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Robert Whiting

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Baseball Mania in Today's Japan – America's favorite sport gives revealing insights into a very diff

by Avon News (Dec 15, 1977)

Digitized by Jessica Suchman and Catherine Nissley

The Chrysanthemum and the Bat: Baseball Samurai Style traces the history of contemporary baseball in Japan, from its introduction in 1873 to its present status as the passion of The Land of the Rising Sun. The book reveals how Japanese cultural values – group identity, cooperation, hard work, respect for age and seniority – have permeated every aspect of the game, from training methods, to team spirit, and attitudes toward winning and losing.

Whiting describes how the game is telecast (one hour and twenty-six minutes regardless of the duration of the game); the role of the Japanese manager (after a seven game losing streak one manager apologized to the fans for "this disgrace"); the nature of the superstar player in Japan, and much more. This revealing and witty look at Japanese professional baseball provides the idea framework for a deeper, richer American understanding of contemporary Japanese culture through the one game two very different nations share and love.

Robert Whiting, a graduate of Japan's Sophia University has spent most of his adult years living and working in Asia. He has been a contributor at Sports Illustrated and numerous Japanese magazines, and has been published by Britannica, Grolier International, and Time-Life Books.

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