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David Witthuhn Mr Zuroski Modern Asia 3 June 2000 An International Pastime This year when the Mets and Cubs opened their seasons in Japan they made Major League Baseball history Never before had a league game been played outside of North America With thousands of fans screaming the names of Mets and Cubs superstars Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa you could see the increasing influence of MLB on Japan Americas favorite pastime is now becoming an international pastime one shared by many different diverse cultures who have come together on common ground the baseball diamond The Japanese had taken an American game and incorporated it into their society For the most part the aspects of the game are the same especially the love the fans and players show towards their pastime Baseball was first introduced to Japan as Yakkyu field ball during the Meiji era in the end of the ninetieth century During a time in which Japan was undergoing a major change in which they were westernizing Horace Wilson brought forth the game to the Japanese The Japanese found the one-on-one battle between the pitcher and batter similar in psychology to their native sumo and martial arts 1 Japanese Baseball History Baseball became an instant success in schools because schools found that it was good for their national character and encouraged the students growth Baseball stressed teamwork cooperation hard work and dedication Throughout the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century international competition grew between the United States and Japan Major League all-stars visited to play against the top competition in Japan The Americans bigger faster stronger and more talented won the first seventeen games between the countries in the early 1900s While most of Japan embraced baseball some still opposed it in the early years being introduced in Japan Some claimed that it was bad for the individual because it put too much mental
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