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Friday, August 27, 2021

Summer Koshien: Dreams are made, crushed

The tournament began in 1915, 21 years before the first professional baseball game in Japan. Since then, it’s been held every year—being canceled only for World War II and last year because of the pandemic. Heartbroken seniors who missed their chance to compete on the grand stage were instead mailed keychains containing dirt from the stadium to atone for what they lost.

Like with America’s college sports conference tournaments or England’s FA Cup, some 4,000-plus teams across the country first battle in their prefectures for the right to become one of the 49 selected to go to the prized tournament that every player and coach dreams about.

The roots of Koshien and the attitudes that surround it go back to the earliest days of Japanese baseball.

“The Japanese adopted baseball in 1873. And by the turn of the century, their high schools and colleges had grafted the philosophy of the martial arts onto baseball, meaning endless training, total dedication. Instead of it being a spring and summer sport, you had to play all year from New Year’s to Christmas,” Whiting said.

“The whole idea of self sacrifice, group cooperation, total obedience and development of spirit,” Whiting added. “And that’s what all the foreign sports that they adopted, they grafted this same philosophy on it. You can see the same thing in the school system, in the corporate world, entertainment world, Sumo world, the actual world, that same dynamic that came from martial arts, from the samurai ethic.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 27, 2021 at 11:45 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japanese baseball

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   1. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: August 29, 2021 at 03:21 PM (#6036982)
Interestingly enough, Japan has a national Women's Baseball team, which participated this year in the Women's Baseball World Cup, which occurred in March of this year in Mexico:

https://www.japan-baseball.jp/en/team/woman/2021/worldcup/overview.html

And a Women's baseball high school tournament as well:

https://www.wbsc.org/news/japan-tochigi-wins-2021-npb-girls-baseball-tournament

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