Year: 2023

Role: Finishing Editor/ Colorist

Duration: 17"

Produced by: Yuriko Gamo Romer and Marc Smolowitz

Baseball Behind Barbed Wire tells the story of the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans, through the uncommon yet popular lens of baseball, America’s national pastime.

There is great irony in the popularity of the All American Sport of baseball being played by Japanese Americans during WWII incarceration. Incarcerees had their citizenship and civil rights taken away and the entire community was forcibly confined from 1942-45. And yet, playing baseball invoked some semblance of normalcy under duress. Playing baseball was a chance to assert their citizenship and affirm their loyalty as Americans, even as camp guards in towers pointed their rifles inward and the barbed wire kept them confined. Making the best of a bad situation, camp communities as a whole would get involved, as mothers and grandmothers sewed uniforms out of produce sacks, old clothing, and deconstructed mattress ticking. Some ordered baseball equipment from the Sears catalog, while others wrote to their Caucasian friends back home to get their team uniforms out of storage and shipped to them.

Baseball Behind Barbed Wire