From Asahi to Zebras

24 Nov From Asahi to Zebras

From Asahi to Zebras novel by Ralph M. Pearce chronicles the Japanese American baseball teams that developed in Northern California beginning in the early 1900s. “Beginning in the early 1900’s, baseball became a very popular community pastime among Japanese Americans. In San Jose, the most prominent team was the Asahis (“morning sun”). The players were initially Issei (first generation) but after 1917 the members were mostly Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans). In 1935, the Tokyo Giants played the Asahis at Asahi Field (North 7th and Younger Streets). The Asahis beat the Giants in a tight game. In 1936, the Giants got their revenge.

During World War II when the community was incarcerated, baseball provided much needed recreation and a sense of normalcy in the desolate camps. The San Jose Zebra team, which was formed in the camps, continued to play during the resettlement period (post 1945). The Zebras played as a team until 1963.” Link

  • Ralph M. Pearce

    Hi, not a ‘novel’, but rather an historical account told in large part by the players themselves (many great stories and anecdotes). Includes an interesting first-hand recounting of the Asahi 1925 tour of Japan, as well as baseball at Santa Anita Assembly Center and Heart Mountain Relocation Center during WWII. The team played its last season in 1961.