Off-Day Rant Against Lazy, Unoriginal, and Otherwise Bad Travel Writing on Japanese Baseball

Call this part of the “There are no ‘Ham Fighters’ or ‘Tokyo Giants’ and the Hanshin Tigers are not the Boston Red Sox of Japan” series of ongoing gripes to which we give voice from time to time.

OK, to which I give voice. David and Christopher are off the hook on this one.

To make this fun, though, go ahead and read Orange County Register travel editor Gary A. Warner‘s piece on Japanese Baseball,  as reprinted in the Miami Herald, before you dig into my dissection. Then we can be like lab partners – only I’m the nerdy one who did the work first and complains a lot more than you. That means you get to be the cool kid and/or hot girl. Enjoy it.


Good. I’m not going to give it all away – mostly because I don’t think anyone’ll read that much, but I’m wondering why Mr. Warner didn’t ask questions or pay attention to the games. Taiko drums? Really?

Taiko are just the start, though. I was reading along, thinking that much of what he wrote was just a bit off, but noticing that much of what was correct seemed really familiar. Then it hit me: I’d read it; in Robert Whiting’s 1989 classic You Gotta Have Wa.

I’ll give you guys the fun of picking it apart further.

  • Jarad

    Since when did Chunichi become the Giants arch rival? News to me… I can truly say that the Swallows suck as bad as the L'Astros. Still I would go and drink if I could. Thanks for the post. (By the way little Matsui might be coming back to Japan soon I would guess)

    • We might suck as bad as the Astros (probably worse by the end of the month), but we have five, count 'em, Houston, five Japan Series titles – four in the past two decades.

      You do need to come drink, though.

      On Chunichi: every team in the CL is the Giants' arch-rival, but we share a train line and a market with them. What bugged me was the Dodgers uniform comment: that hasn't been the case for a rather long time. Why did he mention it? Because he's pulling shit straight out of an excellent and recently updated and reissued, but 21-year-old book.

  • simonc

    he gets a lot of simple details wrong or they are outdated for a guy whose been watching NPB from 12 years ago. guess he's never lived here..?

    • You're more charitable than me. I'd say he get small details wrong b/c he's either guessing or relying on hearsay for everything he didn't lift, without context, directly out of a 21-year-old book.