The Sport of Japanese Apologizing

After losing a game, you might think what this Japanese baseball team did was rather extreme. Then again, you might think this is pretty great.

High school baseball is a big deal in Japan. All the teams hope to make it into the national tournament held at Koshien Stadium, home of the Hanshin Tigers. The tournament is broadcast on television, and many of the star players eventually play professional baseball.

Winning is great, but sore losers suck! And after the Noshiro Shoyo High School baseball team was defeated, losing their chance to appear in the nationwide tournament, the entire team lined up by the side of the road to see off the supporters and fans who wanted them play. To each car, they said, "Thank you" and bowed.

The Sport of Japanese Apologizing

[Photo: baseball319_t]

Since there was traffic, the players ended up standing there for around an hour. In the rain.

Japanese baseball is stricter than American baseball. In high school, all the players must shave their heads, so they keep cool in the summer, but also so they belong to a team—a cohesive unit. In professional baseball, you really don't see Japanese players blowing bubble gum or spitting everywhere like Major League players do.

The Sport of Japanese Apologizing

[Photo: 03ailove27]

Online in Japan, many people praised their actions, saying they took defeat with honor. "I have such deep respect for this team," wrote Twitter user baseball319_t. Another Twitter user wrote that this was "most polite team" around.

On 2ch, Japan's largest blog, however, there were those who were critical of this, saying the players could have gotten sick, that they were overdoing it, and that this was even strange.

The Sport of Japanese Apologizing

[Photo: rurie_0713]

It's worth noting that the same team thanks and bows towards fans on the field (which most, if not all, Japanese teams do) as well as bows and thanks the cars as they leave after the game when it's sunny and the team wins.

Extreme or not, if they are going to thank people when they win and the weather's good, I guess, they should thank people when they lose and the weather's crap.

The Sport of Japanese Apologizing

[Photo: 03ailove27]

The Sport of Japanese Apologizing

[Photo: 03ailove27]

There's always next year, Noshiro. Best of luck.

決勝戦終了後、激しい雨が降る中、関係者や応援団のバスが全て帰るまで [Pii_nobu]

Top photo: Pii_nobu

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