The Tsubamegun Grows

Atsuya Furuta wavesWhile this site is yet quite young, it appears there’s more interest in our swift little birds of Tokyo than we realized (and a growing interest in Japanese baseball in general.)  Last night, Thursday, June 13th, sometime in the evening, almost exactly two weeks, down to the hour, after we started this blog, Tsubamegun: The Tokyo Yakult Swallows passed its first little milestone by welcoming it’s 100th unique (non-spammer/non-search engine) visitor of the day.  By midnight, 133 of you had stopped by.

While that admittedly means we are still minuscule potatoes, it also means traffic is growing at a nice clip.  Thanks to everyone who has stopped by, thanks even more to those of you who have offered us words of encouragement, and thanks most of all to those of you who have commented here and linked to us and helped us get a little community started here.  We hope you’ll continue to find the Tsubamegun an interesting place to hang around.

As always, we’re very interested in hearing any and all readers’ thoughts on the site, especially criticisms and suggestions on what we can do better.  (We don’t mind praise, either, though.)  Feel free to comment here and let us know what you think, even if you don’t have much to say about the Swallows at the moment.  (We know how you feel – sometimes there just are no words.)

  • Gotta join you guys on the Jingu bleachers with my Furuta jersey one of these days soon!

  • Looking forward to it, Simon. If that’s Saturday night against Orix, though, it looks you might want a raincoat to keep that jersey dry.

    Until we take in a game together, thanks for your erudite and insightful comments. You’re one of the few who’ve made me think (albeit grudgingly), “OK, maybe the sac bunt isn’t always absolutely boneheaded.”

    Not that that’s stopped me from griping about it.

  • Luke

    I have a non baseball related question, what does Tsubamegun mean?
    I know that Tsubame is the name of Kyushu’s shinkansen, which in my humble opinion is the king of all shinkansen! But I guess you aren’t naming your blog after a bullet train, so what does it mean?!

  • Luke,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Tsubame is Japanese for the winged creatures that we adore (swallows).

    Gun can be literally translated as army or military. The fans, as a whole, are often referred to as “tsubamegun”, so I guess it could come across as “Swallows Force”.

    However, I suspect that there are many who would agree that “Miscreants in Right Field Bleachers Who Drink Too Much Yogurt Beer” is more apt.

  • Tsubame == swallow (the bird)
    gun == troop (also written as gun-dan)

    Therefore, “the Swallows team.”

    Other nicknames often said in Japanese are “tora” (Tigers), “dora” (Doragonzu – Dragons), “koi” (Carp), “kyojin” (Giants), “Washi” (Eagles), and “taka” (Hawks). I don’t recall what the Buffaloes were called in Japanese, but it wasn’t just “ushi.”

  • We usually call Orix Buffaloes just “Ori”.
    I remember many people called Kintetsu Buffaloes “Mo-gyu”, meaning “fiearce oxen” in Japanese.

  • also “ryu”(?) for the Dragons (kanji for dragon), and “shishi”(??) for the Lions (again, kanji for lion). BayStars are sometimes shortened as “‘hama”(Yokohama).

    Yeah, this upcoming week looks like all rainouts. Tsuyu has descended upon us in Kanto… Luckily I’m quite busy at the moment anyways, but hopefully before the month ends or early next month.

  • Damen

    Hey gang,
    I just want to say that it’s pretty cool to know that I’ve lost my proverbial “Tsubamegun sakuranbo” at the same time that the site just started to gain some notoriety. Good timing, it makes me feel like I’m a part of something.

    I also apologize if that was too graphic and/or poorly translated.

    Garrett, make sure to give the wifey a hug from Annie and myself!

  • Will do, Damen. The ballpark may be a family place, but websites about baseball tend to play host primarily to adult men, so don’t worry too much about being graphic (within reason of course). You get points for effort on the translation. (I assume there aren’t many chances to work on your Japanese in Cleveland.)

    I’ll be sure to pass on your hug. Give our best to Annie as well.

  • Luke

    OK that makes sense, the aforementioned shinkansen has a swallow painted on the side of it.