japan and in the War Crimes Trials in the Philippines. The trials were held in a very dignified atmosphere. Ken was told by his close buddy that at one of the other trials, the witness on the stand was asked to identify the defendant and the witness stood up and hollered “that man right there” and pointed wrongly to the interpreter sitting next to the defendant. The trial was recessed for awhile. When the war ended, the Filipinos wanted nothing to do with anything Japanese so they even threw away the Japanese yen which was imposed upon them during the war. Some of the clever GIs collected the yen and they used it to play poker and some even took the yen to Japan where it was the legal tender. Upon his discharge from the U. S. Army, Ken took a U.S. Civil Service job in Tokyo as an interpreter/interrogator and it may be of interest that he volunteered to go to Korea for a month or two when the Korean War broke out in June 1950 and he returned to Tokyo with his body covered with flea bites. Since he wanted to take advantage of the GI Bill, he terminated his job and returned to Hawaii and enrolled at the University of Hawaii. It was a difficult self-imposed transition since he went from “never had it so good” in Japan to a lowly student dishwasher at the UH cafeteria. It brought him back to earth and reality. After a year in Hawaii and marriage to Sarah, they moved to Seattle where he enrolled at the University of Washington. While at UW, they lived in Union Bay Village where he was the student manager. Union Bay Village provided housing for married students attending the UW and it was a very interesting student community. There were many tasks to tackle in the village, but one of the unfortunate yet humorous tasks he had to do was to sign out a couple who was getting a divorce because the husband decided to keep their pet monkey rather than staying with his wife who wanted to get rid of the monkey. Upon graduation from the University of Washington, Ken worked for the Seattle School District as a classroom teacher, school administrator and district budget supervisor until his retirement.

Some of his memberships include the UW Alumni Association, the Japanese Community Service, the Seattle Japanese Language School, the UW Nikkei Alumni Association (SYNKOA), Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington and the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC Life). Ken and Sarah have three children and five grandchildren. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on September 2, 2011 with many thanks and gratitude.

HAIKU, 1971 Tribute to UW

As autumn leaves fall,
The astroturf remains green,
While campus turns gold.

  • Highest rank attained: PFC.
  • Position: MIS
  • Enlisted: 1945 - 1947
Branches Of Service
  • U.S. Army
  • World War II
  • General HQ
  • Company D 759MP Battalion Legal Section