Colonel Sato is the deputy of Miura and the secondary antagonist of Ip Man. Compared to Miura, he is far more sadistic and less honorable than his superior.
He is portrayed by Tenma Shibuya.
Sato was a Japanese colonel who lived when the Japanese and Chinese were at war. In 1937, the Japanese army attacked China and took hold of it, massacring many of the people who lived there. The Chinese were rendered weak and poor, having to work hard just to get a bag of rice.
Sato and several Japanese soldiers arrive in China one day. They want the Chinese martial artists to fight for their entertainment. If one of them wins a fight, they get bags of rice depends on how many Japanese fighter they defeat. A Chinese master Master Liu had gone missing, so the title character Ip Man volunteered to go in order to see what happened to him.
In the stadium, Colonel Sato watched as Miura proved himself a powerful fighter, defeating three Chinese men but giving them rice anyway. Ip Man finally saw Liu, who defeated his opponent and recieved a bag of rice. However, he then offered to fight three Japanese men to get more rice. He was unable to fight them all and lost, so he took his bag of rice to leave. This is where Sato's true nature is shown. He immediately shoots Liu in the head, killing him instantly. A shocked Miura asks why he did that. Sato's reply was that he took the bag of rice even though he lost, even though the bag of rice was from the battle he did win. Miura was not satisfied with the answer and threatened to shoot Sato if he tried again during the tournament. An enraged Ip Man, who saw Liu's death, demanded to fight ten Japanese, and defeated them all quickly but refused to take all ten bags of rice for ten defeated Japanese.
Miura tells Sato to find Ip Man and force him to teach the Japanese Wing Chun. However, when he does find Ip Man and his family, he harresses Ip's wife and children, leading to Ip Man to attack them and knock them unconscious. Former police man, Li Zhao, who had now become a translator for the Japanese, starts stepping on Sato's leg to break it, which fails. In retaliation, Sato would later brutally beat Zhao as punishment.
Ip Man challenges Miura to a battle, which he accepts. Sato pleads with Miura to let him shoot Ip, but the honorable general refuses because that would mean accepting defeat. Sato tells Ip Man he will kill him if he defeats the general.
During the fighting match, Ip Man starts to prevail, and Sato starts to worry and starts to grab his gun. Ip Man finally does beat Miura and the Chinese cheer his name. Unexpectedly, Sato takes his gun and shoots Ip Mna in the shoulder. There is a momewnt of silence as Ip falls to the ground. This sparks an outry at this very moment, and the Chinese attack the Japanese soliders, who are no match for the anger of the Chinese. Li Zhao wrestles with Sato and holds his gun to his neck and pulls the trigger, killing him.