Giants honor Japanese legacy on Japanese Heritage Night

On May 16, hundreds of baseball fans arrived early to the San Francisco Giants game to enjoy Japanese Heritage Night at Oracle Park. The Giants organization hosted the annual event in partnership with the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California. This year the San Francisco Giants recognized the 120th anniversary of the 1903 […]

Giants to celebrate Fuji Athletic Club on Japanese Heritage Night

As part of their annual Japanese Heritage Night on May 16, the San Francisco Giants will honor the history of Nikkei baseball with a nod to the Fuji Athletic Club, one of the first Japanese American teams that played in the city during the early 1900s. The Fuji Athletic Club was founded by Chiura Obata, […]

Nootbaar still basking in afterglow of amazing World Baseball Classic

OAKLAND, Calif. — Lars Nootbaar had a truly one-of-a-kind experience in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. As the sole American on Team Japan, the outfielder batted lead-off for a lineup that tore through the tournament, first in Tokyo and then in Miami. The Southern California native hit .269, helping Japan remain undefeated in seven games, […]

A’s move Japanese rookie Fujinami to bullpen

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Oakland Athletics rookie pitcher Shintaro Fujinami is being moved to the bullpen after struggling in his first four major league starts. A’s manager Mark Kotsay said before the April 24 game against the Los Angeles Angels that the Japanese right-hander would be available for relief duty starting April 25. Fujinami is 0-4 […]

Ohtani smashes HR during Nichi Bei Day with the A’s

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Nichi Bei Foundation held their “Nichi Bei Day with the A’s” fundraiser as the Oakland Athletics played against 2021 American League MVP Shohei Ohtani and the visiting Los Angeles Angels April 2. The 950 attendees who purchased tickets through the nonprofit received a T-shirt with rookie Oakland Athletics pitcher Shintaro Fujinami’s […]

More than Meets the Eye: Understanding the depth behind the ‘Way of the Sword’

Koji Lau-Ozawa bows as he enters the dojo for Monday night kendo practice. Rei, a sign of respect, is how kendo begins, he explains. To the untrained eye, a kendo match might appear fearsome and intimidating. Screaming fighters race toward their opponents with bamboo swords (shinai) slashing through the air. But Lau-Ozawa, head instructor of […]

A slice of Japanese culture: The Northern California Japanese Sword Club

More than just studying the blade, the Northern California Japanese Sword Club is a gathering of people interested in all aspects of the Japanese sword. The club, founded by Nisei John Yumoto, continues to thrive today, and hosts the San Francisco To-Ken Taikai, the largest Japanese sword show outside of Japan. Thomas Helm, who has […]

Miyano dances her way to a dream with the Warriors

Two years ago, Mari Mino wanted to try out for the Golden State Warriors Gold Squad dance team. She prepared from Japan by improving her dance and English-speaking skills and training. Now, the first-year team dancer is living out her dream of dancing for the defending NBA champions. “I’m really thankful and grateful to dance […]

Japanese beating Americans in baseball is must-see viewing

TOKYO — Japanese television stuck to its live coverage from Miami for almost two hours after Japan defeated the United States 3-2 to win the World Baseball Classic. This was must see viewing — over and over and over. Shohei Ohtani striking out Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout on a pitch away to end […]

Kurt Kitayama breaks through in wild finish at Bay Hill

ORLANDO, Fla. — Kurt Kitayama only had to look around at the players next to him in the practice area and right below him on the leaderboard at Bay Hill to know what he was up against March 5 in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. “You can’t ignore it. You got to know where you’re at […]