Ann Burroughs, president and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum, issued the following statement on Sept. 7.
On behalf of the trustees, governors, staff, volunteers, and supporters of the Japanese American National Museum, I wanted to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Dean Matsubayashi and to the Little Tokyo Service Center on his recent passing.
As the executive director of the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), Dean built on the foundations laid by his predecessor and mentor Bill Watanabe and took his organization to new heights. Besides its laudable social service work, LTSC’s role under Dean’s leadership as a nonprofit real estate developer generated a great public benefit for many of our Southern California communities.
When Dean became head of LTSC, he represented a new generation of leadership for our Japanese American community and Little Tokyo. His work in the advancement of the Little Tokyo Community Council, the formation of Sustainable Little Tokyo, and the on-going construction of the Terasaki Budokan are only part of his lasting legacy for our community.
The Japanese American National Museum valued Dean for his leadership and vision. In tribute to those qualities and more, JANM will light up the window above the Ceremonial Arch of its Historic Building (formerly the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple building) and the beacon in the Pavilion each evening until his funeral services on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. We shall miss him greatly.
Services for Matsubayashi, who passed away on Sept. 4 at the age of 49, will be held on Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. at Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 815 E. First St. in Little Tokyo.