Nippon Baseball Club, circa 1910

Nikkei (neek-kay)

Japanese term meaning ‘of Japanese descent,’ referring to Japanese immigrants and their descendants.

Powell Street Grounds

Used for baseball and soccer from 1898 on, this park, officially named Oppenheimer Park, is located on the East side of Vancouver, bounded by Powell, Jackson, Cordova and Dunlevy Streets. Many Nikkei lived in the immediate area before the community was uprooted in 1942. See map ‘Baseball Parks in Vancouver.’

The Leagues

The first Nikkei teams

The Vancouver Nippon Baseball Club was the first Nikkei team to form, in 1908. Another team formed soon after in Victoria, and in 1910 they challenged the Vancouver Nippons at Powell Street Grounds. When the Vancouver club later folded in 1918, the Asahis picked up some of its best players.

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The Nippon Baseball Club, Vancouver, B.C., ca. 1910. Courtesy of J. Tokunaga. From Pat Adachi, Asahi: A Legend in Baseball.

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