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!FREE EPUB ☢ You Gotta Have Wa ♖ Offers an intriguing and often humorous look at the differences and similarities between the national obsession over baseball in Japan and in the United States and a detailed account of the game of besoboru I wanted a book about baseball in Japan and that is what I got. Are you interested in Japan Do cultural differences fascinate you Do you know anything about baseball If you answered yes to two out of three of those questions, you gotta get You Gotta Have Wa a collection of anecdotes detailing the history of Japanese Baseball Robert Whiting, the book s author, is a skilled writer, capable of injecting his own clever or expository comments while also getting out of the way and becoming a reporter when necessary And there is a lot to get out of the way Are you interested in Japan Do cultural differences fascinate you Do you know anything about baseball If you answered yes to two out of three of those questions, you gotta get You Gotta Have Wa a collection of anecdotes detailing the history of Japanese Baseball Robert Whiting, the book s author, is a skilled writer, capable of injecting his own clever or expository comments while also getting out of the way and becoming a reporter when necessary And there is a lot to get out of the way of in You Gotta Have Wa From the adulation of the foreign players to the scrutiny they endure if they don t perform from the american players who loved japan to those that hated it typically both at once from the reverential home run king Sadaharu Oh to the rebellious act pitcher dirty Egawa, from the passion of the fans to support their teams to the pressure on the players to practice to exhaustion and beyond You Gotta Have Wa is entertainment that goes into extra innings Its got character, personality and authenticity to spare And when you re done reading, you will feel like you understand another culture a little bit better Its a home run I feel like I have been very conflicted about many of the books I have read recently, but here we are again, I am VERY conflicted about this book I like baseball and I like the way they talk about baseball in this book I like way they talk about the culture clash of American vs Japanese baseball in this book I find it all very interesting and as a life long Mets fan I very much appreciate the long section at the end that s all about Bobby V.What I do not appreciate is the blatant misogyny dis I feel like I have been very conflicted about many of the books I have read recently, but here we are again, I am VERY conflicted about this book I like baseball and I like the way they talk about baseball in this book I like way they talk about the culture clash of American vs Japanese baseball in this book I find it all very interesting and as a life long Mets fan I very much appreciate the long section at the end that s all about Bobby V.What I do not appreciate is the blatant misogyny displayed by the author almost every time he talks about women It would be one thing if this only occurred in quotations People say sexist things, and you can quote that, that s not necessarily the author s opinion I get that Though I could argue that there were many times in the book where the author seemed not to notice that any of the quotes were horribly sexist or racist but thats another story But there are moments where the text is directly from the author that were so sexist that I had to put down the book When talking about High School baseball, you don t need half a page on how disgusting men though he never says they re disgusting take pictures up young girls skirts and sell them Also, when talking about pre teen girls who are fans of a certain player, you don t need to describe their cheers as orgasmic They are 12 year old girls, they are not screaming in orgasm, you are unnecessarily sexualizing them Also, what in the world does it mean to say that Japanese women have a softer kind of femininity than American women That s a ridiculous statement that just seems like you are playing into the racist stereotype that Asian women are somehow submissive On a less serious, but still incredibly annoying note, when talking about a general baseball fan, why do you always assume its a man How hard is it to say they instead of he Not hard at all So I loved learning about Japanese baseball I really did I just couldn t get past the rest of it I am a life long female sports fan so I have experienced much of the sexism that goes with it, but seeing it so blatantly in print was too much to handle A fantastically well researched book about the idiosyncrasies of besuboru in Japan, particularly from the perspective of American baseball players and fans I know a hundred timesabout Japanese baseball than I did before good work, book I felt, however, that Whiting could have written half as much as he did and I d still know just as much Perhaps he felt that every single thing he researched belonged in writing So it got boring in the middle But the 2009 updates preface and epilogue A fantastically well researched book about the idiosyncrasies of besuboru in Japan, particularly from the perspective of American baseball players and fans I know a hundred timesabout Japanese baseball than I did before good work, book I felt, however, that Whiting could have written half as much as he did and I d still know just as much Perhaps he felt that every single thing he researched belonged in writing So it got boring in the middle But the 2009 updates preface and epilogue were fascinating bookends, with modern names that I recognized and updated context and developments in the system Ironically, it appears that the cookie cutter approach and fabled team spirit philosophy that helped make Japan a flawless manufacturing, money making machine may not really suit baseball Japanese style quality control means that everyone has to do everything the same way No one is allowed to think for himself Nothing is left to chance, or individual need Managers and coaches demand blind obedience to traditional methods, and the players who don t go along are weeded off the assembly line The result is a passive approach to playing baseball, or as Reggie Smith once said, They play as if they are punching a clock Whiting conveys a fascinating story of national identity through baseball Perhaps the most interesting societal idea is to see how besuboru lives as an invented national sense of identitythan a complete reflection of true Japanese society Of course what a society chooses to project can be as important as how it actually lives, because it hints at where it would like to go In some ways the same type of struggle can be seen in the outsized patriotism of today s NFL But beyond the larger Whiting conveys a fascinating story of national identity through baseball Perhaps the most interesting societal idea is to see how besuboru lives as an invented national sense of identitythan a complete reflection of true Japanese society Of course what a society chooses to project can be as important as how it actually lives, because it hints at where it would like to go In some ways the same type of struggle can be seen in the outsized patriotism of today s NFL But beyond the larger social constructs the book is simply a fun look at a crazy world of baseball crossed with ultra marathons Though I also admit the focus on practice reminds me of my college rowing career which consisted of an extreme ratio of practice time to race time While we would consider it insane not to think the former served the latter, the shaping of one s approach to life may be similar Additionally the book provides an entertaining time capsule of 1980 s baseball that was just before my time It was amusing to read stories of men I think of as wrinkly old managers depicted as home run smashing barbarian gaijin, particularly Charlie Manuel who apparently went by Chuck in those days It seems like the stories that lead to Americans going ballistic are the funniest, because the sense of losing your mind bashing your head against some of the silly rules is so wonderfully told and brings to mind 1984 mashed up with Ball Four On a side note, I would love to see an afterword on how Japan has dealt with the Sabermetric revolution This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here This book surprised me in a good way Recommended to me, a baseball fan of only about two years, by a good friend who loves baseball and has been following it for most of his life, I wasn t sure if I was going to be able to get as much out of the book as he did That being said, I am extremely glad I ve read this book In fact, now that I am writing this review, I am changing my rating from 4 stars to 5 stars because I recall the strong emotions shock, anger, intrigue andthis book made m This book surprised me in a good way Recommended to me, a baseball fan of only about two years, by a good friend who loves baseball and has been following it for most of his life, I wasn t sure if I was going to be able to get as much out of the book as he did That being said, I am extremely glad I ve read this book In fact, now that I am writing this review, I am changing my rating from 4 stars to 5 stars because I recall the strong emotions shock, anger, intrigue andthis book made me feel at different times That is the mark of a good book as far as I am concerned.This book should not be treated as a book about baseball so much as a book about Japanese culture and the way Japanese cultural values affect the way they play the game Group conformity and emotion take precedence over personal needs The player who asks formoney or less practice is accused of disturbing the team s wa , or unity Rules are upheld subjectively based on an umpire s sense of fairness targeted mainly towards former MLB players and victory may not always be identified by a win, but instead by a tie or, in some odd cases, a loss Most teams are treatedlike a military group or dojo Team managers go as far as calling their methodology death training Players are not allowed to miss games for important family events, whether celebration or tragedy.This is a great book that anyone can enjoy The medium of baseball is an excellent way to add entertainment into a book containing material that could easily be found in a college foreign studies course I encourage anyone interested in Japanese culture to read this book as it provides a fairly well rounded view of Japanese society It may surprise you just how different another group s values can be from your own An enjoyable read for all of the interesting information about the differences between the American and Japanese approaches to baseball, but oddly organized at time and it seemed really repetitive mostly in the second half of the book Not many memorable quotes, but at the same time I will never be able to think about team unity and not think of the Japanese concept of wa If you are into baseball, I would still recommend it.Funnest fact from the book Sadaharu Oh, who hit 868 HRs in his caree An enjoyable read for all of the interesting information about the differences between the American and Japanese approaches to baseball, but oddly organized at time and it seemed really repetitive mostly in the second half of the book Not many memorable quotes, but at the same time I will never be able to think about team unity and not think of the Japanese concept of wa If you are into baseball, I would still recommend it.Funnest fact from the book Sadaharu Oh, who hit 868 HRs in his career, practiced his swing by slicing tiny pieces of paper suspended by string from the ceiling with a katana Cool This isn t baseball it only looks like it, Reggie Smith said after his after his first year with the Yomiuri Giants in 1983 Reggie was right Legendary Japanese coach, Suishu Tobita 1886 1965 said much the same thing, though in loftier tones The purpose of baseball training is not health but the forging of the soul, and a strong soul is only born from strong practice To hit like a shooting star, to catch a ball beyond one s capabilities.Such beautiful plays are not the result of tec This isn t baseball it only looks like it, Reggie Smith said after his after his first year with the Yomiuri Giants in 1983 Reggie was right Legendary Japanese coach, Suishu Tobita 1886 1965 said much the same thing, though in loftier tones The purpose of baseball training is not health but the forging of the soul, and a strong soul is only born from strong practice To hit like a shooting star, to catch a ball beyond one s capabilities.Such beautiful plays are not the result of technique but the result of good deeds For all these are made possible by a strong spiritual power Student baseball must be the baseball of self discipline, or trying to attain truth, just as in Zen Buddhism In many cases it must be a baseball of pain and a baseball practice of savage treatment Only with the constant cultivation of tears, sweat and bleeding can a player secure his position Baseball fans will love this rollicking road trip through the world of besuboru Whiting has spent much of his life in Japan and clearly loves the game and the country the insights he shares into Japanese culture and character are as interesting and entertaining as the baseball tales Americans played ball Japanese worked at it There was nothing mellow or laid back about Jim Horner s host They were unremittingly formal, disciplined, cerebral, and incredibly uptight at least when they were sober The standard look was Military Grim Only in Japan, he discovered, did both company workers and kindergarten students alike take medicine for stress In Japan surrendering the first run in a game was considered so psychologically damaging to team mood that defeat was almost inevitableThey talked about pressure as if it were a disease the pressure of falling behind the pressure of a one run leadThey played the game as if there were no tomorrow, using starting pitchers in relief, pinch hitting in early innings, and sacrificing bunting at every conceivable opportunity.The Japanese system builds players with a near superhuman ability to endure pain, which can doharm than good Choji Murata was among the many pitchers who subscribed to the Japanese notion that you should pitch till your arm fell off a hundred pitches in practice, and then evenin the game He continued to pitch with a ruptured ligament in his elbow for a year and a half Said Warren Cromartie about his Japanese baseball experience, It makes boot camp look like a church social Leron Lee played for over 10 years in Japan and holds the Japanese career batting average record.320 for players with a minimum of 4,000 at bats Lee credits the Japanese training regimen with honing his skills I did a lot of batting practice when I was in the States a couple of hundred balls a day But in Japan we were hitting 500 to 700 balls a day, Lee said Over the years, all the practice turned out to be a blessing It made me aconsistent hitter because my swing was fixed As the years went by, I realized that kind of spring training was exactly what I should have been doing here in the States Lee would go on share his knowledge with the Oakland A s as batting coach in 1989 the year the A s claimed their wildly improbable World Series title.You Gotta Have Wa was written in 1988, a point at which the US Japanese trade frictions were at a peak, the Japanese economy was booming, and there was plenty of money and national pride to go around Since then much has changed Japan has been in a prolonged economic slump and baseball has suffered economically More players in Japan are opting to play in America some even right out of college These days the best ballplayers from Japan, like Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui and Hideo Nomo, are as good as any players in the MBL Even this Red Sox fan has to marvel at these Ichiro moments.The enthusiasm with which America has welcomed Japanese stars like Ichiro has been something of a balm to Japanese pride and there are encouraging signs that the xenophobia and outright racism described by Whiting in You Gotta Have Wa is less overt these days But the tough, even grueling training hasn t altered and probably never will and for some American transplants, that s a lesson well worth learning.Content rating PG for crude language both Japanese and English, and for racial epithets Interesting profiles of the American major league baseball players who chose to play in Japan through the years Clash of cultures, to say the least I d be interested to know if Whiting or anyone else picked up where this book left off to describe the experience of the Japanese players who have come to play major league ball here in the states As athan casual baseball fan, I d say Japanese players have been accepted and even embraced by fans and the baseball establishment here in vivid c Interesting profiles of the American major league baseball players who chose to play in Japan through the years Clash of cultures, to say the least I d be interested to know if Whiting or anyone else picked up where this book left off to describe the experience of the Japanese players who have come to play major league ball here in the states As athan casual baseball fan, I d say Japanese players have been accepted and even embraced by fans and the baseball establishment here in vivid contrast to the experience of American players in Japan as described in this book