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 5dn.org/sports.

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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sports en

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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sports en

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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business ja

ブラジル移民珍商売

この話は僕がブラジルからカナダへ移住した際に、2008年のブラジル移民百周年を記念して、リオデジャネイロで殊の外お世話になった真木昌(まき・さかえ)先生の偉業を トロントの『大陸時報』に 書いたもので、再度こちらで紹介したいと思います。

戦後の打ちひしがれていた日本人に夢と希望をもたらしたのは「富士山の飛び魚」と称えられた古橋、橋爪、真木、浜口の日大水泳チームが樹立した八百メートルリレー世界新記録でした。1950年3月にブラジルに遠征した日大水泳部がブラジルの日系人に大歓迎を受けたのは言うまでもありません。

ブラジルが気に入った最年長の真木昌さんは、ブラジル水泳界の要請に応じブラジルに移住されました。サンパウロの名門スポーツクラブ「パウリスターノ」のヘッドコーチに就任し、その後、レシーフェのブリティッシュカントリークラブに破格の好待遇で迎えられました ...

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