Male, US, born 1935-05-17, died 1975-03-16

Associated with the firms network

Haag, Richard, Associates, Incorporated, Site Planners, Landscape Architects; Sakuma, James, and Peterson, Landscape Architects

Professional History

Partner, Richard Haag Associates, Incorporated, Seattle, WA; Partner, Sakuma/James, Landscape Architects, Seattle, WA, 1968- ; Partner, Sakuma, James and Peterson, Landscape Architects, Seattle, WA, c. 1972. Principal, Donald Sakuma and Associates, Landscape Architects and Urban Planners, Seattle, WA, c. 1975. Sakuma made his reputation designing important city parks in Seattle; the Seattle Times wrote: " "His firm has designed more than 15 parks and recreation facilities in the Pacific Northwest, including View Park at Harborview Hospital, and Hing Hay Park in the International District. His firm also is a consultant to Lawrence Halprin & Associates on the Freeway Park." (See "Services Friday for Donald Sakuma," Seattle Times, 03/19/1975, p. B2.)

Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington, Seattle, Seattle, WA, 1963-1971; Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington, Seattle, Seattle, WA, 1971-1975; the Seattle Times indicated in Sakuma's obituary that "He was responsible for development of the landscape curriculum at the U.W." (See "Services Friday for Donald Sakuma," Seattle Times, 03/19/1975, p. B2.) Visiting Lecturer, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design (GSD), Cambridge, MA; Visiting Lecturer, University of Toronto, Toronto, CA; Visiting Lecturer, Utah State University, Logan, UT.

Vice-President, American Society of Landscape Architects, Pacific Northwest Chapter, 1969-1971. President, Washington State Board of Registration for Landscape Architects, c. 1971; Member, Washington State Board of Landscape Architectural Accreditation.


B.S., University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Berkeley, CA, 1957; M.Arch., Harvard University, Graduate School of Design (GSD), Cambridge, MA, 1959.


Born in Cheyenne, WY, Sakuma lived with his family in a $40-a-month rented dwelling at 509 1/2 Thomas Street in Laramie according to the US Census of 1940. At this time, seven people--Donald, his parents, sister, grandmother and two renters--lived in what may have been small rental accommodations behind a $4,000 house at 509 Thomas owned by Aaron Bovee, a tent and awning maker, and his wife, Bessie. The Sakumas, as per the census, had lived at this address in 1935. Donald's grandmother, Tomo Sakuma (born c. 1874 in Japan), was listed in the 1940 US Census as the family's head. Her occupation was listed as "landlady" of apartments, probably because there were two tenants living with them, Ben Matsuyama (born c. 1881 in Japan), a store clerk, and John Marsh (born c. 1909 in AR) a railroad porter.

His father was Miner Sakuma (born c. 1898 in Japan), a steam railroad truckman, and, his mother, Toshiko Sakuma (born c. 1914 in CO), who was about 16 years younger than her husband, maintained the home. Samuel Williston's "The Law Governing Sales of Goods at Common Law and under the Uniform Sales Act," published in 1909, defined the functions of a truckman: "When goods arrive at a railroad station or wharf to which they are destined, they are commonly taken by truckmen to warehouses or to the buyer's place of business." (See Samuel Williston, The Law Governing Sales of Goods at Common Law and under the Uniform Sales Act, [New York: Baker, Voorhis and Comany, 1909], p. 909.) They raised two children, Pauline Sakuma Akiyama (born c. 1933 in WY), who lived in Mountain View, CA, in 1975, and Donald. Both Miner and Toshiko were still classified as "aliens" in 1940. His mother remarried Tsugio Myoraku, of Menlo Park, CA; at his death, he had two stepbrothers, Katashi Myoraku, of Castro Valley, CA, and Hiroshi Myoraku, of Redmond, WA, and a half-brother, Roger Myoraku, of Menlo Park, CA.

Sakuma married Pauline Kiyoko Fujino on 08/16/1964 according to King County records.

He and Pauline had one son, Hideo Adam Sakuma.

Member, Japanese-American Citizen's League; Member, Council of Design Professionals. Sakuma Viewpoint Park on the south boundary of the University of Washington, Seattle, was named for Donald Sakuma, in 1976. This park was designed in 1998 by McLeod Reckord, Landscape Architect. SSN: 554-48-9404.

Associated Locations

  • Cheyenne, WY (Architect's Birth)
    Cheyenne, WY

    OpenStreetMap (new tab)
    Google Map (new tab)
    click to view google map

PCAD id: 2443