Japan, Hockey, Baseball, etc.

Mostly about Asian ice hockey, Japanese baseball, other sports, and random tidbits

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    Nagano Cup 2010

    Posted by japanstats on 2010 January 15日 Friday

    The international tournament that’s been abandoned since 2007 is back.

    Nagano Cup 2010!

    Feb 11(Thu/Hol) 13:00 Japan v Slovenia; 16:00 Denmark v Kazakhstan
    Feb 12 (Fri)16:00 Slovenia v Denmark;  19:00 Japan v Kazakhstan
    Feb 13 (Sat) 13:00 Kazakhstan v Slovenia; 16:00 Japan v Denmark

    All games at Nagano Big Hat, tickets are 2000 yen.

    http://www.cnplayguide.com/evt/evtdtl.aspx?kcd=39009

    Unfortunately, the exhibition game announced to be on Feb 9 in Higashifushimi, Tokyo has been cancelled.

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, Japan, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Familymart entrance melody remixed!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 11日 Friday

    This should be familiar to those living in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, information, music, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    AL Preseason Shorts + Ichiro

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 7日 Monday

    • Oji Eagles and Nippon Paper Cranes played a pair of free admission preseason games in Tomakomai, Hokkaido over the weekend. Results were 3-2 and 4-1 for an Oji sweep.
    • Tohoku Free Blades were officially admitted into the league on 5 September. Well, this was just a rubber stamping process since the club is starting out its life on stable grounds.

    freeblades-109788

    • Ex-Seibu Prince Rabbit D Ryuichi Kawai and (probably) his younger brother and ex-Gatineau Olympique Takuma Kawai are going to be on the ice for the University of Lethbridge team’s tryouts, even though they’re both not enrolled with the university. Apparently the training camp has guys trying to crack AHL and ECHL clubs, so it’ll be interesting to see how they fare. The brothers are staying and training with ex-Seibu Ryan Fujita whose home is about a 40 minute drive from Lethbridge, Alberta.
    • The immortal Ichiro earned his 2000th Major League hit in style with a double against the A’s. Always a showman who marks special occasions with crafty hits or big bombs more often than his usual slap and dash.

    Mariners Athletics Baseball

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, baseball, ECHL, hockey, information, MLB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Robot Baseball Players Can Pitch and Bat

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 August 2日 Sunday

    Out of Japan, there’s a baseball player who has an edge like no other: a fastball-pitching, homer-hitting robot.

    The pitching robot fires into the strike zone 90% of the time. It currently throws a plastic foam ball at 25 miles per hour, with hopes to later improve its speed to 93 mph. The team that designed the robot are planning to move the bot’s range of motion beyond fastballs into curveballs and spitballs.

    The batting robot hits pitches in the strike zone almost 100% of the time, and does not swing at pitches outside the strike zone. The robots resemble cars with arms rather than human forms.

    “The demand level of the robotics technology of each robot is very high,” University of Tokyo professor Masatoshi Ishikawa said. “What was difficult was to create a mechanism to satisfy such a high level of demand.”

    http://www.weirdasianews.com/2009/08/01/baseball-robot-throws-hits-fastballs/

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, information | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

    It’s about time

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 July 13日 Monday

    Japan’s PM ‘to call August vote’

    Japan’s embattled Prime Minister, Taro Aso, is to call an election for 30 August, officials from his party said.

    His office said he had agreed the date with his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and coalition partner, if bills already before parliament were passed first.

    The Kyodo news agency reported that Mr Aso had told party lawmakers parliament would be dissolved on 21 July.

    The move comes after Mr Aso’s ruling coalition suffered a crucial defeat in local elections in the capital, Tokyo.

    The opposition Democratic Party (DPJ) won 54 seats to 38 for LDP, ending four decades of dominance in the assembly.

    Finally, Japanese people stood up for change, the LDP’s been in power for so long that just cleansing the eternal corruption will be a welcome change, and this result should be an indicator for a DPJ takeover of the Diet (though, DPJ is a mess of its own and they may not gain majority and force the government to form an unwieldy coalition.)

    Posted in 02_English, culture, information, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Aiko Uemura married!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 14日 Sunday

    Japanese moguls queen Aiko Uemura has tied the knot with alpine skiier Kentaro Minagawa! Good luck on the marriage and Vancouver 2010!

    aiko

    minagawa

    Posted in 02_English, information, olympics, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Japanese baseball SI Vault

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 7日 Sunday

    More for my archival purposes than anything, the link to all Japanese baseball related Sports Illustrated articles going back to the 50’s! You can read how Japanese baseball itself and how it is viewed by Americans have gradually and significantly changed over the decades. (via Japanesebaseball.com)

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Beckham the gardener

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 3日 Wednesday

    This is from a few years ago, but a photo op of David Beckham visiting an Air Force base and the Japanese gardener advertising illustration below the photo are in perfect sync. 

    p_beckham

    Posted in 02_English, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Utada’s US foray, part 2

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 May 26日 Tuesday

    Hikaru Utada (Wiki, the number of languages is impressive) is the most popular singer in Japan, and has sold over 50 million records worldwide (though most of that is in Japan and some in East Asia).

    After a long and successful career in the Japanese and East Asian markets, she has tried to penetrate the biggest pop music market in the world, the US (she’s born and partially raised in NYC so she is a native English speaker).

    Utada_Hikaru_s

    Her US debut album EXODUS in 2004 was a dud, topping the Billboard charts at 160. She has just released her second all English album aimed at the US market, This Is The One. And she has earned a network TV appearance on CBS’s 2nd Cup.

    I gave the album a listen at my local HMV, and unfortunately her second all English offering is very similar in flavour to her debut effort. Her voice is extremely well suited for J-Pop but not the US Top 40. And her naturally bilingual wordplay makes her (especially early) Japanese albums great, but she can’t unleash this aspect in a monolingual album.

    This Is The One has entered the Billboard Album charts at #69, which is an improvement from her debut album, we’ll see if this is the peak or she can gain word of mouth cred and air play to move up the charts. She also violates my sampling rules by heavily sampling Ryuichi Sakamoto’s classic tune Merry Christmas Mr.Lawrence. I’m all for sampling, but not when the new song basically freerides on the coattails of the original (even though this is sort of like a tribute/remix). Unfortunately, for me, her recent Japanese album was rather soppy and lame as well, so she hasn’t produced anything that I really like in a while. Maybe she needs to marry another guy who could be her father?  😛

    Posted in 02_English, culture, information, music, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Canseco v Daimajin

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 May 25日 Monday

    Prior to the start of the interleague game at Yokohama between the BayStars and the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles on Sunday 24 May, infamous former slugger Jose Canseco faced off against former BayStar and Seattle Mariner closer Kazuhiro “Daimajin” Sasaki in a ceremonial “at bat”.

    canseco1

    Because Canseco wanted to launch a homerun into the stands at the expense of Daimajin, he repeatedly asked for “one more pitch” resulting in a 9 pitch ceremonial at bat (which is reminiscient of Tsuyoshi Shinjo’s ceremonial first at bat against Hichori Morimoto last season in Fukuoka), but the attention seeking PED whistleblower could not reach the short porch of Yokohama Stadium.

    canseco2

    Canseco had faced Sasaki 3 times during their MLB careers, and after the ceremonial at bat Canseco commented that “Sasaki’s fastball and forkball were just as I remembered from our playing days, I should’ve practiced more for this occasion”.

    (Canseco is in Japan to participate in his first MMA tournament (aside from celebrity boxing matches), the DREAM Super Hulk Tournament in Yokohama Arena on Tuesday 26 May, his first match will be against former MMA novice and Korean giant Choi Hong-man who stands 218cm (7’2″) tall.)

    Original Japanese article after the break

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), baseball, information, MLB, NPB | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »