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You Gotta Have Wa Hardcover – May 1 1989


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 8 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Pub Co (May 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0026276615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0026276610
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 15 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,945,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 11 2003
Format: Paperback
Whiting's first book on J-ball is tremendous but this one he relies too much on stereotyping stuff and pulling theories out of nowhere to fit his slant. It's certainly worth buying Wa; just don't buy into all the opinions. The one saying that the Pacific and Central League MVP awards were both given to foreigners in the same season due to some weird theory that it had to do with trying to reduce the trade friction between the U.S. and Japan at the time is laughable. Like anyone back in the U.S. in those days noticed J-ball nor even correlated baseball with trade issues.

The book though is spot on on capturing the spirit of '80s J-ball and the characters really come to life and especially for anyone who lived here during that era, it's a great read.

Just take things with a grain of salt on his trying to tie other non-baseball issues in with the baseball bits.
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By B. Poelman on Jan. 16 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a great book on one of the most beautifully esoteric topics out there. This is a subject that can be appreciated more now than ever. Japanese baseball rocks! Let's all just admit that. This history is academic and detailed, yet fun and nostalgic at the same time. In addition, it was written in an era that was void of any present day marketability or "hip", as oppossed to the era of Ichiro and Matsui Hideki, in which commmentaries will certainly contain those oppining in a way void of knowledge or appreciation of that which went before. Thank God that the pure and noble notion of this wonderful sport will always trancend the fraiailties of predjudice.
Go The Tigers!
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Format: Paperback
This book is fun to read even if you are not into baseball, but if you are, then its awesome! Its mainly made up of many different stories and experience from American baseball players who played over in Japan. The stories are about the clash in cultures whether on or off the field and most of them are really funny and you could just picture it happening. I feel that the book is more about the cultural differences between east and west and they are just using baseball as a vehicle to illustrate them. There is a movie starring Tom Selleck called Mr. Baseball that I think is a take off from this book. It is also very fun to watch.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book so much that I went out and did quite a bit of research on my own about the Japanese leagues. It is entertaining and at the same time you will be educated. I recommend this one to anyone who loves baseball or is interested in the Japanese culture.
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Format: Paperback
A fascinating cultural history disguised as sports lore. I bought this book because I'd seen it quoted in several other books about Japan that I had greatly enjoyed. Even though it turned out that I knew several of the best anecdotes, I still found the book to be wonderful in its evocation of how a different culture approaches something as all-American as baseball. (The aside about British tutors having to teach their charges baseball instead of rounders or cricket during the 1870s made me laugh. How odd.) The book seems a bit dated, with some of the stereotypes that mark the bubble years still in evidence. But Whiting's prose and research combine to make it a solid and accessible contribution to popular writings about Japan.
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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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