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Robert Whiting

Robert Whiting's Homepage at JapaneseBaseball.com

The Summer Game

by John Gabree (Apr 17, 1985)

Digitized by Jessica Suchman and Catherine Nissley.

"The Chrysanthemum and the Bat" is a very different sort of baseball book. The cultures of Japan and the United States are revealed by the way in which each plays the world's greatest game. The Japanese are as crazy about beisuboru as we are. Superficially, from the strikeouts on the field to the hotto dogu vendors in the stands, it looks like the same game, but the Japanese cultural conventions have affected every aspect of play. Correct form is more important than winning. Managers can't be fired because they would lose "face." Players are kept on way past their prime because of Japanese respect for the wisdom and experience that comes with age. Whiting, who lives in Japan, has found in baseball a vocabulary which which the cultural differences can be explained. "The Chrysanthemum and the Bat" is both informative and a lot of fun.

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