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Barbed Wire Baseball


Found In:  social studies, 3-5, 6-8

Barbed Wire Baseball by Marissa Moss and Yuko Shimizu is a story about one mans love of baseball and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Kenichi Zenimura (1900-1968) had been playing ball most of his life when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941. He founded the Fresno Athletic Club, won the Japanese American state championship three years in a row, and played in an exhibition game with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. When he and his family were sent to the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona, he was determined to continue to play baseball. But first he needed to build a field to play on.

Energetic prose and dynamic illustrations that combine brush and ink with computer coloring make Barbed Wire Baseball a good introduction to Internment during WWII for K-8 social studies.

Students will learn more in this entry for Kenichi Zenimura at the Nisei Baseball Research Project.

Japanese-American Internment provides a brief overview for grades 4-8 and links to websites and documents.

Related Lesson

Japanese American Internment Using primary sources, students in grades 5-8 explore the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII.

Related Primary Source Documents

Japanese Relocation and Internment During World War II is a collection of documents and photographs and a lesson that correlates American attitudes toward the Japanese with the Great Depression.

Densho offers firsthand accounts, historical images, and teacher resources for the study of internment.

Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar offers more than 200 photographs of Japanese-Americans interned in California during World War II, including portraits, views of daily life, agricultural scenes, and sports and leisure activities.

Related Books

Other books include the respected Farewell to Manzanar by James D. Houston and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston as well as Dust of Eden by Mariko Nagai, a novel in verse.

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