Japanese-Canadian Team Revives Asahi Baseball Team

June 2, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. heritage / ˈhɛr ɪ tɪdʒ / (n.) – anything (e.g. beliefs and traditions) that is part of a group’s history
Example: You should not be ashamed of your own heritage.

2. tribute / ˈtrɪb yut / (n.) – something used to acknowledge or show respect to someone
Example: He will visit his homeland as a tribute to his ancestors.

3. powerhouse / ˈpaʊ ərˌhaʊs / (n.) – a person or group that is skilled at something
Example: Nobody expected that the team would be a powerhouse at baseball.

4. disband / dɪsˈbænd / (v.) – to break up or end a group or an organization
Example: The team disbanded when its coach left.

5. internment / ɪnˈtɜrn mənt/ (n.) – the act of placing a person in a restricted area
Example: Many tried to escape the internment camp.


Read the text below.
A team of teenage Japanese-Canadian baseball players visited Japan to learn about their heritage and give honor to the Asahi baseball team.

The team, called the Vancouver Shin Asahi, is composed of Japanese-Canadian youth aged 13 to 16. The Canadian Nikkei Youth Baseball Club, a non-government organization, formed the Vancouver Shin Asahi as a tribute to the Asahi baseball team’s 100th anniversary.

The Asahi baseball team, whose name means “morning sun,” was formed in 1914 at Vancouver’s Japantown. The first team consisted of Japanese immigrants who sailed to Canada in search for employment.

The Asahi players had their own style of playing. They depended on the team’s defense, speed, and strategies, as they were usually smaller and less powerful hitters compared with their Canadian competitors. This style led them to victory and to eventually becoming a powerhouse in the West Coast amateur leagues. The team also became part of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame after five consecutive wins in the Pacific Northwest Championships.

However, the team disbanded after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. This was because all the Japanese were forced to relocate to different internment camps, with most of their properties taken away from them.

On another note, the players of the Vancouver Shin Asahi were able to know more about the Asahi baseball team during their visit to Japan. The team also competed in various games in the country. Although the team did not win any of the games, the trip was still considered successful, because the team was able to discover their heritage and form new friendships.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think forming the Vancouver Shin Asahi was a good idea? Why or why not?
·         What can you say about their efforts to visit Japan?

Discussion B

·         How can your country’s heritage be maintained?
·         Why is it important to preserve one’s heritage?

June 2, 2015