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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: 13 October 2019

Epilogue: The Enduring Cultural Appeal of Baseball in Japan

Epilogue: The Enduring Cultural Appeal of Baseball in Japan

Chapter:
(p.182) Epilogue: The Enduring Cultural Appeal of Baseball in Japan
Source:
Contesting the Myths of Samurai Baseball
Author(s):

Christopher T. Keaveney

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888455829.003.0008

On May 15, 1993, amid much fanfare, the Verdy Kawasaki kicked off against the Yokohama Marinos in Kasumigaseki Stadium, inaugurating the J-League, Japan’s professional soccer league. The J-League proved to be wildly popular in that inaugural season and almost immediately sports commentators and cultural pundits began to predict the beginning of the end of baseball in Japan. At the very least, it was reasoned, soccer would soon supplant baseball as Japan’s national pastime. It was a time of economic decline in Japan, and baseball was associated with the stubborn refusal to adapt to the times that led to the economic downturn in the first place. Baseball represented all that was old and stultifying in Japan; soccer, on the other hand, seemed to reflect all that was new, international, and exciting. As one article at the time stated, “Soccer is, in short, everything that the tightly controlled samurai version of baseball here is not.”...

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