Hanshin Tigers’ Game!

So, yesterday, I went to the Tigers’ vs. Swallows game. It was so much fun!!!

What I really learned going to this game was that it’s the fan’s that makethe game (kinda like life). As far as Japanese baseball goes (based almost entirely on this game), it seems that the players are too good. Even in America, I tend to like the amateur games more than professional ones (save hockey). I feel like they’re a bit more exciting because there are more “mistakes.” But, as in at this game, the teams are so good that they hardly make it on base, let alone score.

But actually, from what I’ve heard, the Hanshin Tigers aren’t especially good. Just, everyone roots for them. To the point that the economy does better when they are winning. Go figure.

Anyway, Hanshin Fans are like no others. Nearly everyone was dressed up in some fashion or another, and if not, they at least had some paraphernalia. My favorite are the bats used to clap, because Tigers’ require a lot of clapping. It is essentially the entire time that they are up to Bat. But, of course, you don’t just clap.

Japanese Baseball games have people who’s job it is to lead the crowd in cheering. He is essentially a conductor. There is also at least one person who’s job it is to use a large drum to help keep the crowd together. If my memory is correct, there were about 7 different patterns of clapping used throughout the game, and a few more that were once or maybe twice.

Not only are there patterns, but there are songs/chants. Every player has his own chant. It starts off “かっとばせ ~~~” <katto base ~~~>.

Here’s the 六甲颪 <Rokkou Oroshi> , AKA the 阪神タイガースの歌 <Hanshin Taigasu no Uta>:

Rokkou oroshi ni sassou to <In the Rokkou wind, a gallant>
souten kakeru nichirin no <Orb galloping across the blue sky>
seishun no haki uruwashiku <A young, beautiful spirit>
kagayaku wagana zo Hanshin Taigaasu <We are the sparkling Hanshin Tigers>
ou-ou-ou-ou Hanshin Taigaasu <O~ Hanshin Tigers>
fure-fure-fure-fure <Hurray Hurray Hurray Hurray!>

toushi hatsuratsu tatsu ya ima <A fighting spirit awake>
nekketsu sude ni teki wo tsuku <Already beat back the enemy>
juu-ou no iki takaraka ni <With the pride if the king of animals>
muteki no warera zo Hanshin Taigaasu <We are the invincible Hanshin Tigers>
ou-ou-ou-ou Hanshin Taigaasu <O~ Hanshin Tigers>
fure-fure-fure-fure <Hurray Hurray Hurray Hurray!>

tetsuwan kyouda ikuchi tabi <Steel arms and powerful hitting, thousands of times>
kitaete koko ni koushien <<We are training here in Koushien>
shouri ni moyuru eikan wa <Burning for the crown of victory>
kagayaku warera zo Hanshin Taigaasu <We are the sparkling Hanshin Tigers>
ou-ou-ou-ou Hanshin Taigaasu <O~ Hanshin Tigers>
fure-fure-fure-fure <Hurray Hurray Hurray Hurray!>

I got this song out of Colloquial Kansai Japanese, and the translations as well. If anyone wants the kanji as well, just ask.

At the bottom of the 7th (when the Tigers are up to bat), all the fans release ジェット風船 <jetto fuusen>, which are really long balloons that make a whistling noise when released. I think we sang 六甲颪, and then released them, but maybe it was another song. This is really cool.

And then here’s some trivia:

  • Japanese baseball teams are named after the companies that own them.
  • トラッキ <torakki> is the Hanshin Mascot. (There’s also a girl, who I believe is named トラッコ<torakko>).
  • When Hanshin won the Japan Series for the first time in 1985, fans went crazy. One group gathered at the Doutonbori River, and as the names of players were called out, fans would jump in the river for their favorite player. However, when Randy Bass’ name was called, there were no foreigners in the crowd to represent him. The closest thing to a foreigner they could find was the statue of Colonel Sanders statue in front of the KFC, which they threw into the River. The KFC didn’t replace the statue until the tigers looked like they would win the Central league pennant in 1992; this time chaining him to the restaurant.
    (I’ve heard several versions of this story. And also one warning that the river is dirty, so if you jump in you’ll get sick.)

Anyway, the game was a blast! Everyone was really energetic and had a great time. We got an especially large amount of attention, being that we were a group of foreign girls, all wearing jerseys.

We also sat in the bleachers where the majority of the cheering is done. They are actually great seats, because you can see everything. The only complaint is that the seats are amazingly small. But it’s all good. It’s especially fun to watch the guys selling beer climb up through the crowd!

If you’ve got the opportunity, go see a tigers game. Make sure to dress in black and yellow if you can. And just go with the flow!

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3 thoughts on “Hanshin Tigers’ Game!

  1. Damn! This is a cool blog! Well done!
    I know this post is old, but, a
    minor slight correction: Torakkii’s girlfriend is Rakkii
    トアッキー&ラッキー
    (I’m almost 100% positive that’s the katakana LOL!)

  2. Hiya! That’s a wonderful write-up you’ve done! I already wanted to go see a Tigers game the next time in Japan and you’ve only made that desire greater. It sounds wonderful!

    A good friend of mine actually brought me a “home game” uniform just now. That’s the white ones, with black stripes. It’s so comfortable ❤

    • Hey! I’m so glad to hear that you liked my Tiger’s blog. Please let me know what you think after you go! I’d love to hear what you thought. 🙂

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