Koshien: Japan’s Field of Dreams

Directed by Ema Ryan Yamazaki this documentary film follows two coaches and their teams as they try to reach and win Japan's national high school baseball tournament. Known as Koshien, the tournament takes place every summer with nearly 4000 teams taking part in regional single elimination tournaments. All to become one of the 49 teams representing their prefecture at at Hanshin Koshien Stadium.

The film focuses mainly on the struggles of Yokohama Hayato school coach Tetsuya Mizutani. Having never seen his son play baseball due to his work schedule and fearing the possibility of favouritism, he sends his son to play for a coach who he used to mentor, Hiroshi Sasaki. Although Mizatani is aiming for his second trip to Koshien, Sasaki is trying for his tenth. Sasaki is less old fashioned than his mentor but no less strict. I won't spoil too much here as I enjoyed the film quite a bit.

An interesting line throughout the film is how baseball is more martial art than sport for these young men. The focus on self improvement and passion rather than solely on winning is I think a good attitude to have for those who play amateur sports. Of course there are those who will go on to play professionally in Japan or even in the major leagues, but they are the minority of players.

Koshien: Japan’s Field of Dreams is a great look at baseball, passion, how you should win, and how you should lose.

This is my day 49 post for #100daystooffload


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