What's Unique About Japanese Baseball
There are broadly speaking two types of baseball in Japan: high school baseball and professional league baseball. The highest playing field for the former is the Hanshin Koshien Stadium – the name of the stadium located in Hyogo Prefecture in West Japan. The “Summer Koshien” is one of the most eagerly anticipated matches for baseball fans throughout the nation as they root for their local school teams. The professional league is known as Nippon Professional Baseball, which comprises two leagues of six teams each. Japanese teams are often named after their corporate owners, in addition to their geographical base. It is common for star Japanese players to head to Major League baseball in America, such as Ichiro, now playing for the Miami Marines, and Hideki Matsui who played for the New York Yankees. Japanese fans are also very organized in terms of supporting their teams, with various equipment such as clappers and horns to accompany their cheers – and even the synchronized releasing of team-colored balloons!