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?

Submissions will be accepted until October 31, 2020, at 6 p.m. PDT.

All stories submitted that meet the project guidelines and criteria will be published in the Discover Nikkei Journal on a rolling basis as part of the More Than a Game series. Authors may submit multiple entries.

For more information, visit

Check out these other Nikkei Chronicles series >>

sports en

From the Bleachers

When I was little, I heard a quote said by American professional baseball player, Babe Ruth: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” This quote has stuck with me throughout my life and taught me that failure is undoubtedly part of the game of life but provides a learning opportunity to help us move forward. Babe Ruth’s words are applicable to the Falcons baseball program because although the Falcons no longer exist, the experiences and memories are integral parts of many Nikkei childhoods and are still alive for participants, parents, and coaches.

The ...

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sports en

A Connection Beyond Basketball

For many, the Japanese American basketball leagues are a foundational part of their Japanese American childhoods. It’s a way for Japanese Americans from kindergarten to high school to play basketball and be involved in the Japanese American community. In California, these leagues are organized into two areas. The first area is in Northern California, which includes cities such as San Francisco and Sacramento, and the second area is in Southern California which includes Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. This article will compare the experience of Rossten Nakamura and Katelyn Kung, two players in the Northern California league ...

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The Dodgers’ Japan Connections: From the 1956 Japan Tour to Hideo Nomo

In 1956, the Brooklyn Dodgers traveled to Japan for a 20-game exhibition tour following the end of their baseball season. This began the Dodgers organization’s relationships with Japanese baseball that included subsequent goodwill tours, visits by Japanese professional players to spring training at Vero Beach, and a Japanese stone lantern that still stands at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. All of these relationships culminated in the Dodgers’ signing of Hideo Nomo.

Dodgers team historian, Mark Langill, recently shared the fascinating story about the Dodgers’ tour of Japan in 1956 during the Japanese American National Museum’s virtual program on ...

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Making a Splash: Nikkei Role Models in Swimming

I joined a swim team in Southern California when I was 8 years old and before I knew it, swimming became the biggest part of my identity. If I wasn’t at school, I was in the pool. My weekends were reserved for swim meets from the early mornings to evenings. My conversations were always swimming-related because my friends were mainly swimmers. I gained nicknames from my teammates, and even schoolmates, such as “the Olympic swimmer” and “Kato” (I am actually called Kato more often than my real name). While I excelled in both school and swimming, I always favored ...

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sports es

El mundo de Marcela Castillo Tokumori

2019 es el segundo mejor año de la carrera deportiva de Marcela Castillo Tokumori. En los Juegos Panamericanos de Lima ganó la medalla de plata en la modalidad de poomsae en taekwondo. Si los Juegos se convirtieron en una gran fiesta nacional, fue gracias a personas como ella.

Su mejor año fue 2016. Ahí su carrera despegó. Fue subcampeona mundial y alcanzó el estatus de deportista de elite. Por una feliz coincidencia, sus dos más grandes logros tuvieron como escenario Lima, así que su familia pudo compartir su alegría con ella in situ. “Le da un ...

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