Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting

Culture History

Koshien Stadium is the sacred place for Japanese baseball

Although baseball is a sport that originated in the United States, it is very popular in Japan. It came into Japan in the late 19th century. Student baseball games were started first. Then the Professional baseball began in 1936. The two oldest teams are Tokyo Giants and Osaka Tigers.

Tokyo Giants and Osaka Tigers have been considered to be rivals in the east and west, but in reality, the Tokyo Giants have a much better record. The 2000th game was held in May 2021, and the total record is that 1094 wins for the Tokyo Giants, 835 wins for the Osaka Giants, and 71 draws.

The franchise of the Osaka Tigers is Koshien Stadium. This stadium was founded in 1924, earlier than the foundation of Osaka Tigers, because baseball games by high school students had already begun. The name of Koshien (甲子園)comes from the fact that 1924 was the year of Koshi (甲子), which means the first year in the Chinese calendar for every 60 years.

Baseball tournaments by high school students have also been popular for a long time. Some players in turn become stars in the professional league. Due to the qualifying tournament of about 4000 nationwide, only 49 teams can participate in Koshien.

Perhaps because of that, the high school baseball tournament still have the priority of holding the stadium in the summer.  So Osaka Tigers will have to play in rural areas as a visitor. Fans of the Osaka Tigers have made that as excuses why the Osaka Tigers’ performance is worse than that of the Tokyo Giants. But I don’t think that’s the only reason.


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