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What is yakyu?

by on Jan.05, 2009 @ 10:00 pm, under NPB

Demo asked in a comment what yakyu was, and rather than reply in a comment and then see it get lost, I thought I'd devote a blog post to it.

Two Japanese characters make up the work yakyu: 野球. The characters, by themselves, mean field, or plains and ball, or sphere respectively. So as Mike mentioned in a comment, the literal translation would indeed be "field ball". The translation for the characters as a whole, is baseball.

Perhaps an interesting aside: the Japanese do not use the word 野球 (yakyu) when talking about baseball in the US. Instead, they use the word ベースボール (beisuboru). Katakana characters are used to spell out this word as they are generally reserved for spelling out foreign words in Japanese.

This separation also symoblizes the different methods in which the game is played: Japanese yakyu vs. US baseball. For more information on those differences, people might want to check out Robert Whiting's book, You Gotta Have Wa.

5 comments on “What is yakyu?

  1. The Great Demo

    whats the differences between japanese baseball. i read theres draws in japanese ball (if the score is tied after the 12th). what else is different as far as rules are concerned, gen?

    thx for answering btw

    also, break down puroresu

  2. Gwynar

    In terms of rules, outside of there being ties, there aren’t that many major differences. There are some subtle differences like the size of the ball and score-keeping (fewer errors are called), but otherwise, the game itself is pretty much the same.

    The main differences I was referring to in my post lie more in the way the game is played.

    As for puroresu… I can’t really comment because I haven’t followed the sport very closely. All I can say is that it seems to be alive and well in Japan.

  3. The Great Demo

    lolf, the japanese always call it "sport"

    to me its more of an art. sort of like they call it "sports entertainment"

    and yah. rasslin’ will never die in japan

  4. Gwynar

    They call it a sport, but I think most actually consider it entertainment more than anything. Especially lately with all the ex-celebrities signing up to take part in the festivities.

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