“Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire,” February 10, 2018, Pasadena, CA

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2018, 2:00 P.M.


1130 S. Marengo Ave., Pasadena, California

In collaboration with the Pasadena Public Library’s NEA “Big Read” project, the Baseball Reliquary and the Allendale Branch Library present “Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire,” a program with author, filmmaker, and historian Kerry Yo Nakagawa. Behind the barbed wire of concentration camps during World War II, baseball became a tonic of spiritual renewal for disenfranchised Japanese Americans who played America’s pastime while imprisoned. Baseball represented salvation and hope for thousands who needed a positive reminder of home life as it used to be and might be again. Included will be a screening of Nakagawa’s 35-minute documentary Diamonds in the Rough: The Legacy of Japanese-American Baseball, written and narrated by the late and much beloved actor Pat Morita.

Kerry Yo Nakagawa

Kerry Yo Nakagawa is the author of Through a Diamond: 100 Years of Japanese American Baseball and Japanese American Baseball in California: A History.  He is the project director of the nonprofit Nisei Baseball Research Project, and has produced curriculums with SPICE (Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education) at Stanford University.  He also produced multiple documentaries and the dramatic feature-length and award-winning film American Pastime. Following the program, Nakagawa will sign copies of Japanese American Baseball in California: A History, copies of which will be available for $20.00. Also on display will be several baseball-themed paintings by Pasadena-based artist Ben Sakoguchi. Refreshments will be served. This program is supported, in part, by a grant to the Baseball Reliquary from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

For further information, contact the Baseball Reliquary at (626) 791-7647 or the Allendale Branch Library at (626) 744-7260.

“Manzanar Baseball Game,” 1943, photo by Ansel Adams. (Courtesy Library of Congress)

“Manzanar Baseball Game,” 1942-45, photo by Toyo Miyatake. (Courtesy Alan Miyatake)

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