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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class: News and Current Events in Japan, Season 1 - Lesson 18, The Koshien Tournament and High School Baseball.
In Japan, high school baseball is highly appreciated and followed by many people.
In this lesson, we'll learn about this trend.

Lesson focus

In Japan, high school baseball is not just a game.
Every year in August, during the most intense heat in Western Japan, where the temperatures get incredibly high, representatives of high school students gather at the Koshien stadium, from all over the country, to play in baseball games under the scorching sun. This makes Japanese people both happy and anxious.
High school baseball in Japan is a real national celebration. It began in 1915 and, although it was interrupted during the Second World War until 1946, it continues until now. In 2018, the tournament will be played for the 100th time.
Recently, soccer is getting more fans, but Japanese people still like baseball.
It's probably because it holds the ideal Japanese virtues that people are so enthusiastic about high school baseball.
The image of a high school student, as a fresh and clean young person, always strikes the hearts of people.
The spirit of respecting effort and patience, the winner giving a pat on the back to the loser, being modest about their victory, and the losers giving heartfelt tribute to the winners resembles the old "samurai code of chivalry."
In addition, displays of high school students' passion for devoting themselves to something, such as high school girls cheering or brass bands inspiring players, are everywhere.
Many people can be cheered up by seeing a reflection of their own difficult situations in those who are working together to the end without giving up, even during harsh games.
On the other hand, in opposition to the charming scene of Koshien, Japan’s actual society is too strict.
There are many harsh situations, such as conflicts between generations due to differences in values, a competitive society that doesn't accept losing, problems that cannot be solved with one's own strength, or the helpless feeling that you just have to give up.
Even though we know virtue played out at Koshien is important, it is too pretty to match people’s daily lives.
However, Koshien and the high school baseball festival are sacred places where the Japanese ideal of virtue is realized. That is why the people draw a variety of beautiful dreams from Koshien.


Those are the key facts about Japan’s love of high school baseball.
If you want to find the related Japanese keywords, make sure to check out the lesson notes.
Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening everyone, and keep listening for more of the most talked about news stories in Japan!