Welcome again to JJNN for Wednesday September 17th, 2008. Today we will be talking about baseball.
Do any of you watch or play baseball? I grew up in a family that routed for the Yankees, except for my sister whole later came to her senses and started routing for the Yankees as well. I never really played a lot of baseball. I did enjoy trying to hit the fast ball with the little wooden stick, but I was never really good at the game.
The rules for baseball in Japan are the same as they are all around the world. Japan has two different baseball leagues: the central league and the pacific league. Both of the leagues only have 6 teams in them. Here is a list of the teams.
Yomiuri Giants, Tokyo Yakult Swallows, Yokohama BayStars, Chunichi Dragons, Hanshin Tigers, and Hiroshima Toyo Carps.
Hokkaido Nippon-ham Fighters, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, Saitama Seibu Lions, Chiba Lotte Marines, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks
The Yomiuri Giants are like the American Yankees. They were known for winning the championship a lot in the past, but haven't really been doing anything lately. The strange things about these teams is that almost all of the team names have the names of companies in them. The teams are really not teams for an area, but are teams for companies.
There are a lot of things that are the same between baseball in America and baseball in Japan, but one of the differences is how the fans act and cheer for their team. Most American baseball fans just sit back and cheer their own team on in the way they see fit. Sure some fights might break out every so often when they beer is flowing, but it is a very nice way to cheer for your team. On the other hand you can see the Japanese way to cheer for their team below.
Yep, the chant and the dance are all made up and all the fans just perform the dance. It is a little creepy for me to see thousands of people all doing the same dance and chanting the same thing. One word comes to mind: cult. But, that is what works in this country, The fans of the team buy little megaphones and the like and have a good time cheering on their team. All the best to them
I know some of you are reading this and thinking that baseball is a sport and not a game. Well, I guess you are right about that. So, let me just add this classic baseball video game to the end to make all right with the world.
Does that make you feel better?
Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 野球(やきゅう). It is pronounced yakyuu and means baseball. Literally translated it means field ball. That could be any sport really.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.