Ballgame in Japan in 1872

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Pre-pro Baseball

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Awaiting Review
Date of Game 1872
Location Japan

"Baseball was introduced to Japan in the early 1870s, by Horace Wilson a teacher at Kaisei Gakko in Tokyo"

SABR Asian Baseball Committee website, accessed August 25, 2009.

""The tale of Japanese baseball sprung entire as Horace Wilson's gift to the island in 1872 is very likely . . . a literary creation . . ."

Peter C. Bjarkman, Diamonds Around the Globe (Greenwood Press, 2005), page 120. Bjarkman goes on to observe that US-trained Hiraoka Hiroashi, in the Ministry of Engineering, later provided the "first substantial boost" to Japanese baseball.

Query: can we obtain the best arguments for and against Wilson's central role?

Sayan Guthrie Shimuzu, "Transpacific Field of Dreams: Baseball in U.S.-Japanese Relations 1872-1952," says the Meiji Regime in Japan (1868 on) imported foreign experts ("oyatoi") including at least 374 Americans. One of these Americans, Horace Wilson, taught at the Kaiseiko boys academy and taught baseball to his students, starting in 1872. The book lists other Americans who introduced baseball at different schools.


Sayan Guthrie Shimuzu, "Transpacific Field of Dreams: Baseball in U.S.-Japanese Relations 1872-1952."

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Entry Origin Sabrpedia


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