Thursday, June 12, 2008

Koshien on a warm summer night...

Since the Hanshin Tigers are so hot (currently in first place, 8.5 games ahead of the Dragons, and riding a 6 game winning streak), it is difficult to get tickets to games. Koshien fills up and die-hard fans stay until the end and even longer. Sometimes one finds themselves trapped in their seats and only able to communicate with the beer vendors for news of the outside world.








2 comments:

DickMcVengeance said...

Talked to a Tokyoite the other day, and when I mentioned I was a Hanshin fan, she gave me this look of total fear. It was in front of an audience, too, so she had to explain how Hanshin fans are absolutely insane.

The Hanshin fans didn't seem all that obsessive when I was there (apart from that kimono lady). Is the level of obsession really that bad?

visual gonthros said...

I might re-phrase the question: Is the level of obsession really that good? Answer: Yes. Of course there is a distinction between long-term, die-hard fans and those new-comers who like a winning team. But in the end, all are welcome. It's a Kansai style party. The more the merrier... Perhaps your Tokyoite friend might be suffering from regional ethnocentrism and/or a bruised ego (why should Hanshin be winning this season after the Giants spent so much money and obtained so many superstars N.Y. Yankees style?). The Japanese seem to take their sports very seriously no matter where they are from. And there are many forms of fandom whether it be for a baseball team, an anime, a manga, a visual kei group, whatever. I would trust your own judgment, Dick, as you have been to a Hanshin game. To be a good (visual) anthropologist, you might take in a Giants game in Tokyo to compare and contrast. But my own biased opinion is that Giants fans and their cheers are lame in comparison. The fans - and fandom - is one of the things that make Japanese baseball and especially Hanshin so special. And by the way, about the only Hanshin merchandise I don't have is a kimono...