STOCKTON — The Japanese American community and the Stockton Ports, an affiliate of the Oakland A’s, will be hosting Japanese American Heritage and Cultural Night at the Banner Island Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 7.
The feature game for the night will be the Ports against the Modesto Nuts. Gates open at 6:05 p.m. This year’s program will mark the sixth time the Japanese American community has hosted this event.
Organizations participating in this year’s program include the Stockton JACL, Lodi JACL, French Camp JACL, Lodi JACL baseball team, Minyo Tanoshimi Kai, Bando Japanese Classical Dance, Stockton Buddhist Church, Lodi Buddhist Church, Calvary Presbyterian Church, Pacific Judo Club of Stockton, New School Aikido, and the Sister Cities Association. The sister-city relationship between Stockton and the Japanese cities of Shimizu and Shizuoka had its inception 55 years ago.
Exchange students from the sister cities, their chaperones, teachers, and Rev. Katsu Kusunoki of Lodi Buddhist Church will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitches.
Abbreviated pre-game performances by Minyo Tanoshimi Kai and Bando Japanese Classical Dance, plus martial art demonstrations, will begin at 6:25 p.m. with a couple more performances between innings.
A special part of the program will be recognition of the veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service. More than 30,000 Japanese Americans served with distinction in World War II, both in the European and Pacific theaters.
The 100th, primarily individuals from Hawaii, was called the “One Puka Puka Infantry” and their battle cry was “Go for Broke!”
The 442nd was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare. They received 18,143 individual awards and eight Presidential Unit Citations.
There were 6,000 Japanese Americans who served as translators and interpreters in the MIS.
The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded in 2011 in a Washington, D.C. ceremony to soldiers who fought with the three units.
For ticket information, call the Stockton Ports at (209) 644-1912.
This year’s committee include T. Ted Yoneda, chair; Taylor Davis, assistant chair; Eugene Morita and Don Ouye, co-chairs; Steve Sue, president of Stockton JACL; James Kubota, printing of program inserts; Aeko Yoshikawa, props and equipment; Sister City Association; Rev. Yukiko Motoyoshi and Frank and Hiro Yagi, Stockton Buddhist Church; Rev. Katsu Kusunoki, Lodi Buddhist Church; Dennis Morita, Lodi JACL baseball team; Cathy Fujimori, photographer; Karen Morita, table exhibits; Ricardo Urrea and Rodney Hu, Pacific Judo Club of Stockton; Haruko Ewert, Japanese glossary; and Adam Frend, Stockton Ports group sales manager.