Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just because it's called Baseball doesn't mean it's the same game

The Chrysanthemum and The Bat, Baseball Samurai Style by Robert Whiting; 1977; 247 pages; Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, NY; 0-396-07317-4; Interlibrary Library Loan from Bellingham Public Library; 11/6-11/11 This was the first inside look at baseball as played in Japan.  Robert Whiting has lived in Japan for years and is the only American who writes for one of the Japanese daily sports newspaper.  He shows how Japanese culture and the Samurai code of Bushido have changed the game of baseball in Japan, to be something than how we know the game.  He shows why it is difficult for Americans to really make an impact in Japan, no matter how well they do.  I should have read this before I read You Gotta Have Wa*, a lot of that built on what is here.  I am looking forward to reading more by Robert Whiting. I wonder how much has changed in the way the game is played in Japan in 32 years.

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