Lots going on tonight, let's jump right in.
- With Koshien underway, I'd like to once again endorse the Goro Shigeno blog as the premier English destination for Koshien coverage. Video is available online here (requires MS Windows), and since many games are played early in the day it should be a little easier to enjoy them on this side of the Pacific.
- If you're unfamiliar with Koshien and Japanese high school baseball, I recommend checking out the film Kokoyakyu, which can be purchased on dvd or viewed via Hulu.
- As I type this, Japan is playing Korea for the bronze in the World University Baseball Championship. Yuki Saito surrendering a grand slam in Japan's last game against America cost Japan a shot at the gold. I tried to get into this tournament, but the number of blowouts made it hard to follow. As I type this, Japan is holding a 9-0 lead over Korea.
- NPB is auctioning off signed, game-worn All-Star jerseys for charity. I haven't looked through all of them, but Yu Darvish's jersey figures to fetch the highest sum, with a current bid of 524,000 yen ($6130 at the current, awful exchange rate). If loyal reader EJH wants to purchase Masataka Nashida's jersey, he'll only have to beat a bid of 71,000 yen.
- Mac Suzuki is making a return to Calgary Vipers of the independent Golden League.
And on a final, non-baseball note, August 6/7 marked the 65th anniversary of the World War II atomic bombing of Hiroshima. I was glad to learn this morning that for the first time, the United States sent an envoy to Hiroshima's annual memorial ceremony. I visited Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Museum in 2003, and it was a moving experience that really cemented my already strong opposition to armed conflict. Despite the fact that the conventional firebombing of Tokyo caused more damage than the atomic bomb, Hiroshima is certainly the more striking example of the cost of war. Today it's one of the nicest cities in Japan, and I'd recommend visiting to anyone, for both the historical significance and the civic beauty. Today is also a good day to remember Langdon Warner, the American Harvard historian who is credited with convincing the US government to spare Kyoto and Nara from serious attacks.