Thursday, January 8, 2015

Portrait: Kenso Zenimura

Kenso (Howard) Zenimura was born May 16, 1927. He was the son of Kenichi Zenimura who is credited with keeping baseball alive during World War II internment.

Photo by Andy Frazer
At age 15 Kenso's family was forced to move to the Fresno Assembly Center and, eventually, the Gila River interment camp.

"At the Gila River interment camp, his father Kenichi Zenimura constructed a ballpark from camp scraps and community donations. To make the backstop we took the 4x4's out of the barbed wire fence. Every other one we pulled it out, and connected it together to make a frame. It kept us going. What else was there to do?"

Kenso played baseball for the Gila River Eagles. After World War II, Kenso played baseball for Fresno State University, where he was later inducted into the Hall of Fame. He also attended Monterey Military Intelligence (M.I.S.) School.

Kenso is also a founding member of the Nisei Baseball Research Project.

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