Illinois Pioneers

Japanese culture teacher Shozo Sato

7:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 11, on WILL-TV
Shozo Sato

Shozo Sato

Shozo Sato is internationally known as a theater director for his adaptations of Japanese Kabuki plays for western audiences, and the author of books on Japanese brush painting, flower arranging and the tea ceremony.  He first came to Champaign-Urbana in 1964 as an artist-in-residence, and became a professor of art and design at the University of Illinois. He also created the original Japan House, a center for Japanese culture on the U of I campus. He taught the Japanese tea ceremony to C-U residents as a way of introducing Japanese life to the community.

“He was born in 1933 and was about 12 at the end of World War II,” said Illinois Pioneers host David Inge. “It was a difficult time in Japan. There was little to eat. Their house burned down. There was death and destruction all around. And it seems that for him, art offered a way out.”

David talks with Sato about the Japanese esthetic and how it differs from the Western approach to art, and about his lifelong goal of using art to promote greater understand across cultures. Sato now lives in California, but come back often to Champaign-Urbana to visit.

Watch the full episode: