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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Japanese baseball, a 150-year journey of transformation

That mentality came to baseball accidentally, stemming partly from the success made by Japan’s first national baseball heroes, 24 years after Wilson introduced the game.

The team from “Ichiko,” the academically elite First Higher School of Tokyo, was an organic grass-roots endeavor that adopted some Western ideas that came with the new sport and wed them to the ethos of Japan’s feudal era warrior code.

The treaty port of Yokohama hosted Japan’s first games at least as early as 1871 between American merchants and U.S. Navy sailors. The first Japanese team, the Shimbashi Athletic Club, was formed by American-trained engineer Hiroshi Hiraoka in 1878, among employees of Japan’s first railroad, between Yokohama and Tokyo’s Shimbashi.

Ichiko’s victories over Yokohama-based teams of American adults, sometimes bolstered by sailors, ignited a Japanese interest in the game that remains bright.

Japanese flocked to watch this sports phenomenon, but change was in the wind.

Within a few years, Ichiko was displaced as a power by the Tokyo vocational schools that would evolve into Waseda and Keio universities. Influential Ichiko alumni blamed the current players for dropping the ball.

Although Ichiko’s fall from grace was caused when rising admission standards steered top athletes to other schools, the players’ failure was blamed on their embrace of Western liberal ideas and abandoning their predecessors’ self-sacrificing approach.

Before long, baseball came under attack over the unruly behavior of players and student supporters across the country.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 14, 2022 at 11:48 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japanese baseball

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   1. FernandoPoplar Posted: August 16, 2022 at 04:08 AM (#6091836)
This is a great article for students who are interested in sports. I love how the team from Ichiko, the academically elite First Higher School of Tokyo, was an organic grass-roots endeavor that adopted some Western ideas that came with the new sport and wed them to the ethos of Japanese education and now I've ordered my essay with write my essay services which I'm satisfied from their work. It is a fascinating story that highlights the power of collaboration and how new ideas can be adapted and incorporated into existing systems in order to create something truly unique.

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