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More Than a Baseball Team

This book is an adaptation of a Japanese language non-fiction work about Canada's first Japanese-Canadian championship baseball team, the Vancouver Asahi, active from 1914 to 1941 (Toho Shobo, 2009). The history of the Vancouver Asahi is also a history of the Japanese- Canadian immigrant experience. The team was a part of the growth of Little Tokyo in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Asahi dynasty was abruptly brought to a halt when the players, along with the rest of the Japanese community, were relocated to internment camps after Pearl Harbor. Team members, though separated, still played baseball by organizing teams in the camps. Eventually, the Mounties, who were the camp guards, became fans. After the war, Japanese-Canadians were prevented from returning to their homes on the west coast, and given a choice of living on the east coast of Canada or being deported to Japan. Though the team never revived, they were honored belatedly by induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. The story of the Asahi is one of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity and racial prejudice. It is a story about young men playing for the love of the game, instilling pride not just in their community, but in all of Canada as well.
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