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Japanese Baseball

             Baseball is probably the most popular sport in Japan. The game of baseball was introduced from the United States during the early Meiji period. Horace Wilson is the man who gets the credit for starting baseball in Japan. Horace Wilson was an American professor of English at a Tokyo university. Through the early 1920's the only baseball the Japanese saw was high school baseball. It wasn't until the 1930's that baseball really caught on in Japan as a professional sport. (www.sg.emb-japan.go.jp/JapanAccess/baseball.htm).
             In the 1930's American all-star teams would come over to Japan to play a host of good will games. These games started in October of 1931. The U.S. all-star team played against Japanese university A11-star teams, as well as others. The Americans won all 17 games. Because of there defeat the government of Japan decide to establish their own professional teams in 1934. In 1936 the first professional game was played. .
             The game as it is today in Japan started in 1950. Railway companies, newspaper organizations, and other corporations own major league teams. There are two leagues with six teams each. The Central League is made up of the Chunichi Dragons they play in Nagoya, Hanshin Tigers who play in Osaka, Hiroshima Carp who play in Hiroshima, Yakult Swallows they play in Tokyo, Yokohama Bay Stars who play inYokohama, and Yomiuri Giants who also play in Tokyo. The Pacific League is composed of the Chiba Lotte Marines they play in Chiba, Fukuoka Daiei Hawks who play in Fukuoka, Kintetsu Buffaloes who play in Osaka, Nippon Ham Fighters they play in Tokyo, Orix Blue Wave they play in Kobe and Seibu Lions they are located in Tokorozawa. .
             Starting in April, the12 professional teams play 135 games. In addition to playing in their home stadiums, the teams often hold games in regional cities that do not have their own professional teams. At the end of the season, the champion from each league plays one another in the Japan Series for the national championship.

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