by Bryce Marley-Jarrett
When people think of sports in Japan, typically Sumo instantly comes to mind, or perhaps one of the various martial arts like karate, or even soccer (football) comes to mind. What many outside Japan don't realise however is that the biggest sport in the country is an import; and it is huge. Welcome to the world of Nippon Professional Baseball, the most popular sport in Japan.
The “Great American Pastime” of baseball has a rich history in Japan, dating back to 1879. A young Japanese engineering student, Hiroshi Hiraoka introduced the sport to co-workers at Japan’s national railways after returning from studying in the USA. The first Japanese baseball team was created by Hiraoka and his co-workers, called the Shimbashi Athletic Club. The sport quickly gained massive popularity across Japan with teams popping up all over, however the Shimbashi Athletic Club reigned supreme for many years.Read More