Nikkei Chronicles #9—More Than a Game: Nikkei Sports

With most major sporting events, including the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, either cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are missing the experience of live sports. For this edition of Nikkei Chronicles, we invite you to share stories about Nikkei sports. It is our hope that sharing thoughts and recollections of pastimes that we love can help to unite and comfort us during a difficult time.

What makes Nikkei sports more than just a game for you? Perhaps you’d like to write about your Nikkei sports hero or the impact of Japanese athletes on your Nikkei identity. Did your parents meet through a Nikkei basketball or bowling league? Are you intrigued by an important chapter of Nikkei sports history, like the prewar Issei and Nisei baseball teams?

Thanks to everyone who submitted their stories for Nikkei Sports! Our Nima-kai selected their favorites by awarding “stars” to the stories they liked. Voting is now closed. We’ll announce the favorite stories by Editorial Committees on December 18!


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Check out these other Nikkei Chronicles series >>

sports en

Dave Roberts, Mr. Santa Barbara Dodger, Tommy Lasorda, and “Fred” Sinatra

When manager Dave Roberts and the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched a long awaited World Series title, the journalist in me felt pretty happy for one of the truly good guys I wrote about over the years as a player, coach, and skipper. As a fellow Nikkei, watching the Okinawa born Roberts, whose mother is Japanese and late father African American, the same scene elicited more powerful feelings within while triggering childhood memories of watching baseball games with Mr. Santa Barbara Dodger.

My Uncle Shizuo “Caesar” Uyesaka was given the aforementioned nickname while he was the president of the Los Angeles ...

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sports en

Why Coach Sports? Bob Kodama’s Legacy Coaching Youth Sports

My Father, Bob Seiko Kodama, was a Nisei born in Seattle, Washington in 1931. His parents operated hotels in Downtown Seattle. He spent the early part of his life exploring the waterfront. In 1942, along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans, Bob and his family were rounded up and sent to an internment camp. His family was sent to Minidoka, Idaho. It is hard to imagine what it is like to be 10 years old and be locked up by your country for how you look. While at Minidoka, Bob learned how to play baseball. He became good enough that ...

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sports en

My Love and Life in Sports

Until my beloved wife Alice passed away suddenly last year, I considered myself the luckiest man in the world. We were happily married for 65 years and we had 4 grown children and 10 grandchildren. In perfect gender symmetry, we had two daughters and two sons, and they in turn gave us 5 granddaughters and 5 grandsons.

We did almost everything together—including watching lots of games. We first watched our daughters play JAO basketball and softball, high school archery, badminton, and basketball, and then volleyball and SCWAU basketball. We also watched our sons play CYC baseball and basketball, high ...

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sports en

Stranger Skater From Nowhere

October 31, 2020

Wow, lost the first draft…

So going to write in one sitting.

Technology and me… I am more of an analog guy.

In typical skateboard fashion I started this project the last day, in the 11th hour…

I am “gosei” meaning 5th generation in Japanese, in western culture it would be considered 4th generation Japanese American, or just “Chinese, chinaman, or respectfully, chino.” I got sponsored in 1989, turned pro in ’95, retired from pro-skateboarding in 2003, and did a variety of the New York hustles to maintain. Now, my wife and I own and operate El ...

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sports en ja

Family History of Kenichi Doi, Vancouver Asahi pitcher in 1926

Kenichi Doi was a pitcher for the Vancouver Asahi baseball team in 1926 who originally played with the Cumberland baseball team on Vancouver Island B.C. Canada.

I am lucky that my friend Norm Ibuki introduced me to his close friend, George Doi, Kenichi Doi’s son, who shared his father’s history with me.

George was just a child during the height of Kenichi’s baseball days, so he does not have any memories of the actual games, other than getting into the back of an open truck to go to a game and watch it. In those days ...

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