Koshien and Friday Nights: Amateur Sport in Japan and the United States
Ferrara, William P.
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In Japan and the United States, sports are a popular activity and ingrained into society culturally, economically, and institutionally. Amateur baseball in Japan and amateur football in the United States are well-researched sports, providing insight into the interaction between sport and society. By examining each sport, a vast number of similarities can be seen between the Japanese and American societies in the historical development, the place in society, the interpersonal relationships of participants, and the rituals and traditions that have developed around baseball in Japan and football in the United States. Examining amateur baseball in Japan and amateur football in the United States reveals analogous cultural values in both societies which are both reflected and shaped by the respective sport sub-culture. In each sport, rhetoric has emerged over time to incorporate cultural values into the instruction of participants and to justify each sport in the face of external criticism. and skepticism. In addition, a number of parallels can be seen in the methodology by which Japanese baseball and American football use respective cultural values in order structure interpersonal interaction of the participants in sports. The extent to which these ideals are realized provides additional insight into each society. Using amateur sport as a medium to examine Japanese and American culture, we can find numerous examples and observations which provide unique insight into how each respective culture promote values and ideas through sports and how the sports express and shape these values and ideas.