Nikkei Chronicles #9
More Than a Game:
Nikkei Sports

Like music, sports transcend language and cultural barriers. Anyone can enjoy them, whether as a participant or a fan. Whether it is an organized team event or an individual activity such as jogging or fishing, sports provide an outlet from our daily lives. More than any other modern activity, team sports bring us together as communities in celebration (or misery).

Initially, Discover Nikkei had selected sports as the theme for this year’s Nikkei Chronicles to tie in with the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Although the Olympics and most sports activities around the world have been postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel this is still a relevant topic because it’s obvious most of us are missing our favorite sports. Sharing our love of sports today can help to unite and connect us in a difficult time.

So, for the ninth edition of Nikkei Chronicles, we invite you to share stories about Nikkei sports. Perhaps you’d like to tell us about the impact of Japanese athletes on your Nikkei identity, or how you’ve realized the significance of sports in your life now that it’s missing. Maybe you could write about your Nikkei sports heroes like U.S. Olympic figure skating gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi, tennis champion Naomi Osaka, or Brazilian Olympic bronze medalist swimmer Tetsuo Okamoto. When the Olympics finally happen in Tokyo, will you root for your country’s athletes or for Japan? Or both? Tell us why.

Have you heard stories about prewar Issei and Nisei baseball teams like the Vancouver Asahi? If so, why do you think those stories are important to us today? Did your parents meet through a Nikkei basketball or bowling league, martial arts tournament, or at an international sporting event like the Confraternidad Deportiva Internacional Nikkei (Nikkei International Sports Fellowship)? Did your family share activities like fishing? What makes Nikkei sports more than just a game for you?

Stories can be historical, contemporary, academic, or family-oriented. Any types of prose writing are acceptable, as long as the subjects are Nikkei or have some meaningful connection to you and the Nikkei community. It is our hope that by sharing the multitudes of Nikkei stories, we enhance our ability to better understand who Nikkei are.

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.

Submissions will be accepted from June 1 until October 31, 2020, at 6 p.m. PDT.

Writing Prompts

Below are some examples of Nikkei sports topics. Perhaps one of these will inspire you to share your own story!

  • Past and current Nikkei Olympians: Apolo Anton Ohno (U.S., speed skating), Teófilo Toda (Peru, cycling), Ford Konno (U.S., swimming), Alexandre Taniguchi (Brazil, Wheelchair rugby), Sergio Suzuki (Japan, Taekwondo)
  • The impact and legacy of Japanese baseball players playing in the U.S. major leagues, like Hideo Nomo, Ichiro Suzuki, and Shohei Ohtani
  • An inspirational Nikkei coach, administrator, team doctor, clubhouse manager, league organizer, etc.
  • Nikkei sports complexes like AELU in Lima, Peru; Nippon Country Club in São Paulo, Brazil; or the forthcoming Terasaki Budokan in Los Angeles, U.S.
  • Undokai, radio taiso, and other community sports and fitness activities

If you have a question about whether your idea or topic is appropriate for this project, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


All stories submitted for Nikkei Sports that meet the project guidelines will be eligible for selection as the Nima-kai community favorite. Vote for your favorites by logging in and giving them a “star.” Four additional stories (one each in English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese) will be selected by the editorial committee. Selected articles will be featured and translated into Discover Nikkei’s other site languages.

Editorial Committee

Submission Guidelines

In order to include your story in the project, please review the following instructions: 


All submissions must be related to Nikkei experiences, history, and/or culture. Articles must meet the following length, format, and languages criteria:

  • Accepted writing formats: Personal stories and essays, memoirs, academic papers, book reviews, and other prose genres. For this particular project, we are not accepting poetry or video submissions.

  • Accepted languages: English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese

  • Length: English, Spanish, and Portuguese articles should be about 600–1,500 words. Japanese articles should be about 1,000–2,500 characters.

  • Foreign words should be italicized.
    For example: My tio Frank made a bento for lunch.
  • All articles should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents. We will NOT accept PDF or printed copies.

  • Previously published works are ok with copyright permission cleared by the author, but your submission cannot be previously published on Discover Nikkei. All copyrights for the piece will remain with the copyright owner, but upon submission, permission is granted to Discover Nikkei to publish the work on our website and with any other publication (electronic or print) in collaboration with the project.

Note: If you have other types of Nikkei-related stories that don't fit within the project theme, you can still submit them! Check out our regular Discover Nikkei Journal submission guidelines.


For this series, applicants MUST submit at least 1 photo to illustrate your story.

  • .jpg or .gif files—150 dpi, at least 1200 pixels wide preferred. If you do not have the capability to resize the image, send us the large file and we will do it.
  • Only submit images for which you either own copyrights or have secured permission to use for this purpose.
  • Provide a caption and/or photo credit for each image if necessary.

  • Do not include images within the Word file. Send image files separately.


  • Submit a short 3–5 sentence bio written in the same language of the article that you are submitting.

  • Send a portrait of the author as a .jpg or .gif file at 150dpi, at least 500 pxl x 500 pxl. The photo will be cropped to a square image. If you do not have the capability to resize or crop the image, send us the file and we will crop the image for you.

  • Articles written by multiple authors are accepted. In this case, please submit a bio and portrait separately for each author.

Deadline for Submissions

The deadline for submissions will be rolling: June 1, 2020 until October 31, 2020 at 6 p.m. (PDT). Stories will be published on Discover Nikkei beginning in July, so don’t wait until the end to submit!

Multiple submissions are accepted; however we only accept email submissions. 


Thanks to Jay Horinouchi for designing our More Than a Game: Nikkei Sports logo, and our wonderful volunteers and partners who help us review, edit, upload, and promote this project!

Disclaimer: By submitting your story, you are granting Discover Nikkei and the Japanese American National Museum permission to post your article and images on, and potentially other publications in print or online affiliated with this project. This includes any translations of your work in association with Discover Nikkei. You, the writer, will retain copyright. Check Discover Nikkei’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for more details.

Submit Your Story


Community Partner: