First it was the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which might be held next year. Now it is the summer Koshien high school baseball tournament. Begun in 1915, the Koshien tournament is held twice a year in Koshien Stadium, a professional baseball stadium in Nishinomiya City between Osaka and Kobe. It is similar to March Madness in the US, but every one of Japan’s 47 prefectures (states) is guaranteed to have one high school team representing it at the tournament (Tokyo gets two schools because of its population and to round the number up to an even 48). High schoolers come from all over Japan to cheer their teams on. And unlike US baseball games, Koshien games feature high school bands and cheerleaders. Unfortunately, the high school players who worked so hard for the chance to participate in this summer’s prestigious tournament, will not be able to because of concerns over Covid-19.
“There’s a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of ‘grab and greed’ are on their way out. We’re beginning to think of what we owe the other fellow, not just what we’re compelled to give him. The time’s coming… when we shan’t be able to fill our bellies in comfort while others go hungry, sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold.... And God willing, we’ll live to see that day…” Basil Rathbone,"Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" (Universal 1943)