Sport: Wa Is Hell The name of the game is besuboru

In America they call it baseball. In Japan it's pronounced besuboru, but the form of the game in both countries is identical: umpires, nine players, walks, strikeouts, double plays and, of course, home runs (homu ran). Aside from a few quirky exceptions -- ties are permitted after twelve innings -- the Japanese play baseball by American rules. It's been that way since 1873, when the game was introduced in Japan and soon became the national obsession as well as the national sport. Yet as journalist Robert Whiting notes in his new book You Gotta Have Wa (Macmillan), the style and, most...

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