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The Chrysanthemum and the Bat

Robert Whiting's Homepage at

The Chrysanthemum and the Bat

by L. Vington (Jul 17, 1977)

Digitized by Jessica Suchman and Catherine Nissley.

Although baseball is a business affair in America, in Japan, despite its vast popularity, a ball club is often merely a tax write off for its sponsoring firm.

Which is but one of the numerous differences in the game that seem to be the same as that played in the United States but isn't, says Robert Whiting, an American who has put in a decade following "beisboru" in the Land of the Rising Sun, and whose observations on the sport open a window not only on baseball Far East style but on many points of Japanese character and culture.

It's a home run of a work on the diamond game in Japan where players practice with samurai-like dedication, where team effort is everything and "kojinshugi" (individualism) so frowned upon that the rise of such outstanding players as Shigeo Magashima and Sadahru Oh propels them past superstar status straight into the special syndrome reserved for hero worship.

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