The Asahi Baseball Association continues to look for Asahi descendants. This photo of the Asahi team lists the players names below in Japanese. Photo courtesy: George Sadakichi Iga.
SEATTLE — In 2005, the Vancouver Asahi Team was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Medals were made for each of the individual Asahi players, but many remained unclaimed by family members. The original list of medal recipients included 74 players and by 2014, 26 medals remained unclaimed.
Through the efforts of Mr. Yobun Shima and the Asahi Family Network in Japan and Emiko Ando of the Asahi Baseball Association in Vancouver, the families of 20 players were contacted and received their medals.
Chuck Terada, left, was an infielder with the Vancouver Asahi in the 1940s. Fark Shiraishi, centre, Kaye Kaminishi, right. Photo courtesy: Nikkei National Museum
During the process, many new Asahi players were identified and medals issued.
This year, Shima located the grandson of George Sadakichi Iga, Douglas Tsujii, from Seattle thanks to the research of Dr. Marie R. Wong of Seattle University. Shima connected with her after reading her research published online.
Iga was from Seattle and joined the Vancouver Asahi team during its Japan tour in 1921, playing most of their games in Japan as an excellent shortstop player.
Tsugii was not aware of his grandfather’s baseball career. He found, to his delight in a box that was passed down to him from his late aunt, a number of photos of his grandfather and the Asahi baseball team along with a baseball bat with “Iga” scratched in the wood.
The medal presentation took place in October. Now, only six medals remain unclaimed:
– K. Endo, possibly from Tottori Prefecture, who played in 1938.
– Tashiro Omoto, from Shiga Prefecture, who played in 1929 and 1932.
– Barry Kiyoshi Kasahara, from Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, who played from 1919 to 1923.
– Yuji Uchiyama from Niigata Prefecture, who played from 1918 to 1921.
– Yoshio Miyasaki, hometown unknown, who played 1925 to1926.
– Dr. Henry Seitaro Nomura, from Tokyo, who was the manager from 1919 to 1921.
If you have any information about the families of these players, please contact Emiko Ando at: firstname.lastname@example.org.