Monday, May 05, 2008

More Local Culture

Last weekend, I went with some of the office staff and faculty to a Hanshin Tigers game. The Hanshin Tigers are the local professional baseball team.

The name is cool, and seems typical of the sort of complicated punning that works well in Japanese. Most (all?) kanji have two potential pronunciations. For example, if you look at the kanji for mountain, it can be pronounced "yama" or "san" depending (I'm still not clear on when you use one or the other).

Hanshin takes the last kanji in Osaka (the "saka" part, which can also be said "han") and combines it with the first kanji for Kobe, which can also be said "shin," and voila, the Osaka-Kobe team! (Similarly, the local train line between Kyoto and Osaka uses the kanji for Kyo and O, and alternative pronunciations, and it's the "keihan" line.) (The Tigers are owned by the Hanshin railway, I think.)

At any rate, we went to see our noble and illustrious Tigers battle the nefarious Giants. Alas, we lost. But going was still worthwhile for this, the Tigers' fans version of the seventh inning "stretch."

Yes, we all filled up little sperm balloons, and then on cue from a song, we let go and the stadium came. So to speak.

I couldn't stop laughing at the imagery. I mean, I know Candlestick did "the wave" back in '89, but...

1 comment:

  1. Amazing--we did almost that exact same thing in the Fukuoka Dome around this time last year!