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Posts tagged tokorozawa

Beer girl

The beer vendors at Japanese baseball games are always female. They carry a huge keg on their back, something you can’t imagine seeing at a game in the U.S.

If beer isn’t enough to put a smile on your face at the game, though, you can always wait for the Whiskey Girl. They canvas the stands as well and will be more than happy to provide you with a shot, or two, or three… Again, something that blows the mind for those only familiar with Major League Baseball games in the states.

Saitama Seibu gets a logo change

The Lions went from worst to first between 2007 and 2008, beating the Giants in the Series in dramatic fashion to win it all.

Apparently, since the change in name from Seibu Lions to Saitama Seibu Lions between 2007 and 2008 was so lucky they have decided to change their long-standing logo in 2009. The old logo featured Kimba (and can be seen here). The prior logo based on Kimba, the White Lion, an Osamu Tezuka creation, lasted for 30 years. I’m sad to see it go. The new logo is nothing spectacular.

Baseball people tend to be very superstitious. I’m not one of them, but changing things after going all the way doesn’t sound lucky or wise to me.

Nishi Tokorozawa Eki 西所沢駅

More than 20 years ago I lived in Tokorozawa, Japan. Tokorozawa was the place I stayed in Japan the longest at about 8 months. It was also the first place in Japan where I felt really comfortable with my Japanese language abilities having been in Japan for more than a year at that point. Those factors, and others, bring back nothing but fond memories for me regarding Tokorozawa.

So when I visited Japan for the first time in decades last year I made a point of seeing my old stomping grounds. My apartment was in 山口 (I think it was called) just behind the above train station. At the time there wasn’t much there except a few small apartments, tea fields, and bamboo. All that has changed now. I did see a bit of tea and bamboo in 2007, but most of the area has been turned into rather upscale, single-family homes.

Until I enlarged the above picture to fill my screen just a moment ago, I didn’t realize that the guy on the train platform appears to be waving at my camera.


They did it! I can’t believe it. Down 3 games to 2 with two away games to go, the Lions were able to win both on the road to capture the 2008 Japanese Baseball Championship.

Hopefully they can do it again next year when I’m there.

It all comes down to this

Seibu won game 6 to force a 7th and deciding game on Sunday for the Japan Series. It doesn’t get any more exciting than this baseball fans!

Each year in Japan, each team picks a new slogan (I guess you would call it). Some are in English, or more commonly Engrish, but others are in Japanese. Last year the Lions had one in Japanese as you can see above: 心を,ひとつに。力を,ひとつに。 That translates into something like “With one heart, with one power… (let’s do this thing!)” And that’s what they need to do tomorrow night!

I went to the official website of the Lions to see what their slogan or motto was for this year. It looks like they chose the classic Engrish phrase “i believe lions.” for 2008. Oh well, last year’s wasn’t bad.

While on the site I learned that they have renamed the team from simply the Seibu Lions to the Saitama Seibu Lions. Saitama is the prefecture (sort of like the state or county if you are wondering what a prefecture is) where the Lions play their home games. I wonder if this was something like what we had with the Angels in the states going from being the California Angels to the Los Angeles Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim within a few years.

Maybe they will be called the Saitama Lions of Tokorozawa next year. I used to live in Tokorozawa (near the 西所沢駅), a mere 10 minute bike ride from the stadium. Oh, the memories…

Lions on brink of elimination

With Thursday’s victory the Tokyo Giants have taken a 3 games to 2 lead in the Japan Series. The final two games move back to the heart of Tokyo and will be held on Saturday and Sunday. The Seibu Lions have to win both to win the series.

Let’s all hope that the Giants can lose two in a row at home and not crush the above little boy’s hopes and dreams.