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Books on Japanese Baseball

Discussion in the Ask the Commish forum
Books on Japanese Baseball
An anonymous bench-boy asked about published books for Japanese baseball research.

This is something that I had on my old FAQ, and have at the top of my list for adding to a new one here.
Re: Books on Japanese Baseball
[ Author: Guest: Daniel Johnson | Posted: Feb 14, 2002 12:39 AM ]

People interested in finding source books that contain detailed statistical information may want to check out Carlos Bauer's The All-Time Japanese Baseball Register, published by Baseball Press Books, and my Japanese Baseball: A Statistical Handbook, published by McFarland & Co. These books are available from the publishers, as well as from Internet book dealers.

--Daniel Johnson
Re: Books on Japanese Baseball
[ Author: Guest: Jeff Matlock | Posted: Apr 6, 2002 11:15 AM ]

Brian Maitland's "Japanese Baseball A Fan's Guide" (Rutland: Charles E. Tuttle Co. 1991) ISBN 0-8048-1680-8 is available at Disney World's branch of Mitsukoshi. It's useful for the English-speaking tourist wanting to attend and understand baseball games in Japan. The EPCOT Japan segment of Disney World currently features an exhibition of Japanese baseball history.
Re: Japanese Baseball A Fan's Guide
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Apr 6, 2002 12:02 PM | YBS Fan ]

That's interesting. Thanks. I've never been to Disney World, so it's interesting to even hear that such a section and selection exists.

If the book covers getting to a game, though, keep in mind that many new stadiums have been built since 1991. Latham-san's page on seeing a game would be a good, up to date, companion. Most everything else, though, should be relavant.
Daniel E. Johnson
[ Author: Guest: noah miles | Posted: Feb 4, 2004 1:10 AM ]

I am trying to get in touch with Daniel Johnson. I have his book and I am interested in what the library in the Hall of Fame contains. Are there books in English? Are there gaijin in the hall of fame?

I am doing research for an honors thesis, and I will be going to Japan over the summer. I am looking at representations of foreigners in Japanese baseball, TV, commercials, newspapers, etc. Any information would be helpful.

Re: Daniel E. Johnson
[ Author: Guest: Daniel Johnson | Posted: Feb 5, 2004 3:47 AM ]

Hi Noah,

The Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame contains some 40,000 books, magazines, and newspapers about Japanese baseball and other sports. The vast majority of these publications is in the Japanese language, although some publications are in English. I found the staff at the museum to be very helpful, but there are only six research desks available, so before going there make a telephone call to reserve a space.

The museum's web site, in English, is located here.

Members of the Hall of Fame include Americans Lefty O'Doul, Horace Wilson, and Wally Yonamine.

I welcome correspondence from you -- and anyone else -- at djohnson5 at kc d0t rr d0t com. I enjoy communicating about Japanese baseball and helping in whatever ways I can. Currently, I'm working on my second draft of a book on the history of Japanese professional baseball.
Re: Books on Japanese Baseball
[ Author: Guest: Jim Albright | Posted: Sep 1, 2003 10:36 AM ]

You've left out Jim Allen's fine series of books on Pro Yakyu. They are aimed at the season which had just finished, and he stopped doing them with the 1999 edition, after skipping 1998. They go back to 1992 or 1993, iirc.

Jim Albright
Re: Books on Japanese Baseball
[ Author: Satchel | Posted: Sep 1, 2003 3:05 PM ]

Thanks to all for the reading lists! I'm pretty new to Japanese baseball, and I prefer the old-fashioned way of reading (i.e. book format), so all these (and others mentioned on this site) are great.
Re: Books on Japanese Baseball
[ Author: Guest: Jim Albright | Posted: Sep 1, 2003 11:15 PM ]


Frankly, much of my stuff on is better printed and then read, IMO, if only due to the length of some of it. I'm doing a comprehensive re-evaluation of my 100 greatest players, franchise all-stars, and gaijin greats articles, plus an all-decade teams' article. I'll estimate they'll start coming in a month or two.

Jim Albright
Re: Books on Japanese Baseball
[ Author: Satchel | Posted: Sep 2, 2003 3:59 AM ]

Thanks, Jim. I'll keep an eye on the site.
Re: Books on Japanese Baseball
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Sep 2, 2003 1:12 PM ]

The Whiting books are all excellent, and the Cromartie book is a very interesting read.

When I was in Japan recently, I went to the huge Kinokuniya Bookstore in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo as well as several smaller operations and I couldn't find anything even in Japanese that gave a satisfyingly comprehensive overview of Japanese baseball history and stats (though I did spend about $120 there). There are lots of interesting books on Japanese baseball-related subjects (like one I'm reading right now on the Nishitetsu Lions), but, for example, the kind of comprehensive statistical compendiums you can order on MLB stats from in the U.S. don't exist right now in one book in Japan.

There is one by Morioka-san that gives brief autobiographical glimpses of every player, manager, and often times, umpire, that took the field in Japan or was drafted by a Japanese team, but it is by no means anywhere near complete statistically, even on career totals. I've checked Amazon Japan and Kinokuniya's web site to see if maybe I glossed over anything, but it doesn't appear that I have.

There is the yearly handbook issued by NPB, but it only gives information for players who were on the roster that season as well as records and such.

Despite that, I'm endeavoring to compile stats as complete as possible on every retired player for a web site I want to put up. That is going slow because I also have the usual daily obligations and I write my reports for, too. So I'm only about 60% of the way through the outlining process before I start filling in the statistics I've been able to unearth. By this time next year, I hope to have both hitting and pitching stats up, and then from there I will add yearly team stats and records.

If you have specific pointed questions about Japanese baseball history, feel free to email me and ask, but keep in mind that I'm not an expert, just a fan with a little Japanese ability, so I can't guarentee that I can answer every query.
Re: Books on Japanese Baseball
[ Author: Guest: martin | Posted: Sep 2, 2003 9:47 PM ]

Hello Gary,

The book you are reading, about the Nishitetsu Lions, is that in English? If so, do you know were I can buy one? Thanks.
Re: Books on Japanese Baseball
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Sep 3, 2003 2:56 PM ]

Hi Martin:

The book I'm reading right now is in Japanese, as are all of the books I bought in Japan. But if you are an English speaker, I would recommend that you look at , as it gives a good broad historical overview of Japanese teams, records, and players for people just becoming interested in the subject.
Re: Books on Japanese Baseball
[ Author: Satchel | Posted: Sep 2, 2003 12:00 PM ]

- Which made me think, wouldn't it be nice to have a section dedicated to book and web reviews?

I'm all for that idea. I just ordered a couple of the books mentioned and would be willing to add my thoughts on them, also.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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