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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ€TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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You Gotta Have Wa Paperback – October 3, 1990

45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The "wa" one must have is the group harmony that is the essence of Japanese baseball. According to PW , "this interesting comparative study of the sport as it is played on both sides of the Pacific concentrates on the American stars who have gone to play in Japan." Photos.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

"Wa," Japanese for "team spirit," is the creed of Japanese baseball, played since the 1850s and professionally since 1935. Whiting, a long-time Japan resident, concentrates on the two pro leagues. The Japanese leagues, he reports, believe their severely coached game to be superior to the U.S. game. They discourage Japanese from entering U.S. leagues. A few Americans, usually older ones, have been accepted on Japanese teams, but they meet with resentment, criticism, and discrimination. The book updates Whiting's earlier The Chrysanthemum and the Bat (LJ 10/1/76) and contrasts with Sadaharu Oh and David Falkner's Sadaharu Oh (LJ 6/1/84; o.p.). A revealing and disturbing account that is heartily recommended for adult and YA collections.
- Morey Berger, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage departures ed edition (October 3, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067972947X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679729471
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,104,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By therosen VINE VOICE on March 9, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On the surface, this is a treatise about baseball in Japan. Only slightly underneath, it's a fascinating work on the difference between Japanese and American culture. The title word Wa comes from the Japanese word for team unity, as opposed to the American interest in individuality.
The book goes through both a history of baseball in Japan, as well as challenges American's deal with over there. It covers the trials and tribulations of Americans like Bob Horner, who thrive on the diamond, but struggle off the field. It covers the adverserial relationship between Japanese coaches and their foreign (Gai-jin) charges. Any American going to work in Japan is well advised to pay attention!
How is Japan changing over time? Compare how the approval of "different" antics of foreigners changes over time. Learn how some Japanese players follow the model, but as the exception and not the rule. Is the Japanese culture changing, or a surface appearance of change part of the Japanese character? Read the book to find out. Again, it's only about baseball on the surface.
How does training differ? The American model suggests individuals can improve, but only to the limit of their ability. The Japanese model in both the field and the office is that there is no limit - strength and success is limited only by effort. This drive leads to a 10-11 month season counting training camp, as well as several hours of strenuous exercizes every day before practice. This is essential to developing the fighting spirit. Again, someone travelling to Japan for business is well advised to understand this.
The book is a must for baseball lovers as well as people interested in learning more about Japan. The book is a fascinating work that hides great learning behind Japan under the story of America's pastime.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By L. TAYLOR on January 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a long-time Japanese baseball fan, I was very excited to finally receive this book and start reading it. Robert Whiting has done an excellent job of finding material that is usually not accessible for the average foreign fan of Japanese baseball, simply due to the fact that everything is written in Japanese.

Whiting has succeeded in creating a very enjoyable and very interesting "summary" of Japanese baseball as a whole, and really portrays just how differently the game is played and thought of in the East. In particular, the mentality of Japanese baseball that he describes, along with the accounts of many of the players were eye-opening.

It's just such a shame that the book is published in 1988, with no revisions forthcoming since then, because, as is inevitable with time, baseball in Japan has moved on.

In the modern game, the popularity of the "Yomiuri Giants" which Whiting talks at length in his book are declining - so much so that they have trouble filling the stadium or even getting good ratings on TV. In fact, baseball as a sport in Japan as a whole has been on a gradual decline in the face of Soccer, which, when Whiting wrote "You Gotta Have Wa", was unthinkable.

There have also been great shifts in terms of the power of Japanese baseball: away from the Giants to other teams, and the players union even went on strike in objection to the loss of player jobs following the merger of the Orix Bluewaves and Osaka Buffaloes. Whiting wrote however that the player's union would never consider striking, as that was the Japanese player's mentality. This signifies just how much the game has changed in Japan.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James R. Hoadley on January 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Baseball is baseball, right? Not when it's played in Japan, it seems. Pitchers pitch "until their arms fall off." Fielding practice is done until players drop from exhaustion. Fans chant highly organized and rhythmic chants at the same piercing volume, all game long, regardless of the score. It's not "play ball" in Japan, it's "work ball." And into this arena come the foreigners. Often bench-warmers and minor leaguers in North America, they are expected to become instant stars in Japan. The pressure and the intense work ethic drive many away after only a few weeks or months. Others, like Randy Bass, become national heroes, appearing on TV commercials nightly. However even Bass must have felt his outsider status when he was intentionally walked for the rest of the season when he challenged Sadaharu Oh's single-season home run record. If you are interested in baseball, or in what happens when Japan meets the outside world, this is the book for you.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on February 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have had the fortunate experience of visiting Japan twice and seeing some Japanese baseball. It was an experience I shall never forget. Curious about the subject I picked up and read this awesome book. However, as much as this book is about baseball. And it is filled with some great stories and information. I wonder how much this book is really about the cultural differences between the United States and Japan. Using the history of Japanese baseball and the rough experiences of many of the American players who have tried to play in Japan, the author does an awesome job teaching about Japanese culture. This is much more than a baseball book. Its about baseball and culture, and cultural diffusion, and the differences between Americans and Japanese. This is a funny book, a fun to read book, but you will learn alot about Japan by the time you are done. I have even assigned this book to my students. This book is worth it. An unforgettable read.
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