Nikkei Heritage

This series republishes selected articles from Nikkei Heritage, the quarterly journal of the National Japanese American Historical Society in San Francisco, CA. The issues provide timely analysis and insight into the many facets of the Japanese American experience. NJAHS has been a Discover Nikkei Participating Organization since December 2004.

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sports en

Doug Kagawa: Scoring Points for Character

Since 1977, Doug Kagawa has worked as head coach of varsity basketball at Albany High School in Albany, CA. In speaking with him, I learned a high school coach is motivated by the sport, the students, and the constant quest to create the chemistry that makes a winning team.

Kagawa began playing in the “C” level basketball league in sixth grade, although officially he wasn’t supposed to start until seventh grade. He played basketball all the way through school and played baseball with the [Japanese American] Berkeley Bears. As a kid, he also helped his father coach his younger ...

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When Gila Fought Heart Mountain

More than 62 years ago, in September 1944, a baseball series pitted Gila River and Heart Mountain internment camps. It now seems like ancient history, but it’s amazing how such an obscure sports event can be so indelibly etched in one’s memory. I turned 17 years old just a month prior to the series. The passage of time has surely blurred out many details. However, I will endeavor to do my utmost to shed some light on those games as I remember them.

With the war still raging, I considered the fact that these games even occurred a ...

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community en

The Heritage of an Issei Lady: Yonako Abiko’s Vision for Global Connections (1880-1944)

For the early Issei in this country, Meiji-era Japan and the U.S. were worlds-apart culturally, linguistically, and politically. Some, however, believed their role and their children’s future role was to be “bridges.” Yonako Abiko (1880-1944) [安孫子 餘奈子]—a San Francisco-based Issei and a distinguished woman leader—envisioned Japanese Americans as “bridges of understanding” to connect the United States and Japan during a time of rising hostilities between the two nation. In many ways, she herself played important roles as a bridge between Japan and the U.S.; between her ethnic community and the larger American society, and between ...

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sports en

A Love Affair with Snow

Skiing has been a passion for me. It was once a sometime activity which I could indulge in as frequently as the proverbial blue moon appearing in the California sky. A series of events would forever alter my direction from street kid to mountain man.

I first saw the light of this mundane world in the middle of Sea Biscuit’s turf, the Tanforan race track near San Bruno, in 1942, courtesy of the first JA woman doctor, Dr. Kazue Togasaki. My birthplace was a temporary hospital in the infield, where the less moneyed citizens watched horses gallop by, and ...

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community en

Interview with David Suzuki

“Nature is our home. And just as we take care of our house, we also must take care of nature,” renowned environmentalist David Suzuki, ranked Canada’s greatest living countryman in a public broadcasting poll, explained to Nikkei Heritage. “Nature takes care of us too. Nature cleans our air and water, makes the soil that grows our food, and provides the resources to make all our material goods.

“When you have a large victory in the Environmental Movement, it is temporary. Environmental predators continually seek to utilize and destroy nature for monetary gain,” he continued. “But when you lose, you ...

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