Stunning Japanese calligraphy brush-and-ink illustrations by award-winning artist Yuko Shimizu tell the story of Japanese American baseball player Kenich Zenimura in a new children’s book titled Barbed Wire Baseball .
Known as known as “The Dean of the Diamond” and later “The Father of Japanese American Baseball,” Zenimura built a baseball field from scratch in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, bringing hopes and dreams to people even during the toughest of times.
As a boy, Kenichi “Zeni” Zenimura dreams of playing professional baseball, but everyone tells him he is too small. Yet he grows up to be a successful player, playing with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig!
When the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1941, Zeni and his family are sent to one of ten internment camps where more than 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry are imprisoned without trials. Zeni brings the game of baseball to the camp, along with a sense of hope.
This true story, set in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, introduces children to a little-discussed part of American history. The book includes author and illustrator notes, archival photographs, and a bibliography.
Published in April via Abrams Books and written by Marissa Moss, the book has been recognized by American Illustration 31 (2012), Communication Arts Illustration Annual 2013, Junior Library Guild Selection (Spring Season, 2013).
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