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New exhibit explores 'America’s Pastime' through lens of AZ's Japanese internment camps

By Tom Maxedon
Published: Friday, February 3, 2023 - 5:05am
Updated: Friday, February 3, 2023 - 8:37am

A new exhibit at the Arizona Heritage Center in Tempe explores “America’s Pastime” through the lens of WWII Japanese internment camps in the U.S. — two of which were in Arizona.

Titled “Rebuilding Home Plate,” the exhibit “tells the stories of Japanese Americans who were stripped of their constitutional rights during the war and how baseball was a way to endure imprisonment,” according to a release.

“The collection is beautiful and, of course, people are intrigued about Arizona. There’s some stories that need to be told that don’t get enough attention and this is a triumph of the human spirit in the midst of oppression,” said Todd Bailey, special projects coordinator for the Center.

The exhibit is free to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, in honor of the ensuing Arizona Statehood Day.  

Arizona Heritage Center
Kenichi Zenimura, known as the father of Japanese American baseball, is the builder of the home plate featured in an exhibit at the Arizona Heritage Center in Tempe.