Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Chrysanthemum and the Bat: Baseball Samurai Style Paperback – May, 1983
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
It was considered a distant minor league back then, where lucrative contracts and an opulent lifestyle awaited. For some, like George Altman, it became a rich experience. For others, like Joe Pepitone, not so much.
This book details the culture and the attitude of the fans and the management in Japan in the 1960's and 1970's. is it still relevant? Mostly probably not. A couple of generations have now passed through the Japanese leagues. Japanese players have come to America and have had stellar careers, most notably Ishiro Suzuki.
Also there have been a couple of interesting books by American's playing in Japan, such as Warren Cromartie.
But this was a groundbreaking book detailing the culture of this sport in Japan as well as the attitudes and behavior of an industry that was adopted from our country. The fans are more knowledgeable and analytical than ours, and the game has evolved beyond what is detailed in this book.
Probably not a recommended read for any but the most hardcore fans.
Written a full generation ago (1977) and covering players I had no clue about, this book was both entertaining and educational. Robert Whiting is now a renowned author most famously known for his late-80s masterpiece and follow-up to this book, You Gotta Have Wa. It really is not fair to compare the two books, but this one has a lot more direct quotes and long excerpts from other sources, and sounds a lot more like someone reporting what he has read or heard. 'Wa' sounds much more like a baseball guru telling the world what he already knows and has processed in his mind clearly.
That does not make this book less worthy or uninteresting, though. It takes me back to a time before I was even born and fills me in on the beautiful and quirky history of the game here in Japan, filled with colorful characters such as Sadaharu Oh, Shigeo Nagashima, Isao Harimoto, Katsuya Nomura, and more. It also looks closely at the life of a fan, the external expectations placed on the players, and the struggles that some foreign players (almost exclusively Americans in those days) had adjusting to life in Japan.
Interestingly, the book ends with a chapter speculating on how the Japanese would fare should there be a "real World Series". Obviously this has, in a way, come to fruition with the World Baseball Classic having been played three times in the past decade, but it is interesting to read thoughts about it written nearly 40 years ago. All in all this book is a splendid read and a must-add to the library of any Japanese baseball fan who wants to know more about the game before they started following it.