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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, 2020. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 18 February 2020

Happy Medium: Re-envisioning the Hero in Japanese Baseball Manga

Happy Medium: Re-envisioning the Hero in Japanese Baseball Manga

(p.151) 6 Happy Medium: Re-envisioning the Hero in Japanese Baseball Manga
Contesting the Myths of Samurai Baseball

Christopher T. Keaveney

Hong Kong University Press

Chapter 6 considers the cultural medium that constitutes the most substantial body of baseball-themed work in Japan: manga and the related form of anime. Manga emerged as major cultural force at precisely the time in the postwar era that baseball was establishing itself as the unrivaled spectator and participatory sport in Japan. Starting in the Occupation period and continuing to the present, baseball has been a reliable subject for manga practically unrivalled by any other. Starting with the blockbuster success of Kajiwara Ikki’s Star of the Giants in the 1960s and continuing in the work of such luminaries of the manga world as Mizushima Shinji and Adachi Mitsuru, baseball manga and anime adaptations have consistently defined and redefined the hero in cultural terms that represent the values of the age in which they were produced, at times conforming to the cultural myths of Samurai baseball and at other times upending those myths. As the newest forms treated in this study, manga and anime are unburdened by many of the traditional expectations of poetry, fiction or cinema, and continue to offer ideal forms for confronting the fundamental myths associated with Samurai baseball.

Keywords:   Manga, Star of the Giants, guts sports

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