How Did Baseball Become Popular In Japan

Baseball in Japan – Wikipedia

Baseball in Japan (野球)
Tokyo Domeduring the2014 MLB Japan All-Star Series.
Country Japan
Governing body BFJ
National team(s) Japan
First played 1920s
National competitions
Japan Series
Club competitions
Nippon Professional BaseballCentral LeaguePacific LeagueEastern LeagueWestern LeagueMiyazaki Phoenix LeagueShikoku Island League PlusBaseball Challenge League
International competitions
World Baseball ClassicSummer Olympics(1992–2008, 2020–)Asian ChampionshipAsian Games

Baseball was first played in Japan in 1872 and has since become the country’s most popular spectator and participating sport. It was in the 1920s when the first professional tournaments were held. Japanese baseball is played at the highest level in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), which is divided into two leagues: the Central League and the Pacific League, with each league consisting of six clubs. As with college football and basketball in the United States, high school baseball in Japan has a particularly strong public profile and fanbase; theJapanese High School Baseball Championship (“SummerKshien”), which takes place each August and includes regional champions from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures, is nationally televised and broadcast live on NHK.

As reported by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the mood during Japanese baseball games is less relaxed than in the United States, with supporters frequently singing and dancing to their team’s songs.

BaseballSamuraiStyle is a unique style of baseball that is easily recognized by Americans who travel to Japan to play.”


Baseball was initially introduced to Japan as a school sport in 1872 by American Horace Wilson, an English professor at Tokyo’s Kaisei Academy. Wilson was the first person to bring baseball to Japan. A team called the Shimbashi Athletic Club was formed in 1878 to become the first organized adult baseball team in Japan. An Ichik high school team from Tokyo defeated a team of foreign residents from the Yokohama CountryAthletic Club in a match played in Yokohama in 1896, resulting in a comfortable victory for the Ichik squad.

The victory, as described by Tsuneo Matsudai in his “Sports and Physical Training in Modern Japan” address to The Japan Society of the United Kingdom in London in 1907, “spread, like a fire in a dry field, in summer, all over the country, and some months afterwards, even in children at primary schools in the country far away from Tokyowere to be seen playing with bats and balls.”

Professional baseball

Professional baseball in Japan first began in the 1920s, but it was not until the Greater Japan Tokyo Baseball Club (Dai-nippon Tky Yakyu Kurabu), a team of all-stars founded in 1934 by media mogulMatsutaro Shriki, that the modern professional game achieved sustained success—particularly after Shriki’s club faced off against an American All-Star team that included Babe Ruth, Jim Foxx, Lou Gehrig, and Charlie Gehringer—that the modern professional While previous Japanese all-star teams had disbanded, Shriki continued his professional career with this squad, competing in an autonomous league.

Nippon Professional Baseball is the name given to the first Japanese professional league, which was established in 1936 and had grown large enough by 1950 to be divided into two leagues, the Central League and the Pacific League, which were together known asNippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

144 games are played by the teams (as contrasted to 162 games played by the Major League Baseball clubs in the United States), followed by a playoff system that culminates with a championship game in October, known as the Japan Series.

Historically, clubs have been associated with their owners rather than with the city in which they are headquartered.

However, in recent years, several club owners have opted to add a geographical location in the names of their teams; the majority of the 12 Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) teams are presently titled with both corporate and geographical place names, as can be seen in the following table.

Minor leagues

Minor League Baseball is similar to Major League Baseball in the United States, and Japan maintains a farm system comprised of two minor leagues that are both associated with Nippon Professional Baseball. The Eastern League, which comprises of seven clubs and is controlled by the Central League, is a division of the Central League. A total of five clubs compete in the Western League, which is controlled by the Pacific League. Both lower leagues have seasons that consist of 80 games.

Differences from Major League Baseball

The regulations are generally the same as those of Major League Baseball (MLB), with a few technical differences: The Nippon league use a smaller baseball, strike zone, and playing field than the American league. Five Nippon league clubs play on fields with dimensions that would be in violation of the AmericanOfficial Baseball Rules if they were played on them. In addition, unlike Major League Baseball, game time is regulated and tie games are permitted. A total of twelve innings are allowed during the regular season, while a total of fifteen innings are allowed during the postseason (games in Major League Baseball, by comparison, continue until there is a winner).

  1. For example, the first inning of each inning may not begin more than three hours and thirty minutes after the first pitch.
  2. The game roster, on the other hand, is limited to a maximum of 25 players.
  3. Despite the fact that there is no restriction on the number of international players a team may have on its 25-man game roster, there is a cap on the number of foreign players that it can sign.
  4. There is a limit on the cost and competitiveness for costly players of other nationalities, which is analogous to the roster restrictions on non-European players that are in place in several European sports leagues.
  5. 2, winner vs.
  6. Occasionally, a team with a higher total number of victories has been seeded lower than a club with a higher number of ties and fewer losses and, as a result, a higher winning %.

Strike of 2004

A two-day strike by professional baseball players, the first in the league’s history, began on September 18, 2004, in protest of a proposed merger between the Orix BlueWave and the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes, as well as the failure of the owners to agree on the creation of a new team to fill the void created by the merger.

It was on September 23, 2004, that the owners reached an agreement to grant a new franchise in the Pacific League while also agreeing to maintain the current two-league, 12-team setup in place. The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, the new team, made their debut during the 2005 season.

High school baseball

This photo was taken at the Hanshin Kashien Stadium during the 1992 Kashien competition. For the purposes of this article, high school baseball (also known as “kokyaky”) refers to the two yearly baseball tournaments contested by high schools across Japan, which culminate in a final clash at Hanshin Kashien Stadium in Ninomiya. During the spring, they are organized by the Japan High School Baseball Federation in collaboration with the Mainichi Shimbun for the National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament (also known as “Spring Kshien”), and during the summer, they are organized by the Asahi Shimbun for the National High School Baseball Championship (also known as “Summer Kshien”).

Regionally broadcast qualifying tournaments are common, and each game in the final stage at Kashien is broadcast nationwide on the National Hockey League (NHK).

The popularity of these competitions has been compared to that of the March Madness basketball tournament in the United States.

Amateur baseball

Amateur baseball leagues may be found all around Japan, with many of the teams being supported by corporate sponsors. The Japan Amateur Baseball Association is in charge of amateur baseball in Japan (JABA). The players on these teams are employed by the corporations who sponsor them, and they do not get wages as baseball players, but rather as employees of the sponsoring firm. The Intercity Baseball Tournament and the Industrial League National Tournament are the two tournaments that decide which clubs are the best in these circuits.

Major League Baseball players such as Hideo Nomo (Shin-Nitetsu Sakai), Junichi Tazawa (Nippon Oil), and Kosuke Fukudome (Nihon Seimei) have all been discovered while playing industrial baseball and have gone on to play for professional clubs.

International play

Since the tournament’s inception, Japan has claimed the title of World Baseball Classic champion on two occasions. Japan won the 2006 World Baseball Classic after defeating Cuba in the finals, and in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, they defeated South Korea in 10 innings to retain their championship and defend their crown. The World Baseball Softball Confederation routinely ranks the national team as one of the finest in the world, according to the World Baseball Softball Confederation.

See also

  • Among the topics covered are: Asahi (baseball team), Baseball Awards Japan, Japan National Baseball Team, List of Japanese baseball players, Mr. Baseball, a 1992 film, Sport in Japan, and Baseball Awards Japan.


  1. “The 8 Most Popular Sports in Japan | All About Japan”
  2. Gillette, Gary
  3. Palmer, Pete, editors
  4. “The 8 Most Popular Sports in Japan | All About Japan”
  5. (2006). “Baseball in Japan,” according to the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia from 2006. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., pp. 1733, 1734, ISBN 978-1-4027-3625-4
  6. “Teams Nippon Professional Baseball.” New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., pp. 1733, 1734, ISBN 978-1-4027-3625-4
  7. “Teams Nippon Professional Baseball.” On January 10, 2016, “Japanese Sports” was archived from its original version. The original version of this article was published on 2020-08-13
  8. Robert Whiting is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom. Baseball with a Chrysanthemum and a Bat: Samurai Baseball Style Mead and Dodd (1977)
  9. Dodd (1977)
  10. Bill Staples is an American businessman (2011). Pioneer of Japanese American baseball, Kenichi Zenimura, was born in New York City. Whiting, Robert. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, p. 15.ISBN9780786485246
  11. Whiting, Robert. You Gotta Have Wa (Vintage Departures, 1989), p. 27
  12. You Gotta Have Wa (Vintage Departures, 1989), p. 27
  13. Eric Dunning is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (2004). Sport Histories: Figurational Studies in the Development of Modern Sports (Sport Histories: Figurational Studies in the Development of Modern Sports) Routledge (London, UK), p. 163, ISBN 0-415-28665-4 Tsuneo Matsudaira, Tsuneo Matsudaira (1907). Japanese Sports and Physical Training in the Modern Era
  14. “Baseball has returned to Japan
  15. Here’s all you need to know about Nippon Professional Baseball.” “Farm Leagues,” which was retrieved on April 12, 2021. On April 12, 2021, the original version of this article was archived. According to the notice at the conclusion of Rule 1.04, the following are the minimum dimensions for American baseball stadiums built or remodeled after 1958: 325 feet (99 m) down each foul line and 400 feet (120 m) to center field are the distances between the bases. David Waldstein is a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley (2014-07-21). Yu Darvish, of the Texas Rangers, is pushing for a six-man pitching rotation because “Ace” believes it will protect pitchers’ arms. The New York Times
  16. Foreign Player Restrictions, retrieved on 2013-12-27
  17. Brad Lefton is a writer who lives in the United States (August 16, 2018). “In Japan, High School Baseball Has Celebrated 100 Years of Glory Days.” The New York Times (New York)
  18. AbRyo is a Japanese word that means “abRyo” in English (2 September 2009). “Inside the Industrial Leagues” is a documentary about the industrial leagues. Tracker for the National Park Service. Whiting, Robert (November 2015)
  19. Retrieved on November 2nd, 2015. (10 October 2010). “A contract loophole provided the opportunity for Nomo’s leap.” Japan Times is a newspaper published in Japan. 2 November 2015
  20. Retrieved 2 November 2015
  21. Alan Schwarz and Brad Lefton are co-authors of this article (19 November 2008). “The Japanese are alarmed by the United States’ interest in Pitcher.” The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City. Ken Marantz’s article from November 2015 was retrieved (6 June 1996). “MLB and the Japanese are on the verge of a bidding war.” According to USA Today. Obtained on November 2, 2015
  22. 2006 Results, which were archived from the original on December 28, 2013, and accessed on December 27, 2013
  23. 2009 Results, which were archived from the original on December 28, 2013, and retrieved on December 27, 2013

Further reading

  • Jerry Beach’s film “Godzilla Takes the Bronx” (New York, 2004)
  • Ofra Bikel’s documentary “American Game, Japanese Rules” (Alexandria, Va.: PBS Video, 1990)
  • Richard C. Crepeau’s article “Pearl Harbor: A Failure of Baseball?” (New York, 2004). Cromartie, Warren, and Whiting, Robert. “The Journal of Popular Culture,” vol. 4, no. 4, 1982, pp. 67–74. Slugging It Out in Japan: An American Major Leaguer in the Tokyo Outfield (New York: Signet, 1992)
  • Dabscheck, Braham (Slugging It Out in Japan: An American Major Leaguer in the Tokyo Outfield) (October 2006). “Japanese Baseball Takes a Swing at the Ball” (subscription required). Hayford, Charles W. “Japanese Baseball or Baseball in Japan?” International Journal of Employment Studies14.2: pp. 19–34.ISSN1039-6993
  • Hayford, Charles W. “Japanese Baseball or Baseball in Japan?” Japan as a focal point (April 4, 2007). It is reprinted from “Samurai Baseball: Off Base or Safe At Home?” by William Kelly in Frog in a Well (April 10, 2007). Among Kelly’s publications are “Blood and Guts in Japanese Professional Baseball,” in Sepp Linhard and Sabine Frustuck, eds., The Culture of Japan as Seen through Its Leisure (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998): 95–111
  • “Caught in the Spin Cycle: An Anthropological Observer at the Sites of Japanese Professional Baseball,” in Susan O. Long, ed.,Moving Targets: Ethnographies Kelly, William, Fanning the Flames: Fans and Consumer Culture in Contemporary Japan (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2004)
  • Fanning the Flames: Fans and Consumer Culture in Contemporary Japan “Is Baseball a Global Sport or a National Sport? “Baseball as a Global Sport,” Global Networks7.2 (2007):
  • Roden, Donald, “Baseball and the Quest for National Dignity in Meiji Japan,” The American Historical Review85.3 (1980): 534
  • Terry, Darin, “International Professional Baseball Procurement,” Global Networks7.2 (2007):
  • Terry, “Robert Whiting’s book, published in 2010, is titled Baseball Samurai Style (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1977)
  • Whiting, Robert. The Chrysanthemum and the Bat: Baseball Samurai Style (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1977). You Gotta Have Wa: When Two Cultures Collide on the Baseball Diamond (New York: Vintage Books, Vintage departures, 1990)
  • Whiting, Robert, “The Japanese Way of Baseball and the National Character Debate,” Japan Focus (29 September 2006)
  • Whiting, Robert, “The Japanese Way
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External links

Baseball is the most popular sport in Japan, and you may not have known it. It’s true, believe it or not! When you think of Japan’s athletic culture, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Sumo wrestling or perhaps the martial arts that the country is famous for, right? When compared to other sports, baseball is the one that Japanese people like watching the most. But how did this happen, given that baseball is not a native sport in Japan, as we all know? Our Houston Astros NewsRumorspage will keep you up to date on the latest developments in the sign-stealing issue involving the Houston Astros.

  1. Baseball was brought to Japan by Horace Wilson, an American university professor who lived in Tokyo at the time.
  2. Japanese Baseball has experienced enormous increase in popularity over the past few decades, with an increasing number of fans and clubs joining the fray.
  3. What is the role of sports betting on the popularity of baseball in Japan, and how does this influence the game?
  4. In the same way that other nations, such as the United Kingdom, witnessed a boom in sports betting, Japan saw an increase in the number of online bookmakers to meet the demand.
  5. Baseball’s popularity in Japan increased even more as a result of the availability of a betting option for the sport.
  6. Physical sports betting bookmakers, on the other hand, are subject to severe rules about the products and services they are permitted to provide to sports fans and bettors.
  7. The ease with which baseball fans can place bets on teams competing in the Japanese national baseball league using their smartphones and tablets has prompted baseball sports aficionados to pay careful attention to the game and follow it attentively in the hopes of making money via their bets.

Baseball began to gain real popularity in Japan during the post-World War II era.

This rise in popularity was due to the efforts of American baseball players who promoted the sport, as well as the efforts of Japanese corporations that financed the amateur Japanese baseball teams.

Currently, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) is the most important professional baseball competition in Japan, having been created in 1949 and consisting of four leagues in total.

The Japanese women’s baseball team put up an outstanding performance and was able to bring home a silver medal from the Women’s Baseball World Cup.

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The trip was intended to help promote baseball in Japan.

From elementary schools to high schools to colleges and universities at the professional level, a baseball sports culture developed among the Japanese population that was distinct from American culture, beginning with elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities at the professional level.

The Japanese high school baseball tournament quickly rose to become the most popular athletic event in the country, with the vast majority of Japanese residents tuning in to watch.

Additionally, during the summer months, supporters are permitted to relieve their thirst by drinking from a beer keg that is being pushed around by the beer ladies.

As a result, the popularity has continued to rise, and it is not expected to slow down any time soon. Return to the Top of the News Feed

Why Japanese Love Baseball

There are a variety of reasons why Japanese people enjoy baseball. Continue reading to find out! Baseball, which is widely regarded as the national game in the United States, must be familiar to you all. For the Japanese, baseball is much more than just a recreational pastime to pass the time on a warm summer day. It has amassed an enormous amount of popularity. As a matter of fact, the Japanese are so enamored with the game that they frequently fail to recognize that baseball is not their original sport.

The fact is that it is a massive problem in Japan.

  • Associated with: The Top Japanese Baseball Players
  • How much do Japanese baseball players make is a related question.

But, what is it about baseball that fascinates the Japanese? And how did the game achieve such widespread popularity in the country? Take, for example, the amusing relationship that exists between Japan and baseball.

Why Is Baseball Popular in Japan

Baseball has a long and illustrious history in Japan. Yakyuu is the name of the game in Japanese, and it translates as “field ball” when translated into English. When the game was initially introduced to Japan, it was during the Meiji period. This was a period in which the country was assimilating a large number of Western conventions and practices. Baseball was played as a form of cooperative team sport during that historical period, and In contrast to traditional Japanese sports such as sumo wrestling and kendo, the game being played was a game of skill.

  1. However, once university teams began to pop up all across the country, the game began to climb the ladder of success.
  2. In the years following World War II, the game began to acquire popularity among players.
  3. With the aid of a series of demonstration games featuring American baseball superstars such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio, the game gained widespread recognition.
  4. All of these characteristics are ascribed to the Japanese ideals that are so highly regarded.

Incredible Baseball Experience at the Japanese Stadium

Taking in a baseball game in Japan is an exhilarating experience in and of itself. It is a participatory event, with supporters clapping and applauding for their team’s players in unison, all while a real brass band plays in the background to set the mood. All throughout the place, from the hats and jerseys worn by the spectators to the rally towels, balloons, and mini-umbrellas that are waved in the air, the colors of the clubs can be seen. The vibrant and electrifying atmosphere created by a baseball game in Japan makes the experience one that will be remembered forever.

Furthermore, with the game’s rising popularity, there is no chance the game will be phased out very soon.

A large number of ‘uriko,’ or beer ladies, will be present at the stadiums during this time period.

These young ladies sprint up and down the street with a cooler full of cold beer strapped to their backs. Another aspect that contributes to the overall enjoyment of baseball watching in Japan is the opportunity to interact with the players.

Japanese Baseball High School Championships

Baseball is also a popular sport at the high school level, with many students participating in it. Since 1915, high school baseball players have competed in national championships at the Division I and II levels. These competitions are contested twice a year, in April and August, respectively. Approximately 4,000 teams will take part in the opening phases of the competition. A 10-day Koshien tournament is held in Hyogo, where the best teams from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures compete against one another.

  1. In Japan, on the other hand, things are radically different.
  2. The games will be seen by millions of people in Japan, who will pour into the stadiums to watch them.
  3. In addition, the finest players garner a great deal of attention around the country.
  4. These games also serve as a source for the selection of players for professional clubs.

Why Japanese Love Baseball

There are two basic reasons why the Japanese are so enthusiastic about baseball. First and foremost, it is a pleasurable activity to participate in. Base is a game that is simple to keep up with as well. Baseball, in contrast to football, is not a violent sport, and even children may participate. The second reason why the Japanese enjoy baseball is that it fosters a sense of belonging among the players. Even though a single player may make all the difference in a baseball game, it is critical for the team to work together effectively in order to win.

All of these characteristics are ingrained in the Japanese way of life!

Sports Culture in Japan

Baseball has now been ingrained in the culture of the Japanese people. Japanese baseball fans have a strong attachment to their own clubs. It is also difficult to distinguish between this affection and the passion for the city that these teams are representing. This is particularly apparent in Japan. You will see that this affection is reflected in every community around the country. As you go down the street, you will see that the colors of the city’s professional baseball clubs are prominently displayed everywhere.

  • You may purchase them to demonstrate your support for your favorite baseball club.
  • However, it is not only professional teams that the Japanese are interested in.
  • It is not necessary for the team to be well-known to be successful.
  • Japan’s passion for baseball is well-documented.
  • However, it is also highly regarded and well-liked by the people of the country as a whole.
  • The Japanese are completely devoted to the game, and this is clear in everything they do.
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Baseball in Japan

Baseball is one of the most popular participant sports and spectator sports in Japan today, and it is also one of the most popular spectator sports. Japanese baseball is played by boys of all ages, ranging from primary school to university-level competition. As a spectator sport, the sport is followed by millions of people at all levels, including local, professional, and international. HISTORY Baseball was initially brought to Japan in 1872, following the Meiji Restoration, but it was not until the conclusion of World War II that the sport blossomed and became one of the most popular sports in the country.

  1. The American baseball players were the ones who pushed for the establishment of a professional league.
  2. They played 17 games against the Japanese University All-Star team and won every single one of them, yet the Japanese spectators were ecstatic and enthusiastic regardless of the outcome.
  3. The “Dainippon Tokyo Yakyu Club,” which would later become known as the Tokyo Giants, was the first team to be created and named.
  4. Baseball did not flourish until after World War II, and it was only after then that it gained popularity among the general population.
  5. The Japan Professional Baseball League is divided into two divisions: the Central Division and the Pacific Division, each having six clubs.
  6. The Chunichi Dragons (Nagoya), Hanshin Tigers (Osaka), Hiroshima Carp, Yakuluto Swallows (Tokyo), Yokohama Bay Stars (Yokohama), and Yomiuri Giants are the teams that make up the Central League (Tokyo).
  7. The Pacific League is composed of the following teams: (Tokorozawa).

At the conclusion of the regular season, the winners from each league participate in the Japan Series for the national championship.

COLLEGE/PRIMARY SCHOOL The All-Japan High School Baseball Championships, which are contested twice a year at the Koshien Stadium in Hyogo, are almost as popular as the professional league in terms of attendance.

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Each year, more than 4,000 high school teams compete, with the top teams from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures making the trip to Hyogo to compete in the Koshien competition.

However, the Koshien games are aired nationwide, and the stadium can hold up to a million people for the length of the tournament.

In addition to receiving national attention and exposure (regardless of whether or not their team wins the tournament), the greatest players in the event are elevated to the status of instant superstars.

Aside from the collegiate leagues, other popular competitions in Japan include the Tokyo Big Six League, the Toto League, the Shuto League, and the Kansai Daigaku League.

Many organizations have their own amateur teams, and corporate tournaments are held all throughout the country on a yearly basis. Baseball is also immensely popular in Japan, particularly in the form of little-league baseball and sandlot baseball.

How Baseball Became Japan’s Most Popular Sport

Baseball is a game of skill and fast-paced action, and many individuals would find it difficult to even hit a ball in the first place. Baseball is extremely popular in a few nations, such as the United States, but it is much more popular in Japan than in other countries. Baseball is a popular sport in Japan, which explains why it is the country’s most popular sport. Not only that, but it is also one of the few sports that has widespread appeal both among those who participate and those who watch.

  1. What factors contributed to baseball’s rise in popularity?
  2. Baseball in Japan saw a resurgence in popularity following World War II, when many individuals, particularly in America, extolled the virtues of the sport, which many Japanese firms supported and sponsored teams.
  3. Baseball was popular among the younger generation at the time since a large portion of the population was still fairly young.
  4. Japan is unquestionably on the map as the home of some of the finest baseball players on the planet, and the country has a strong voice in the selection of players for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  5. What is it about baseball that the Japanese find so appealing?
  6. Baseball is a physically difficult sport due to the amount of force that must be placed into a little ball, as well as the amount of running that must be done around the field.
  • The Japanese like sports that necessitate the assistance of others or that require a sense of “team spirit.” Baseball necessitates the formation of a strong team since it is impossible to be a one-trick pony in baseball. The Japanese have a deep emotional attachment to this and believe that if they can thrive and assist their team in doing so, it will be a wonderful sensation when they win the game.
  • It’s no secret that the Japanese have a strong preference for live performance. Whatever level of baseball you’re at – whether it’s amateur, professional, or even simply watching – you’re likely to see some action at one point or another. This is something that has significantly contributed to baseball’s growth and transformation into the sport that we all know and love today
  • It is possible to hear people discussing who won the football match that took place over the weekend in other countries, but in Japan it is more common to hear people discussing who won the baseball tournament that took place last week. When it comes to baseball, it is one of those sports where no matter who you are, you are rooting for a team that is likely to be despised on by another team – resulting in some nice comradery at the office or even within your own household. The Japanese have made it their way of life.

A Sport you can Gamble On Although gambling incasinos in Japanis frequently forbidden unless indicated differently (such with Pachinkofor example), baseball may really be wagered on because of the matches. In most situations, a baseball stadium will have a tiny area where you can go and put your bets, and if they pay out you can go back and they will give you the money you won. The Japanese adore these tiny gambling features of the sport, and because of that it also enhanced its appeal to make it just that little bit more thrilling.

To Wrap Up Japan’s enthusiasm for baseball is definitely pretty remarkable when compared to other sports in other countries, but it’s obvious to understand why so many people love the game and want to enjoy it either from a spectator’s point of view, or as a participant.

With the country’s aging population, we’re convinced that the kids of Japan will also continue to carry on the trend of baseball and maintain it ever more popular in the future. Follow paulmbanks

Baseball in Japan: Why Is It So Popular in the Land of the Rising Sun?

Despite the fact that baseball is America’s favorite pastime, the sport has acquired enormous appeal in Japan, where it is now recognized as a national sport. Let’s figure out why this is happening. Baseball, one of America’s favorite pastimes, has become so popular in Japan that many people there are unaware that it is not a native sport to this Asian country in the first place. It is the most well-attended sporting event in the country, drawing large numbers of people from all walks of life to the stadium.

Long History

Baseball in Japan has a rich history, and you will need expert writing assistance to adequately record it. Baseball was brought to Japan in 1872, but it was American players that helped to establish the country’s first professional baseball league, which helped to propel the sport to its current level of popularity. An All-Star American team captained by Lou Gehrig traveled to Japan and competed in 17 games against Japanese university teams, winning all of them. This was several decades after the game was first played in Japan.

As a result, the Japanese made improvements to their amateur baseball institutions, which culminated in the establishment of a professional baseball league in December 1934.

Baseball, on the other hand, did not receive broad popularity until after World War II, and it has remained the country’s most popular team sport ever since.

Professional League

Baseball in Japan as we know it now dates back to the 1950s when the first professional team was formed. Nippon Professional Baseball is divided into two leagues: the Pacific League and the Central League, each of which has six clubs. The major league teams are owned by a variety of different business entities. The Chunichi Dragons of Tokyo, the Hanshin Tigers of Osaka, the Yakuluto Swallows and Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo, the Yokohama Bay Stars of Yokohama, and the Hiroshima Carp make up the Central League.

Since the beginning of April, the teams have played a total of 130 games in their home cities and regional communities that are not home to professional teams.

All of these games are televised on national television and draw viewership in the tens of millions.

Incredible Stadium Atmosphere

While baseball supporters in the United States sometimes harass players and fans from other clubs, such behavior is frowned upon in Japan. In Japanese baseball stadiums, fans are separated into sections, and it is not permitted to wear the colors of the opposing club when in a designated fan area. The most significant advantage of sitting a team’s fans together is that it makes it simpler for them to applaud their teams in unison throughout the game. Aside from that, baseball supporters in Japan have cheer songs and chants specific to each individual player on their clubs.

Baseball games are activities that travelers, particularly those who are not baseball enthusiasts, can’t afford to miss because of the delightful experience they will have.

High School Championships

Baseball is also quite popular at the high school level, as you can see in the graph below. Since 1915, high school baseball players have competed in national finals annually in April and August, with the most recent being contested in 2015. Approximately 4,000 teams compete in the preliminary rounds, with the best teams from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures converging in Hyogo for the 10-day Koshien event. While high school baseball games in the United States often draw only a few hundred spectators, high school baseball games in Japan draw millions of spectators and are televised nationwide on television and radio.

Professional teams use scouts to keep an eye out for and attract the most talented newcomers to the professional circuits.

Sports Culture

In the same way that baseball has become a part of the culture of the United States, it is impossible to distinguish between the enthusiasm that Japanese baseball fans have for their teams and the affection that they have for the cities that these teams represent. When a result, as you go down the street, you will notice the colors of the many local baseball clubs nearly wherever you look. In addition, you will come across fan businesses that offer merchandise such as jerseys, key chains, pennants, signed baseballs, and calendars, all of which are imprinted with the insignia of the city’s baseball club.

When a minor league teenaged team plays, it is common to witness people abandon their daily occupations and go to ballparks, radio stations, and television sets to see them play, listen to them play, and cheer them on.

Despite the fact that baseball is not indigenous to Japan, the sport has grown in popularity in the country since the Japanese were first exposed to it in the 19thcentury, according to official statistics.

History of baseball in Japan

History of baseball
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Baseball in Japan has a long and illustrious history that stretches back to anytime between 1867 and 1873 during the early [[MeijiEra]], when the game was introduced by Horace Wilson, a professor at Kaisei Gakko University (nowTokyo University). Baseball is represented by the kanji (yaky), which is a combination of the symbols for field and ball. Amateur baseball has a lengthy history in the United States, ranging from university baseball through high school baseball to international baseball.

In 1936, the first professional league was established.

The National Premier League (NPB) is the country’s current top-level tournament, and it is divided into four leagues.


Baseball was brought to Japan by Horace Wilson somewhere between 1867 and 1873, during the early Meiji Era. Wilson worked as a professor at the Kaisei Gakko Institute of Technology (nowTokyo University). The first game was arranged by Albert Bates, an American who worked as a professor at Kaitaku University in 1873. The Shinbashi Athletic Club Athletics, the first Japanese baseball team, was founded in 1878 by railway engineer Hiroshi Hiraoka, who had been a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox since his days as a student in the United States.

Japanese baseball history was made on May 23, 1896, at the location of what would eventually be known as Yokohama Peace Stadium and [[YokohamaStadium]], when the country’s first international game was played.

Masaoka Shiki!

Amateur baseball rules (1903 – 1934)

During the early half of the twentieth century, amateur baseball was the most popular sport to watch. As early as the turn of the century, university baseball was only getting started with theSkeisen, an annual exhibition game between the baseball teams of Waseda University and Keio University. The inaugural National High School Baseball Championship, also known as the “Summer Koshien,” was held in 1915 and was the first of its kind. The inaugural National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament, known as the “Spring Koshien,” was held in 1924, a decade after the first tournament was held.

Growth of professional baseball (1934 – present)

Japan’s professional baseball league, known as Puro Yaky(), has been in existence since 1920. In 1936, the first professional league was established. The Nippon Professional Baseball League, which is currently the top level of play, was established in late 1949. Since the establishment of the Kokumin League in 1947, the Shikoku Island League has been the first league to operate independently of the NPB.

Amateur baseball

A Japanese team has won the Little League World Series five times and finished as runner-up on three other occasions. Starting in 2007, the victor of the Japan tournament will move straight to the World Series, rather than competing in an Asian regional tournament.

See also:  Which Baseball Teams Are In The Playoffs

High school

Senior high schools compete in two tournaments: the National High School Baseball Championship of Japan, which is a statewide competition, and the National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament, which is an invitation-only competition. National High School Baseball Championship of Japan There is also the Meiji-Jingu Baseball Tournament, which is a minor event.


Every year, the All-Japan University Championship is held in Tokyo.

Professional baseball

The country fielded a team in the ill-fated Global League of1969, theTokyo Dragons, which represented it.

Corporate sponsors employee teams that compete in industrial leagues and for a national championship. These leagues frequently serve as a de facto minor league in their respective regions.

Women’s baseball

The Japan Women’s Baseball Federation (JWBF) was a professional women’s baseball league that operated for two seasons between 1950 and 1951 in Japan. From 1952 until 1971, the women competed in semi-professional amateur leagues, which were founded by males. The first season of the Japan Women’s Baseball League began in 2010.

Japan in international baseball

Three gold medals were won by the national team in the Olympics. Aside from that, it has won two Intercontinental Cups and medaled in six World Baseball Championships, including a silver medal in 1982. During the past two Women’s Baseball World Cups, the women’s national team has earned silver medals.

Further Reading

  • In 2021, Takeshi Tanikawa will publish Baseball in Occupied Japan: US Postwar Cultural Policy, which will be published by Trans Pacific Press in Tokyo, Japan. ISBN 978-1920901981 is the publication number. Blair Williams: Making Japan’s National Game: A Cultural History of Baseball in Japan, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, NC, 2021, ISBN 978-1-5310-1531-2
  • Blair Williams: Making Japan’s National Game: A Cultural History of Baseball in Japan, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, NC, 2021, ISBN 978-1-5310-1531-2
  • Blair Williams: Making Japan’s National Game: A Cultural History of Baseball in Japan, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, NC, 2021, ISBN 978-1-5310
Baseball inJapan
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Why Is Baseball So Popular in Japan? Read This First!

We rely on the generosity of our readers. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may receive a commission. In addition, we get commissions from eligible Amazon sales because we are an Amazon affiliate. Baseball has genuinely emerged as a worldwide sport, and, aside from the United States, there is arguably no country that has embraced the sport more enthusiastically than Japan. What is it about baseball that makes it so popular in Japan? Several factors have contributed to Japan’s embrace of baseball, including a long history with the sport that dates back approximately 150 years, notable visits by hugely popular American players, a post-World War II resurgence in the country’s love of baseball, and eventually the integration of top Japanese players on major league baseball teams throughout the world.

Sadaharu Oh’s career home runs, Hideo Nomo’s pitching prowess with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Ichiro Suzuki’s Hall of Fame-caliber Major League Baseball career all helped to cement Japan’s place in baseball history.

Just as in the United States, baseball fans’ attachments to the sport in Japan have been cultivated over a dozen or more decades, and have become even stronger with the emergence of mass media.

Baseball’s History with Japan

Baseball has been played in Japan for a longer period of time than it has been played in the United States’ major leagues. Horace Wilson, an American English teacher in Tokyo, was the first to introduce baseball to the country in 1872. (The National League was formed in 1876, which marked the beginning of Major League Baseball.) In the decades that followed, other professors and missionaries from the United States began to popularize baseball across the eastern nation of Haiti. With a win by a Tokyo high school team over an international squad early in the twentieth century, baseball was established in Japan as a school sport for high schools and universities and garnered widespread media attention in the process.

After the conclusion of the MLB season, a Waseda University baseball team traveled to the United States, marking a watershed moment in Japanese baseball history.

All of this contributed to the slow but steady growth of baseball in Japan, which culminated in the watershed year of 1934, when the first Japanese professional baseball team was established and big-name American players arrived during an off-season to fully propel baseball forward in the country and beyond.

The Babe, Other MLB StarsPro Baseball in Japan

When Babe Ruth made a post-season tour of Japan in 1934, it sparked enough fresh interest to spur the establishment of Japan’s first professional baseball league the following year. At various points throughout the mid-1930s, big league players like Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Babe Ruth, and others participated in exhibition games against Japanese clubs. The Japanese professional league was interrupted in 1944 as a result of bombing to bring World War II to a close, but it was only a matter of time until the island’s residents saw the sport grow.

Baseball began to take off in Japan as a result of the recommendation of General Douglas MacArthur.

The Central League and the Pacific League were established when the league was large enough to accommodate two leagues.

To this day, Japanese professional teams, such as the famous Yomiuri Giants, the Hanshin Tigers of Osaka, and the Seibu Lions of the Tokyo area, continue to supply elite players to Major League clubs in the United States.

More Information

The influx of Japanese players into the Major League Baseball (MLB) did not happen immediately. According to historical records, the first Japanese player to don a big league uniform did not appear until 1964, when pitcher Masanori Murakami of the San Francisco Giants made his debut. Despite this, it would be another 30 years before Japanese players were truly established in the Major League Baseball. All of this occurred despite international attention being focused on Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh, who broke all American lifetime home run records and ended up with 868 in a 22-year career that ended in 1980 after surpassing them all.

Japanese players rose to prominence in the United States rather quickly after that, with Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners, probably the greatest player in baseball history, regardless of league, being the most notable.

Ohsani, who possesses tremendous power at the plate as well as a fastball that can reach triple digits, signed with the Angels in part to be able to throw in addition to batting in the majors.

More on Sadaharu Oh

Sadaharu Oh is affectionately referred to as “the Babe Ruth of Japanese baseball,” and with good cause. His 755 career home runs surpassed Henry Aaron’s mark (at the time, before Barry Bonds achieved the steroid-assisted, asterisk-noted record years later), and he did it not long after Aaron made the pursuit of the record a national news story by making it a national news item. Oh was a distinctive hitter not only because of his small stature (5-feet-10-inches tall and weighed 173 lbs. ), but also because of his peculiar batting posture and hitting style, which made him stand out from the crowd.

It was successful, and other players have not yet fully replicated it, at least in terms of power.

American Players Heading East

Teams in the Nippon Professional Baseball league can now include up to four international players on their rosters, an increase from the previous restriction of two in previous years. There are several stories of American players who have gone to Japan to obtain experience and success, and some of these players have returned to the United States and the Major League Baseball. Often, it is long-time minor leaguers or players on the verge of making the leap to the majors that make the journey east, either because they have been sought and scouted by Japanese organizations, or because they want to pursue a more continuous professional career.

  • Former Dodger all-star Willie Davis, who batted over.300 and hit 43 home runs in two seasons in Japan
  • Warren Cromartie, who left the Expos at the age of 30 to spend many seasons in the NPB, including 1989, when he was named most valuable player (MVP) of the Central League
  • And other notable players from the NPB include: Tuffy Rhodes, best known for hitting three home runs on opening day for the Chicago Cubs once in his career, actually spent 13 years in the NPB and owns the record for the most home runs hit by foreign players with 474 (putting him 11th all-time in the history of the Japan league)

In the NPB, three non-Japanese players worked so hard for so long that the league gave them “Japanese Player” designation, which removed all limitations on foreign players. (It’s worth noting that Rhodes was not among them.) It is vital to note that there are significant cultural differences between Japanese and American games — as well as between their respective civilizations — which frequently result in American players only staying for a short period of time abroad. Player earnings in the NPB do not comparable to those earned by players in the Major League Baseball, yet Japan’s league pays more than what minor leaguers in the United States can earn, which explains why so many young players choose to go to Japan.

Differences between NPB and MLB

It’s worth noting that comparing player records between the Japanese and American professional baseball leagues can be difficult because the Japanese league has shorter season schedules and, on average, smaller grounds in its stadiums. The six clubs in each NPB league play a total of 146 games every season, which is essentially six games per week with Mondays off, from late March or early April through the end of the season in October (just like MLB). (A standard Major League Baseball season consists of 162 games.) The top NPB clubs then compete in the Nippon Series (also known as the Japan Series) championship tournament playoffs, which are the equivalent of the World Series in the United States.

It is worth noting that the NPB employs somewhat smaller baseballs that are wound tighter than those used in the United States, as well as a narrower strike zone, and that many Japanese stadiums have smaller playing fields, resulting in “cheap” home runs.

Many professional baseball players in the United States refer to the NPB’s level of play as “AAAA,” which means that it is a step above the triple-A level of American minor league baseball, but not as competitive as the Major Leagues.

In Japan, the game is less violent, more courteous, and more respectful, as a result of cultural differences between the two countries. The use of beanballs or rushing the mound is prohibited, and aggressive slides to break up double plays are extremely unusual.

Question:Are other nations as into baseball as Japan?

Answer:Yes. It is not so much about countries as it is about areas. Taiwan, South Korea, and even the People’s Republic of China are among the countries in the Far East that have joined Japan in terms of baseball popularity. Latin America, notably Caribbean islands such as the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, is another place where the sport has a large presence.

Q.:Why do Japanese pro teams seem to adopt team names used by MLB clubs?

In terms of pop culture, think of it in terms of Japanese citizens imitating American pop culture. When a certain brand of jeans becomes popular in the United States, the chances are good that the same event will occur in Japan. A similar situation existed many decades before, when the NPB clubs were created and given names: team owners preferred the brand awareness that came with the adoption of names such as Giants or Tigers. (This was also common in the former Negro Leagues in the United States, as previously mentioned.) In summary, Japanese team names can be difficult for Americans to say or remember, therefore borrowing team names (and even uniform designs) from Major League Baseball clubs was part of an effort to be more easily accepted by baseball fans in the United States, according to the MLB.

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