The Earliest Japan-US Intercollegiate Baseball Games Held
as Media Events in around 1910
-Special Reference to the Games Held by Newspapers Based in Tokyo and Osaka-
(Graduate School of Ritsumeikan University)
This paper sets out to review the earliest Japan-US intercollegiate baseball games held
by newspapers based in Tokyo and Osaka in around 1910, and thereby to clarify the actual
situations in the beginning of baseball games as media events in Japan. The following four
viewpoints could be pointed out as a result of studies in this paper.
(1) The baseball games as media events in Japan couldn't have been taken place until
newspaper management policy changed course for thinking more and more seriously of
business and advertisement activities or holding various events in the beginning of the 20th
(2) The first large-scale Japan-US intercollegiate baseball games were held by the Jiji
Shinpo in Tokyo, and the Osaka Asahi and the Osaka Mainichi in Osaka. The following
several differencies were noticed among them. @The games held by the Jiji Shinpo were
independent events of baseball games, on the other hand those by the Osaka Asahi and the
Osaka Mainichi were held with various related events. @The Jiji Shinpo's reports on its
events were meant for readers who were familiar with baseball to some extent, but reports
by the Osaka Asahi and the Osaka Mainichi were also meant for those who were just un-
familiar with such baseball. @The former held its,events on the college sports ground, but
the latter on the sports grounds owned by private railway companies in Kansai area.
(3) In the background of these differences, it seems to reflect that there were some notice-
able differences of readership among these newspapers, and differences between Tokyo and
Osaka in economic environment seen particularly in a rapid economic leap of newspapers
and a rapid development of a network of private railway lines.
(4) In holding these Japan-US intercollegiate baseball games, the Jiji Shinpo and the Osaka
Mainichi asserted repeatedly that baseball (sports) have diverse educational values. It
seems that these assertions were maintained not as a mere theory but a firm objection to
those who tried to insist that baseball was of little or no value(mainly those engaged in
schoolteaching) , against the background of social environment in those days that various ill
and harmful effects would arise by the absorption of students into baseball, and what's
more, such ideologies as martial arts were much superior to baseball circulated among the
public to some extent.