Miyeko Azeka Kubota
March 14, 1922 – January 7, 2021
Miyeko (Mickey) Azeka Kubota of Fresno passed away on January 6, 2021 following a brief illness. She was born in Los Angeles on March 14, 1922 to Taketaro and Tokiwa Azeka. She is predeceased by her parents, husband James Kubota, and sisters Shizue Horiuchi and Delmar Gotanda. After graduating from Lincoln High School in Boyle Heights, she attended business school where she graduated top in her class. Her skills led to her career as a legal secretary. During her imprisonment at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming during WWII, she continued performing Kabuki style odori on stage, having studied under Madame Fujima Kansuma before the war and continuing with Tomofuku Nakamura during incarceration. While there, she taught and led their annual Obon Odori festival. Her role in preserving this traditional art was documented in “Hidden Legacy” by Shirley Muramoto-Wong. As an active member of the Fresno Buddhist Temple, she led the annual Central California Obon Odori festival for 50 years. She was famously known for her love of the outdoors and all its creatures. Her personal menagerie included dogs, cats, birds, hedgehogs, ferrets, insects and many types of reptiles. After the death of her husband, she ventured a safari in South Africa and boat ride on the Amazon River while visiting the Galapagos. She is survived by her children Russell, Debbie, Marshall, and Barton, and grandchildren Eric and Craig Sako, Michael and Tyler Kubota, Jared, Evan, Nolan, and Taylor Kubota, and great-grandchildren Reef, Solana, Layla, Keira, Hazel, and Rex Kubota.(Photo: George and Frenk C. Hirahara Collection, Washington State University Libraries MASC.