Rice Quarterly: LSU honors Toshiko Satake

by Emily Wilson
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Toshiko Satake, chairwoman of Japan’s Satake Corp., received from Louisiana State University the Agricultural Center’s Distinguished Fellow Award at LSU’s 247th commencement exercises in May. Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Toshiko Satake completed grammar school at Gakusyuuin High School, a private women’s school in Tokyo, and then enrolled in Gakusyuuin University in 1952. During her summer break in 1952, she joined a volunteer group to help victims of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. While doing so, she was introduced to and became very intrigued by the "American spirit" of the college students from the United States who were also there to help. In 1953, she moved to Los Angeles to attend English language school. After completing her studies there, she was admitted to the University of Southern California, where she majored in commercial design and arts. During her college days in Los Angeles, she met her future husband, Robert Iwakami. She and Robert returned to Japan, married in 1960, and became involved in the family’s rice milling machinery business. Satake is an active member of numerous professional, educational, economic and community associations. She has contributed to several universities worldwide and has donated Satake milling machinery to several foreign governments to increase food production for their people. Satake Corp. designs, develops, manufactures and markets sophisticated food processing equipment for shipment around the world. The company serves customers in 130 countries. Satake has been dedicated and integrally involved in the management of the Satake Corp. for many years. Toshiko Satake and the Satake Corp. have been very generous benefactors of the LSU Agricultural Center for more than 35 years, during which they established the H. Rouse Caffey Professorship, donated two research-scale rice mills to the LSU Agricultural Center, provided laboratory equipment and commercial equipment to support academic activities in teaching and research at the Rice Research Station in Crowley, and presented grants in the form of money and equipment to support rice research.