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Contesting the Myths of Samurai BaseballCultural Representations of Japan's National Pastime$
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Christopher T. Keaveney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455829

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455829.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2019. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 15 September 2019

Samurai Baseball: The Popular Press and the Making of a National Pastime in Meiji and Taishō Japan

Samurai Baseball: The Popular Press and the Making of a National Pastime in Meiji and Taishō Japan

Chapter:
(p.18) 1 Samurai Baseball: The Popular Press and the Making of a National Pastime in Meiji and Taishō Japan
Source:
Contesting the Myths of Samurai Baseball
Author(s):

Christopher T. Keaveney

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888455829.003.0002

Chapter 1 provides both a background to baseball in Japan and to the origins of the concept of “Samurai baseball” that is central to the issues explored in this book. The first chapter also problematizes the role of the popular press in Japan starting in the Meiji period (1868-1912) of both spreading the gospel of baseball in Japan and of promoting the myths surrounding Japan’s approach to the game, infusing it with dimensions of the rhetoric of Nihonjinron. Many of the qualities that have come to define the myths of Samurai baseball are the result of the press coverage of the Ichikō high school team’s impressive victories against American opponents in the Meiji period. The wide coverage by the popular press of the team’s lopsided victories helped both to initiate Japan’s love affair with baseball and establish the Bushidō-inspired values associated with Samurai baseball.

Keywords:   Nihonjinron, Meiji Period, Imbrie Affair, Ichikō, Bushidō

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