Reunited

Three decades after the last Asahi game, former team members gathered for a reunion in Toronto in 1972. Players from the earliest years of the club to the final 1941 season came together from all parts of the country to reminisce about old times with the team.

Growing recognition

The 1972 reunion rekindled interest in the legendary Asahi club. “But,” as historian Toyo Takata recognized, “the Asahis are more than a nostalgic memory of a fading past, they are a valued part of our unique history that should be cherished and remembered.”

Recovering Asahi history

Inspired to record the story for future generations, author Pat Adachi compiled a book about the team and published it in 1992. The passion of former team members and fans, long-treasured photographs and newspaper accounts of amazing feats filled its pages. The book brought the Asahis back into the limelight.

The legend retol Read More
Reunited

Three decades after the last Asahi game, former team members gathered for a reunion in Toronto in 1972. Players from the earliest years of the club to the final 1941 season came together from all parts of the country to reminisce about old times with the team.

Growing recognition

The 1972 reunion rekindled interest in the legendary Asahi club. “But,” as historian Toyo Takata recognized, “the Asahis are more than a nostalgic memory of a fading past, they are a valued part of our unique history that should be cherished and remembered.”

Recovering Asahi history

Inspired to record the story for future generations, author Pat Adachi compiled a book about the team and published it in 1992. The passion of former team members and fans, long-treasured photographs and newspaper accounts of amazing feats filled its pages. The book brought the Asahis back into the limelight.

The legend retold

The Asahi story quickly spread through broadcast media. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired a radio documentary “Stealing Home” in 1993, and a year later, sports journalist Norio Goto produced a documentary for Japanese television.

Heroes on the big screen

In 2003 the National Film Board of Canada premiered Jari Osborne’s documentary “Sleeping Tigers,” a hit with movie audiences in North America and Japan. That summer, the team was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, and honoured at Toronto’s SkyDome by the major league Blue Jays.

The Asahis live on

In 2005 the Asahis were inducted in their hometown British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame. The Japanese Canadian National Museum produced an exhibition about their legacy to tour Canada. And at Powell Grounds where it all began, the first annual Asahi tribute game was played in 2006 to commemorate the team, Canadian baseball legends.

© National Nikkei Museum and Heritage Centre 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Asahi Reunion, October 8, 1972

Back L-R: Nally Nakata, Ken Shimada, Akio Kutsukake, Muni Miike, Yuki Uno, Eddie Nakamura, Herby Tanaka, Mickey Maikawa, Ken Kutsukake, Tommy Sawayama. Middle L-R: Kaz Suga, Mike Maruno, Tameo Aoki, Charlie Tanaka, Reggie Yasui, George Shishido, Frank Shiraishi, Bob Yasui, Kenji Yamamura, [unidentified], Roy Yamamura, Frank Nakamura. Front L-R: Tanaka, T. Nimi, Tom Matoba, Eddie Kitagawa, Junji Ito, Ron Yonemoto, George Tanaka, Kitamura, [unidentified], Jack Hayami. Floor: Kiyoshi Suga.

Ken and Rose Kutsukake Collection.
1972
© Japanese Canadian National Museum


<i>New Canadian</i> newsclipping

New Canadian newsclipping, October 27, 1972, "Asahi Baseball Team 'Past and Present'"

New Canadian
1972-10-27
© New Canadian


Video - Heroes on the Big Screen

From Sleeping Tigers: The Asahi Baseball Story. National Film Board of Canada

[Scenes from the film Sleeping Tigers of the event presented by major league Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club to honour the Asahis at Toronto SkyDome, with former Asahi players Ken Kutsukake, Mickey Maikawa, Mike Maruno, Kiyoshi Suga, and Yuki Uno.]

National Film Board of Canada
2003
© National Film Board of Canada


Audio - The Asahis Live On

So, I’m, I’m not, ah, resentful of, ah, evacuation at all. I am grateful, chance I had, to learn everything. Not only, ah, baseball, sport, but – through the sport, you can acquire certain quality – but, ah, soon as the evacuation, you learned lot more.

CBC Radio
1993
© CBC Radio


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Identify and discuss the social conditions of the Nikkei in Canadian society;
  • Describe the influence of Asahi on Canadian population;
  • Explain the positive aspects of such a sport organization;
  • Deduct, from the information given in the exhibition, an overview of Canadian society before the Second World War.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans