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APRIL 29 (1936) - Japan*
By Bill Grimes
Apr 29, 2007 - 10:34 PM

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Yakkyu, hot dogs, apple pie  

TOKYO , JAPAN, APRIL 29, 1936 On this date in baseball history Nagoya beat Dai Tokyo 8-5 in what’s believed to be the first professional baseball game played in Japan. The game is known as Yakkyu, which in Japanese means “field ball.”

It was certainly not the first baseball game played in The Land of the Rising Sun, baseball had been around for decades, only the first contest played by pros. There are conflicting reports as to exactly when it was introduced, not unlike how it evolved in America. Most believe what the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum says; American professor Horace Wilson introduced the game to his students at Ichiban Chugaku (now Tokyo University) in 1872. This was after the Meiji Era, a time of great cultural change when many Western traditions were assimilated by the Japanese.

The two teams that played in that first professional game, Nagoya and Dai Tokyo, were part of a seven team professional league established in 1936. The other teams were Tokyo Senators, Hankyu, Dai Nippon Tokyo Yakkyu Club (now the Tokyo Giants) and Nagoya Kinko. Unlike in the United States, teams did not so much identify with a particular city. Most of the teams are in and around Tokyo.

Professional baseball was discontinued during the height of World Was II, but resumed in 1945 and has flourished ever since.

Read on:
http://english.baseball-museum.or.jp/showcase/storage/history.html
http://english.baseball-museum.or.jp/showcase/storage/history.html
http://journals.iranscience.net:800/mcel.pacificu.edu/mcel.pacificu.edu/
http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/japan/japanworkbook/modernhist/meiji.html

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