Category: International

[7/11/2017] Samurai Japan Manager: Atsunori Inaba current front-runner

Forty-four-year-old Atsunori Inaba is currently the front-runner to become the new manager of the top Samurai Japan team. A number of other names have also been mentioned by the media as possible candidates for the position, like fifty-eight-year-old Tatsunori Hara and fifty-six-year-old Hideki Kuriyama. However, the Samurai Japan Strengthening Committee is not only looking for a candidate with experience on the international stage, but also youth.

Inaba is an interesting option since he is still only a few years removed from his playing days, having retired after the 2014 season. He also played in the Olympics (2008) and World Baseball Classic (2009 and 2013) and was a batting coach during the 2015 Premier 12 and 2017 World Baseball Classic.

The committee is hoping to finalize their selection this month.

Source: NHK 7/11/2017, Sponichi 7/11/2017

[UPDATE 7/20 @ 12:10am]

Inaba could be named the new Samurai Japan early next week.

Source: Daily Sports 7/19/2017

[UPDATE 7/26 @ 1:18am]

Nippon Ham Fighters Ichi-gun Batting Coach Makoto Kaneko could join Inaba on the Samurai Japan coaching staff. He could be named a head coach.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/25/2017


[7/1/2017] 2020 Olympics: tournament formats for baseball and softball

The media learned on June 30 that the tournament format for baseball during the 2020 Olympics will most likely be six teams split into two leagues. Softball is expected to be a round robin tournament with six teams.

Additionally, Fukushima will host the opening games for baseball and softball at Azuma Baseball Stadium. The remaining games will all be played at Yokohama Stadium.

On a side note: the World Baseball Softball Confederation is pushing for a round robin format for baseball and another stadium some where in Tokyo.

Source: Daily Sports 7/1/2017, Yomiuri 7/1/2017


41st Japan-USA University Baseball Championship Schedule

Gm  Date Start Venue Location Home Score Away
1 07/12 Wed 19:05 Dunkin’ Donut Park Hartford, CT USA 2-1 Japan
2 07/13 Thu 19:05 Fitton Stadium Worcester, MA Japan rain out USA
3 07/14 Fri 19:05 Campanelli Stadium Brockton, MA USA 3-6 Japan
4 07/15 Sat 19:05 LeLacheur Park Lowell, MA Japan 5-4 USA
Make-up 07/16 Sun 17:00 Fitton Stadium Worcester, MA Japan 1-3 USA
5 07/17 Mon 19:05 Holman Stadium Nashua, NH USA 3-1 Japan
Make-up 07/18 Tue            

USA wins the series, 3-2.

More information will be added as it becomes available.



[6/26/2017] New Samurai Japan Uniforms Unveiled

Samurai Japan held a press conference earlier today to unveil their new uniforms made by ASICS. Hiroshima’s Seiya Suzuki and Yokohama’s Yoshitomo Tsutsugo modeled the new uniforms for the press.

The concept for the new design is to bring fans and players closer together through a uniform.

Four traditional Japanese colors are used in the uniform: blue gray (aokachi iro), white (mashiro), red (kurenai iro), and gold (kogane iro).

The pinstripes are made of an infinite number of connected tiny wa’s (circles). This idea comes from the traditional Japanese watsunagi pattern. The connections between each wa also represent the connections between fans and players.

Samurai Japan will begin to use the new uniforms during the 2017 Japan-USA Collegiate Baseball Championship Series that is slated to begin in Hartford, CT on July 12.

Source: Samurai Japan 6/26/2017


[6/20/2017] Samurai Japan: 28th BFA Asian Baseball Championship

The 28th BFA Asian Baseball Championship will take place in Taiwan between October 2 and 8. Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, China, Pakistan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. A list of fifty-one candidates was released by Samurai Japan, too.



[6/19/2017] Samurai Japan: 1st BFA Women’s Baseball Asian Cup

The 2017 1st BFA Women’s Baseball Asian Cup will take place at the Sai Tso Wan Recreation Grounds in Hong Kong between September 2 and 9. Teams from six countries (Japan, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan) will participate in the tournament. Samurai Japan released the Madonna Japan roster today.



[6/16/2017] Samurai Japan U-18 Preliminary Roster

Samurai Japan released the preliminary roster that will be competing at the 28th WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup on June 16. This year’s tournament will take place in Thunder Bay, Canada between September 1 and September 10.



[6/5/2017] Samurai Japan Collegiate Team

Samurai Japan released the Collegiate National Team roster on June 4. The team will play in two tournaments: the 41st Japan-USA University Baseball Championship in July and the 29th Universiade in August.



[5/23/2017] Next Samurai Japan manager term to end after 2020 Olympics

The Committee to Improve Samurai Japan held a meeting in Tokyo on May 22 and confirmed that the term for the next Samurai Japan manager will end with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Depending on the outcome of the Olympics, the manager might be asked to stay on until the end of the 2021 World Baseball Classic.

Source: Daily Sports 5/23/2017, Nikkan Sports 5/23/2017

The Samurai Japan top team could head overseas in 2018 to play “road” exhibition games in preparation for the Premier 12 in 2019, the Olympics in 2020, and the World Baseball Classic  in 2021. Europe and the United States are possibilities.

Source: Sponichi 5/23/2017


[5/18/2017] NPB Enterprise signs Asics to Diamond Partner Agreement

NPB Enterprise (Samurai Japan) announced today that they signed Asics to a Diamond Partner agreement.

Source: NPB Enterprise 5/18/2017

[UPDATE 6/26 @ 10:27pm]

The two sides reportedly agreed to a four-year deal that runs through to the end of May 2021.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/26/2017


NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 90 57 31 2
Yokohama 89 46 40 3
Hanshin 86 46 40 0
Yomiuri 89 41 47 1
Chunichi 91 39 49 3
Yakult 89 30 57 2
Rakuten 81 55 25 1
Softbank 89 58 31 0
Seibu 86 47 37 2
Orix 86 38 47 1
Nippon Ham 89 32 57 0
Lotte 87 29 57 1
Don't forget to check these out!