Legacy of the Vancouver Asahi

The Vancouver Asahi would not meet again until 1972 at a reunion at the Japanese-Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto, over 30 years after what would have unknowingly been their last game together. It would be even longer before the significance and ingenuity of the former Asahi was recognized outside of the Japanese-Canadian community. Although many members of the Asahi have since passed on, their skill and legacy is still recognized today.
Photo from Asahi Reunion, October 8th, 1972. Source: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Archives.
In 2003, the Vancouver Asahi were inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for their contribution to the history of baseball in Canada, and in 2005 they were inducted to the BC Sports Hall of Fame. To coincide with the Asahi’s induction into the CBHFM, the Toronto Blue Jays hosted members of the Asahi and produced special tickets featuring the Asahi team.
Toronto Blue Jays Asahi Design Autographed Tickets. Left to right, autographed by Ken Kutsukake, Kiyoshi Suga, Mickey Maikawa. Source: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Archives.
In 2019, the Canadian Government recognized the significant impact of the Vancouver Asahi on the history of Western Canadian Baseball by creating a special limited edition postage stamp featuring players from the 1940 Asahi team. The Asahi Baseball Association, named for the original Asahi, participated in the unveiling of the stamp. Also present to unveil the stamp and give a speech was Kaye Kaminishi, the last surviving member of the original Asahi, who is also featured on the stamp, and recently turned 101 years old.
Asahi Baseball Association and Kaye Kiminishi at Stamp Unveiling. Source: https://www.asahibaseball.com/vancouver-asahi-stamp.html.
Stamp featuring members of the 1940 Vancouver Asahi Team. Source: https://www.asahibaseball.com/vancouver-asahi-stamp.html.
The Asahi’s story has also been honoured through the creation of a Canadian Heritage Minute video which was released in 2019. Kaye Kiminishi narrates the docu-drama about the team’s history. The video can be viewed on the Historica Canada website: https://www.historicacanada.ca/content/heritage-minutes/vancouver-asahi.
Still from Asahi Canadian Heritage Minute Video.

And you can also watch the documentary “Sleeping Tigers” produced by the National Film Board of Canada which includes archival film, dramatic recreations, and interviews with former Asahi members. The film won four awards for its depiction of the Asahi’s historic journey.

Sleeping Tigers: The Asahi Baseball Story DVD.