In Memory: Toshiko Satake

Toshiko Satake, headshot
Toshiko Satake
Oct 12, 2021
USA Rice extends condolences to the family and friends of Toshiko Satake, chairperson emeritus of the Satake Corporation, who passed away peacefully on October 5, 2021, in Hiroshima, Japan.
Mrs. Satake graduated from the University of Southern California in 1957, joined Satake in 1959, and had led the company as its chair and CEO since 2001, the same year she was appointed director of the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation.  She also

was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Hiroshima University in 2001 and received a Doctorate of Agriculture from Kyoto University in 2005.

The Satake Corporation was founded in 1896 by Toshiko’s grandfather, Riichi Satake, who invented the first power-driven rice milling machine in Japan.  Next, her father and then her late husband, Bob, expanded the business globally.  Today, the Satake Group consists of 26 companies strategically placed in 12 countries around the world.  The company became an associate member of the USA Rice Millers’ Association (RMA) in 1984 and has been a tremendous supporter and sponsor of RMA and USA Rice events over the years.
In 2016, the RMA awarded Mrs. Satake the RMA Distinguished Service Award recognizing her outstanding lifetime contributions to the U.S. rice milling industry.  Her husband, Bob, received the same award the first time it was given in 2001.  

“Anyone who knows Mrs. Satake knows that she has a passion for rice milling,” said Robert Trahan, who, as RMA chair in 2016 traveled to Hiroshima, Japan, with RMA Convention Chair Ken LaGrande, to deliver the award to Mrs. Satake in person.  “She and her company have made rice milling better, more efficient, and more cost effective, helping all of us produce rice of the highest quality.”

Mrs. Satake, at the time, said, “I have tried to contribute my small improvement to the areas of functional foods, food safety, and convenience.”

Private services were held last week and a memorial celebration is planned for later this year.