McDaniel: The Asahi baseball club, Vancouver’s past, present, and future

From Rachael McDaniel at The Hardball Times on January 25, 2018:

At the turn of the 20th century, the Japanese Canadian community in Vancouver was thriving. Since the arrival of the first Japanese person, Manzo Nagano, in 1877, the population of Japanese immigrants in the city had grown exponentially. Laborers of Japanese descent formed a large part of the Vancouver work force, and every year the number of immigrants coming from Japan grew.

With this thriving, though, came backlash, often in significant doses. The white residents of Vancouver and the rest of southern British Columbia had in the early days largely tolerated the presence of Asian immigrants, considering them a non-threatening supplement to the work force. The demand for labor was ever-increasing in this region and era, with Vancouver establishing itself as a nexus of rail and shipping. But as the numbers of Chinese and Japanese people arriving in Vancouver increased, so too did the hostility towards them.

Suspicions were raised, first in whispers, then in widely disseminated declarations, that Asian immigrants could never be “assimilated,” that they were plotting to steal jobs from white Canadians, that their presence was depressing wages, that their influence was poisoning BC’s cultural integrity.

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Originally published: January 25, 2018. Last Updated: January 25, 2018.