Berkeley JACL Statement on El Paso Shooting

The Berkeley JACL Chapter mourns for the 20 people killed and more than two dozen injured in the shooting at the Walmart in El Paso, Texas.  Our organization strongly condemns the racist and hateful beliefs that led to this tragic event. There have been too many lives lost in recent times. Just a few days before the shooting in El Paso, four many others lost their lives in a shootings in Gilroy and then more also in Dayton. Together we support the victims and their families in El Paso, Gilroy, and Dayton and  reiterate our commitment to continue to resist discrimination, hatred, and violence everywhere.

BJACL Civil Rights Committee Statement on Central American Migrant Crisis

Recently, the plight of several thousand migrants from Central America seeking asylum in the United States has become a national story. The response to restrict the asylum from the current administration, which has been blocked by the US judicial system, and the current political movement based on xenophobia and entitlement, does not represent our values or our will as people. The recent attempt to restrict asylum applications contradicts both US law and the “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” ethos that is long held dear. As the current administration strays away from these fundamental American ideals, the Berkeley JACL Civil Rights Committee remains firm in its position in support of civil rights and the principles this great country was founded on.
-Berkeley JACL Civil Rights Committee

Berkeley JACL Awards 7 Scholarships and Honors Lee “Cubby” Nakamura as Pioneer Recipient

The Berkeley JACL chapter awarded scholarships to 6 high school seniors, one college undergraduate, and presented its Pioneer Award to Lee “Cubby” Nakamura during its April 29th awards luncheon held at Richmond Country Club in Richmond.

The chapter awarded scholarships to the following high school seniors based upon their academic
achievements, community involvement, school activities, work history, JACL involvement, written
essay, letter of recommendation, and group interview.

  • Luka Uchiyama (Castro Valley HS) will attend Cal Poly SLO and will major in bioresource and agricultural engineering – Luka is the recipient of the Bea Kono Memorial Scholarship.
  • Alexander Tsuetaki (Durham Acadamy – North Carolina) will attend Tufts University and major in computer science/science technology and society – Alexander is also the recipient of the Dan/Kathleen Date Memorial Scholarship.
  • Kailee Nabeta (Rio Americano HS – Sacramento) will attend Boise State University as a kinesiology major – Kailee is also the recipient of the Terry Yamashita Memorial Scholarship.
  • Jared Akiyama (Berkeley HS) will attend San Francisco State University and major in journalism.
  • Alyssa Cho (El Cerrito HS), will attend Domican University as an occupational therapy major.
  • Sydney Wong (El Cerrito HS) will attend San Jose State University and major in graphic design.

The chapter also awarded a college undergraduate scholarship to Maya Kashima. Currently attending Berkeley City College, Maya will transfer to UC Berkeley in the Fall as a media studies major.

The chapter recognized long time major sponsors Union Bank (Dimitry Bokman) and memorial scholarship donors: the Beatrice Kono family (George Kono), the Terry Yamashita family (Reiko Nabeta), and the Dan/Kathleen Date family (Gail Yamamoto).

The scholarship committee includes: Alix Ching, Mark Fujikawa, Tiffany Ikeda, Vera Kawamura, Neal
Ouye, Al Satake, Sharron Sue, and Ron Tanaka (Chair).

2018 Berkeley JACL Pioneer Award Recipient Lee “Cubby” Nakamura

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.

CJACLC Awarded a $1,000 Berkeley JACL Grant

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.

Berkeley JACL Response to Charlottesville

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.

Berkeley JACL Attends JACL’s National 2017 Convention

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.

Photo of Berkeley JACL members in our chapter t-shirts
From left to right: Val Yasukochi, Amelia Huster, Tiffany Ikeda, Jim Duff, Beth Uno


photo of Berkeley JACL members at the Smithsonian Museum of National History
From left to right: Tiffany Ikeda, Jim Duff, Amelia Huster, Val Yasukochi, Beth Uno

Baseball, Bento, and Bombs Bursting in the Air: A’s vs. Orioles

The 14th Annual Berkeley JACL Baseball and Bento event will take place on Saturday August 12, 2017 at 6pm, when the Oakland A’s play the Baltimore Orioles!

In addition to plaza infield seats, a delicious bento dinner and a bottle of water, there will be a fireworks show!  All this for only $42!

We only reserved 75 tickets for this popular event. The deadline to purchase tickets is July 15, 2017.

Berkeley JACL Celebrates Unsung Hero Ron Tanaka

On April 22, 2017, the Berkeley Chapter celebrated Ron Tanaka as our chapter unsung hero at the JACL NCWNP District Awards Banquet and Celebration in Danville.  Ron Tanaka is the chair and driving force behind Berkeley JACL’s robust scholarship program, which this year awarded 12 scholarships for incoming college freshmen.

Thank you Ron for your contribution!

Read more about the Gala here