Japanese American National Museum
Media Arts

Top of Their Game

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TOP OF THEIR GAME profiles well-known and little-known heroes from diverse sports, different eras and three generations. Through personal interviews, historical images and present-day action footage, we get to know fourteen Japanese American athletes, all who have been at the “top of their game.”

Featured are:

  • Tommy Kono, three-time Mr. Universe and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in weightlifting and Emerick Ishikawa, four-time National Weightlifting Champion

  • Wally Yonamine, Japanese Baseball Hall of Famer who also played for the San Francisco 49ers

  • Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Iceskating Gold Medalist

  • Bob Kinji Shibuya, the “man you loved to hate” on the professional wrestling circuit in the 1950s and ‘60s

  • surfers Wayne Miyata and Don Kadowaki

  • California Bowling Hall of Famers Judy Kikuta and Dusty Mizunoue

  • Wat Misaka, one of the first persons of color to play professional basketball

  • Ann Kiyomura Hayashi, two-time Wimbledon Champion

  • brothers Johnnie (USC, Detroit Lions), Eric (Dartmouth) and Chad (USC) Morton, football sensations

Produced in conjunction with the More Than a Game: Sport in the Japanese American Community exhibition.

Release date: 2000

Production Credits:
Director: John Esaki
Editors: John Esaki and Veronica Ko
Executive Producers: Karen L. Ishizuka and Robert A. Nakamura
Original music: David Iwataki

60 minutes. Color



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