Review of Gentle Black Giants

Sayama, Kazuo and Bill Staples Jr.  Gentle Black Giants: A History of Negro Leaguers in Japan.  Fresno, CA: Nisei Baseball Research Project Press, 2019. Pp. 387. Appendices. $27.95 paperback. Reviewed by Leslie Heaphy With Gentle Black Giants, Kazuo Sayama and Bill Staples Jr. together fill a huge gap in the literature.  While Sayama first wrote…

Japanese Pluck and American Degeneracy: The Origins of Jiu-Jitsu in the United States

by Adam Park The Russo-Japanese War sparked American fascination with Japanese culture at the turn of the 20th century. “Japanese things are in fashion nowadays,” claimed one 1904 periodical, but “where does Japan get her muscle and pluck?”[1] They are “an intelligent, wholesome people; strong, clean and moral,” according to one representative source.[2] Indeed, Americans…