Multiracial athletes of Japanese descent and their ascent

March 21, 2019, Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. In the bottom of the eighth, Ichiro Suzuki trotted off the baseball diamond for the last time, waving to an unusually emotional Japanese crowd. Soon after, fellow Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. remarked that, during his career, Ichiro was able to “cross barriers.” When […]

The history and legacy of ‘ragtag’ plantation kids who became national champion swimmers

THE THREE-YEAR SWIM CLUB: THE UNTOLD STORY OF MAUI’S SUGAR DITCH KIDS AND THEIR QUEST FOR OLYMPIC GLORY By Julie Checkoway (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2015, 432 pp., $27, hardcover) My favorite Southern California bookstore is in Santa Barbara. Although located in a commonplace strip mall on the outskirts of this picturesque, Spanish-themed resort […]

Tokyo wins bid to host 2020 Summer Olympics

BUENOS AIRES — Tokyo was chosen as the “safe pair of hands” to host the 2020 Summer Olympics on Sept. 14, beating Istanbul and Madrid at the International Olympic Committee’s general session in Buenos Aires. The Japanese capital will be the first Asian city to host the Olympics twice, having also hosted the 1964 Games. […]

FULL COUNT: Godzilla retires as Spring Training nears

As expected, former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui officially retired on Jan. 3. The Houston Astros had been interested in 38-year-old, but injuries forced him from playing in the World Baseball Classic and ultimately out of baseball. Matsui enjoyed success throughout his two decades in Japan and the majors, winning championships in both leagues. He was […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: How labor and civil rights groups overturned exclusion of minorities in bowling

Professional sports have served as one of the most visible areas of society for promotion of civil rights. Surely the most famous example of this is Jackie Robinson, who broke professional baseball’s “unwritten law” of racial segregation when he took the field for the National League’s Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Not only did Robinson’s on-the-field […]

Author shows politics, intrigue of Ruth’s 1934 tour

NEW YORK — When Babe Ruth barnstormed across Japan in November 1934 with a team of American All-Stars, he was welcomed not only as a baseball hero, but also as a broker of friendship between two nations drifting toward war. The 18-game exhibition tour, hailed by politicians on both sides as a chance to promote goodwill, […]

Daly City bowling alley closes, displaces Nikkei bowlers

For more than 50 years, Serra Bowl in Daly City, Calif. has been entertaining bowlers and families alike with its welcome, competitive atmosphere and its dedication and commitment to the surrounding community. Among the 35 different bowling leagues that have taken root at the bowling center, the 72-member Nikkei league made Serra Bowl its home […]

Website aims to document Nikkei baseball players

The Nisei Baseball Research Project, a nonprofit organization founded to preserve and celebrate the history of Japanese American baseball, announced the launch of an online registry created to document all players of the often overlooked Japanese American baseball leagues of the past. Family members, friends and baseball fans are encouraged to visit and share […]

Why Jeremy Lin Matters: Asian male images in the media

Pop culture traditionally has painted Asians as awkward, unathletic and never the leading man, like Long Duk Dong from a 1980s film. In just a week, Lin has shattered the stereotype. Since he burst into the national consciousness just a week ago, basketball sensation and New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin has proved that he’s […]

Jeremy Lin and Bruce Lee

All my life I’ve wondered exactly how Bruce Lee, the world’s greatest martial artist (at least in film), could be Asian, but there had never been a dominant, cat-quick, ninja-like point guard, akin to Allen Iverson, or Brandon Jennings — thin, wiry, yet strong and fluid, and SO quick you couldn’t stop him. As an […]

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