Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin, JAVA Benefactor
Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin was born in Portland, Oregon, on November 20, 1917, to Masaichi Tsuboi and Yukino Omori, and was one of five children. She graduated from St. Helens Hall (now Oregon Episcopal School) and the University of Oregon. In 1938, she traveled to Japan to study and work, and returned to the United States in 1940. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, she and her family were relocated to the Minidoka internment camp in Idaho. Because of Kiyoko's language skills, she was able to leave the camp to work in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to assist in Japanese language training to support the war effort.
In 1948, Kiyoko moved to New York where she worked in the New York office of the Register and Tribune Syndicate until she met her future husband, Irvin, and they married in 1964.
Mr. Taubkin retired as the Director of Public Relations of the New York Times newspaper in 1971. During WW II, Mr. Taubkin served in the Army as a reporter and copy editor for the London edition of Stars and Stripes, a U.S. Army daily newspaper. After he passed away, Kiyoko returned in 2004 to Portland where she spent the remainder of her life.
Mrs. Taubkin admired the Nisei who volunteered to serve in combat to prove their loyalty. She valued their courage, their patriotism, and the role they played to help their nation win the War. With the vision of helping to perpetuate the legacy of the Japanese American contribution to America during World War II, Mrs. Taubkin made a significant donation to JAVA in 2009. She was presented with JAVA’s highest award, the Courage, Honor, Patriotism plaque for outstanding service to the community.
[Ed Note: Mrs. Taubkin also donated a personal collection of kimonos to the Oregon Nikkei Endowment. The following link references the collection and has background on Mrs. Tabkin's family - https://www.willametteheritage.org/assets/News_2012/Kimono_Kiyoko_Tsuboi%20_Taubkin.pdf].