The Ogura Family
Alice Ogura Sato, alongside her husband Professor Emeritus Shozo Sato and her brother Dr. George Ogura, made multiple significant contributions to support Japan House and its mission to make the beauty of Japanese arts and culture accessible to all. Their contributions support Japan House in many important ways, including the construction of an addition to the existing structure that will be called the Ogura/Sato Annex. The annex will provide much needed space to accommodate the extensive programming Japan House offers, and by improving accessibility it will support greater inclusion in events such as the tea ceremony and the enjoyment of the surrounding gardens.
Alice Ogura Sato was a biology teacher in Denver, Colorado, for over 30 years. She was a founding member of the Balarat Outdoor Center, which provides instruction to Denver Public Schools students in environmental studies, western history, and outdoor leadership skills. She was a strong advocate for outdoor learning. Ultimately, she held the position of Balarat Council Director Emeritus. She was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award in recognition of her outstanding service in secondary school education from Yale University. Another of her great pleasures was utilizing her vast vocabulary and grammar skills to edit all of Shozo Sato's books on Japanese culture before they were sent to the publishers for printing.
George Ogura, a forensic pathologist, visited Shozo and Alice in Champaign in 2017 and was surprised by the beauty and tranquility of the Illinois prairie and the cultural offerings of Japan House. He attended every event that Japan House held during his visit, and he decided to relocate to Champaign from his longtime home in Denver. George became an avid supporter of Japan House and stated that although he was Japanese American, he never truly embraced his Japanese heritage until he visited Japan House.