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Lesson Transcript

Talking Japanese Culture, Season 1, Lesson 22 – Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Japanese Baseball
Hello, and welcome to JapanesePod101.com. I’m Eric.
In this lesson we will talk about the ​"Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Japanese Baseball”.
The first topic (on the list) is about Central League, or (J: Se Rīgu).
This is one of the two professional baseball leagues in Japan. The other one is called Pacific League or (J: Pa Rīgu). As of 2015, (J: Chūnichi Doragonzu) Chunichi Dragons, (J: Tōkyō Yakuruto Suwarōzu) Tokyo Yakult Swallows, (J: Yomiuri Jaiantsu) Yomiuri Giants, (J: Hanshin Taigāsu) Hanshin Tigers, (J: Hiroshima Tōyō Kāpu) Hiroshima Toyo Carp, and (J: Yokohama DīEnuĒ Beisutāzu) Yokohama DeNA Baystars belong to the Central League.
The Central League is said to be more glamorous than the other because it has two popular teams, the Hanshin Tigers and the Yomiuri Giants, which are also called (J: Kyojin).
The next topic (on the list) is about (J: Pa Rīgu).
As of 2015, the Pacific League, just like its counterpart, also has 6 teams— the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Saitama Seibu Lions, Orix Buffaloes, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, and Chiba Lotte Marines. The biggest difference between the two baseball leagues is that the Pacific League has a designated hitter rule known as “DH rule”.
The recent results of interleague series between the two leagues have been largely in favor of Pacific League meaning that the Pacific League is said to have more skilled players these days.
The next topic (on the list) is about (J: Kōshien).
This word has two meanings in Japan. One is (J: Hanshin Kōshien Kyūjō), “Hanshin Koshien Stadium” the home of the professional baseball team Hanshin Tigers. Another one is the “National High School Baseball Tournament” which is held twice a year at the Koshien Stadium. For high school baseball players, Koshien is something sacred and the ultimate goal.
It is a common sight to see players, covered in mud and sweat, walk off the field in tears after losing a knock-out tournament. The compelling scene also makes audiences teary-eyed.
The next topic (on the list) is about the (J: Nippon Shirīzu).
This is the name for the series of games to decide the national champion. The games are played by the winner of the league championship series involving the top three finishers in each of the Central and Pacific Leagues. Since it started in 1950, the Nippon Series has been the biggest thing for dedicated baseball fans.
As of September 2014, the Yomiuri Giants have won the annual championship 22 times, followed by Saitama Seibu Lions with 13 wins. Other teams have only managed to win fewer than 5 times. ===
The last topic (on the list) is about a Japanese baseball legend (J: Nagashima Shigeo).
The former star player of the Yomiuri Giants, who was known for his aggressive playing style, was also appointed as the team’s manager after retiring as a player.
With not only an outstanding batting average, Nagashima also has charm and charisma off the field. This man, who Japanese call (J: Misutā puro yakyū) “Mr. Baseball”, is who helped Japan’s professional baseball build its status as a national sport.
That’s all we have for this lesson. Baseball is one of the most popular team sports in Japan and the country also has many strong teams. Do you see any differences between Japanese baseball and baseball in the U.S. and other countries? Leave us a comment and let us know. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time. Bye!


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