Baseball in Japan can be traced back to the early days of the Meiji Era (1867-1912), when a young American named Horace Wilson, teaching history and English at Tokyo's Kaisei Gakko, handed his students a ball and a bat and introduced them to the fundamentals of America's new national pastime.
Albert Bates, another American teacher at Kaitaku University in Tokyo, is said to have organized the first formal game in 1873, while Hiroshi Hiraoka, a railway engineer who had become an ardent Red Sox fan as a student in Boston, established Japan's first team, the Shimbashi Athletic Club Athletics, in 1878. His players were railway engineers, station workers, and foreign technicians who used makeshift gloves and ran the bases wearing geta (wooden sandals).
You Gotta Have Wa, 1989, Robert Whiting, Vintage Books, page 27, ISBN 0-679-72947-X.
Researchers, "Wa" is the place to start, as well as these other books.
Back on topic, though. I think I remember reading somewhere that Whiting's history of the first game had been challenged. But I don't remember the details. Has anybody else seen such a thing?
This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.
It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.