Lee Nakamura, a native son of Berkeley who is better known by those close to him as “Cubby”, is the Berkeley Chapter’s recipient of its 2018 Pioneer Award. The Chapter is proud to recognize Cubby for his long time service to the East Bay community and to the JACL. Cubby is the co owner of the Tokyo Fish Market, 1220 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. Tokyo Fish is an East Bay institution with a large number of loyal customers who shop there for fresh sushi grade fish, rice, soy sauce, and many other Japanese food staples.
Born and raised in the Berkeley area, Cubby participated in many sports programs as a youth and enjoyed his time with the Berkeley Bears local basketball and baseball teams. He graduated from Berkeley High School and SF City College where he earned his degree in Culinary Arts.
Cubby’s culinary interests began at the early age of 14 where he was a dishwasher at Toraya Restaurant in Albany. He became a manager at the Toraya. He moved on to co-manage the seafood department at Berkeley Bowl Market for over 8 years. He was also the co-owner of Osumo Restaurant in Oakland. In 1988 Cubby joined forces with his current business partner, Larry Fujita, at Tokyo Fish Market. Established in 1963 by his partner’s parents, Isamu and Tazuye Fujita, Tokyo Fish is a fixture in the East Bay and is a popular place to shop for both Asian and nonAsian customers who enjoy Japanese food. Cubby’s specialty is in the buying and stocking of seafood where the store merchandises more than 100 kinds of fish including bluefin tuna from Japan, farmed salmon from Scotland, and halibut. The store also stocks a wide variety of Asian condiments, noodles, rice, Japanese snacks and candies, sake, bento boxes, and sushi.
From the time he started working, Cubby has had a passion to work with youth. He functions as a mentor to the youth and supports the local community. Indeed, many local organizations have benefited from Cubby’s generous contributions and support of local community activities. Cubby is married to Cathy, and they have two sons, Andrew and Ryan, both of whom have played team sports and work in the family business.
The Berkley JACL chapter recently approved and funded a grant in the sum of $1,000 to the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council (“CJACLC”) from the Chapter’s Endowment Fund.
The Berkeley Endowment Fund is administered by the Board of Directors to support community-oriented projects or programs that further the aims of the JACL.
With these objectives, the Chapter funded this grant to CJACLC to further its internship program aimed at developing leadership in young Nikkei students.
The Berkeley JACL (Japanese American Citizens League) deplores the actions of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville. Their message of hate and racial prejudice has no place in today’s discourse and we, as an organization, will not stay silent and allow this message to go unchallenged. We also denounce the president’s statements on Tuesday, August 15, which suggest moral equivalency between the white supremacist protestors and the counter protestors. We join all those who support America’s steadfast values of justice, equality, and democracy.
With the upcoming protests in San Francisco’s Crissy Field and at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley, we hope these demonstrations will be peaceful and there will be no more tragic loss of life. Our thoughts go out to the family of Heather Heyer and all the victims of the terrible attack that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend. We must all unite to condemn this senseless tragedy and stand up for our community and our values.
This year, Berkeley JACL sent 5 members to the national convention in Washington, D.C. Attending this year are the Berkeley chapter co-presidents Jim Duff and Beth Uno, civil rights chair Tiffany Ikeda, and youth delegate Amelia Huster.
If you would like to order a t-shirt, please respond with your size (XS-XL available) by Monday, June 19th. Shirts cost $15.50. We will place the order and you can pay once you receive your shirt. Please contact Beth Uno if you are interested in purchasing a shirt at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Berkeley JACL is currently seeking and accepting Endowment Fund Grant applications. The purpose of the Endowment Fund is to support Japanese American community-oriented projects or programs that further the aims or purposes of the Chapter.
The Chapter goals encompass and embrace upholding human and civil rights of Japanese Americans and all other people, promoting understanding, respect, and appreciation of all cultures, and include strengthening community ties and fostering coalitions with other groups with similar interest as the Chapter.
Applications should be submitted by April 15, 2017. Grants up to $2,000 may be awarded
In the wake of a divisive election season, many members of the community are filled with fear and apprehension of the uncertain times ahead. The rhetoric of this past election has empowered certain individuals to act in accordance with their racist, homophobic, and Islamophobic beliefs. Since the November election, police and advocacy groups reported an increase in violent attacks based on race, religion, gender and sexual orientation. The Berkeley JACL will not stand idly by or remain silent while members of our community are targeted as victims of violence based on the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, their gender identity, or who they love. We will not allow these types of racist, anti-immigrant, misogynistic, sentiments to be normalized and refuse to accept policies or political rhetoric promoting an agenda of hate and exclusion.
The mission of the Berkeley JACL includes upholding the human and civil rights of all people by strengthening community ties, fostering coalitions, and promoting understanding, respect and appreciation of the rich diversity and contributions of all cultures. As a chapter of the nation’s oldest and largest Asian-American civil rights organization, the Berkeley JACL stands in a unique position to speak out for the rights of others. The Japanese American experience is one stained by bigotry and fear when over 120,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly imprisoned in government-operated concentration camps during World War II solely because of their Japanese ancestry. In present times, this same bigotry and fear has found a new target in the Muslim American community. While the target has shifted, we recognize the same sentiments calling for the derogation and segregation of those seen by a wider American audience as the other—groups such as Muslim Americans, immigrants, and the LGBTQ communities.
The Berkeley JACL stands in solidarity with all groups seeking to build a stronger, more inclusive America built on the belief that diversity of experience is what makes America truly great.