In this interview, Martin Blake Kobayashi describes his family history - his father, Coby Yutaka Kobayashi who was born in Steveston, BC in 1920 and his mother, Yone Kobayashi (nee Matsui) who was born in Vancouver, BC in 1918. His father's family was removed from their homes in Steveston to a sugar beet farm in Manitoba during WWII. His mother who worked for a well connected employer received permission to live and work in Toronto, ON during WWII.
Both families rebuilt their lives in Toronto, ON. Marty was born in Toronto in 1955 and he talks about his childhood growing up in the suburbs of Toronto. Marty's father was a key figure in the planning of the 1st Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) on 123 Wynford Drive. His mother was also a community leader who was involved with the Women's Auxiliary (WA) at the JCCC. Marty recollects his time volunteering at the JCCC from the 1960s up till present day (2020s).
Marty joined the JCCC Board of Directors in 1982. He quickly rise through the ranks from Vice President in 1983 to President in 1985. Marty was President of the JCCC for 12 terms. He talks about highlights of his time as President of the JCCC including the JCCC's 25th anniversary gala and the Royal Visit by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan in 2009.