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The meaning of Ichiro : the new wave from Japan and the transformation of our national pastime / Robert Whiting.

By: Whiting, Robert.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Warner Books, c2004Description: xvii, 318 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 0446531928; 9780446531924.Subject(s): Suzuki, Ichirō, 1973- | Baseball players -- Japan -- BiographyDDC classification: 796.357/092 | B LOC classification: GV865.S895 | W55 2004
Contents:
The education of Ichiro -- The meaning of Ichiro -- Some history and some philosophy -- Accidental pioneer -- The defector -- Darth Vader, the fat toad, and Alfonso Soriano -- Gaijin -- Gaijin kantoku -- The others -- Matsui.
Review: "In his classic bestseller You Gotta Have Wa, Robert Whiting wrote extensively about the startling cultural clash that occurred when aging American major leaguers, in search of one last payday at the end of their careers, found their way to Japan's professional baseball leagues. By most accounts, the Japanese talent level was considered to be a step down in competition from Major League Baseball." "But times have changed, and so has the migration of talent. These days it's the American major league teams that are scouring the Japanese leagues in search of top-level ballplayers. And in this new book, Whiting writes about this extraordinary cultural role reversal, and how our national pastime has been influenced and changed forever." "Ichiro...Nomo...Sasaki...Hasegawa...Hideki Matsui...one by one they have come to America and made their mark - not as novelty items but as incredibly gifted ballplayers whose skills and styles have defied critics and earned the admiration of millions of fans. Led by the charismatic, whippet-like right fielder for the Seattle Mariners, Ichiro Suzuki, whom many refer to as baseball's best all-around player, this new wave of athlete is the tip of a fascinating iceberg: a deep and very different tradition of baseball the Japanese way. From the cultural concept of wa ("group harmony") to the training regimens practiced by the Japanese players, Robert Whiting shows why more and more players from Japan will be coming to America - and how they are changing the way our game is played." "Besides Ichiro himself, this book chronicles the personal trials and triumphs of such stars as Hideki Matsui, Hideo Nomo, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and many others, including Japanese all-star shortstop Kaz Matsui, who was recently signed by the New York Mets. It examines the misconceptions many Americans have had about Japanese players and looks at current young players destined for stardom. It also offers a lively account of Bobby Valentine's amazingly vexing experiences in trying to apply traditional American baseball strategies while managing the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan's Pacific League."--BOOK JACKET.
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GV865 .S895 W55 2004 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001711514

"April 2004."

Includes bibliographical references (p. [299]-302) and index.

The education of Ichiro -- The meaning of Ichiro -- Some history and some philosophy -- Accidental pioneer -- The defector -- Darth Vader, the fat toad, and Alfonso Soriano -- Gaijin -- Gaijin kantoku -- The others -- Matsui.

"In his classic bestseller You Gotta Have Wa, Robert Whiting wrote extensively about the startling cultural clash that occurred when aging American major leaguers, in search of one last payday at the end of their careers, found their way to Japan's professional baseball leagues. By most accounts, the Japanese talent level was considered to be a step down in competition from Major League Baseball." "But times have changed, and so has the migration of talent. These days it's the American major league teams that are scouring the Japanese leagues in search of top-level ballplayers. And in this new book, Whiting writes about this extraordinary cultural role reversal, and how our national pastime has been influenced and changed forever." "Ichiro...Nomo...Sasaki...Hasegawa...Hideki Matsui...one by one they have come to America and made their mark - not as novelty items but as incredibly gifted ballplayers whose skills and styles have defied critics and earned the admiration of millions of fans. Led by the charismatic, whippet-like right fielder for the Seattle Mariners, Ichiro Suzuki, whom many refer to as baseball's best all-around player, this new wave of athlete is the tip of a fascinating iceberg: a deep and very different tradition of baseball the Japanese way. From the cultural concept of wa ("group harmony") to the training regimens practiced by the Japanese players, Robert Whiting shows why more and more players from Japan will be coming to America - and how they are changing the way our game is played." "Besides Ichiro himself, this book chronicles the personal trials and triumphs of such stars as Hideki Matsui, Hideo Nomo, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and many others, including Japanese all-star shortstop Kaz Matsui, who was recently signed by the New York Mets. It examines the misconceptions many Americans have had about Japanese players and looks at current young players destined for stardom. It also offers a lively account of Bobby Valentine's amazingly vexing experiences in trying to apply traditional American baseball strategies while managing the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan's Pacific League."--BOOK JACKET.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

In You Gotta Have Wa (1989), Whiting introduced readers to the world of Japanese baseball and Japanese notion of group spirit and harmony (wa). Here he examines the introduction of Japanese players into the US, including their impact on the US "national pastime." The book takes its title from Ichiro Suzuki, one of the best baseball players in the world, a former Japanese Baseball League star and now a fan favorite with the Seattle Mariners. The author follows Ichiro from age three, when his father began to groom him to be the best player in the world, to his high school career and ultimate emigration to the US. Whiting also looks at other Japanese players of the last 50 years who have relocated to the US--Nideo Nomo, Hideki Matsui, et al. Though familiarity with baseball is prerequisite to enjoying Ichiro to its fullest, this fascinating book can be appreciated without such knowledge. And the book could not be more timely, given the continued internationalization of US sports and the outstanding contributions non-US players make to baseball and basketball--this during a period when Japan is undergoing players' strikes and coping with a drain of superstars to the US. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Collections supporting sport history and sociology; all levels. A. R. Sanderson University of Chicago

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