Shohei Ohtani and Nutobar’s big hits lead Samurai Japan to second straight win, but Shibuya is “not interested in the WBC”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Shohei Ohtani and Nutobar’s big hits lead Samurai Japan to second straight win, but Shibuya is “not interested in the WBC”.

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The World Baseball Classic (WBC), in which many Japanese major leaguers, including Shohei Otani and Yu Darvish, are participating, has become an exciting event to determine the number one baseball team in the world. Following the 8-1 victory over China, the Japanese team, known as Samurai Japan, won 13-4 over the South Korean team.

Otani’s sign in front of Hachiko Square looked a little sad.

Although starter Darvish and No. 4 Munetaka Murakami were sluggish, Lars Nutber (No. 1), Otani (No. 3), and Masanao Yoshida (No. 5) all played very well. The team showed its full potential by nearly putting the South Koreans on the verge of a cold game.

The victory over South Korea, a bitter rival since the first tournament in 2006, brought a storm of joy to the Tokyo Dome, and fans who had been watching the game at the Tokyo Dome were delighted.

A fan who was watching the game at the Tokyo Dome said, “Nutobar’s all-out sprint was really cool. I was very impressed to see Ohtani in action, which is what I was looking for. I hope he can keep this up and win back the world championship.

He said excitedly.

However, the wave of excitement seemed to have stayed at the Tokyo Dome, and Shibuya, a town of young people, was having a weekend as usual.

A man in a Japan national team uniform was cheering for the national team on a TV set up in Shibuya’s Center Street.

I thought it would be very exciting like the Soccer World Cup, but there were no people watching the game at all,” he said. Even though we beat Korea, most of the people looking at their phones in front of Hachiko were on Twitter and didn’t seem to be watching the WBC, which is a bit disappointing.

He was sadly puffing on a can of beer in his hand.

In fact, the number of people wearing Japan’s national team uniforms in Shibuya could be counted on one hand. A female fan who appeared at Hachiko-mae Square said, “I was checking the progress of the game on Twitter.

I was checking the progress of the game on Twitter. I was hoping for a dramatic development like in the World Cup, but it was not so interesting because the game continued to be one-sided.

I wasn’t really interested in the match.

At a sports bar in the Shibuya area, more people were engrossed in conversation with their neighbors than in watching the Japan national team on TV.

A sports bar worker said, “Not even half of the people (in the bar) are here to watch baseball. To be honest, there are more people who are not really interested in the WBC.

He added that the WBC is not so much of an issue for young people in Shibuya.

Why has the WBC not attracted so much attention in Shibuya, despite the daily coverage? A sports reporter for a national newspaper analyzes as follows.

In the World Cup, countries around the world do their utmost to build their teams to win the tournament, but baseball powerhouses such as the United States focus more on their domestic tournaments than on the WBC. The youth of Shibuya must be sensitive to such things.

Also, Shibuya Ward had police officers constantly patrolling Shibuya to watch out for coronas and crowd avalanches, and the screens at the scramble crossing were not showing images of the WBC, so I guess there was no place to make noise.”

The WBC has just begun. If the quarterfinal round goes on like this, the semifinals and final will be held at Lawn Depot Park in the United States. The day may not be far off when the Japanese supporters who had gathered at the Tokyo Dome will gather in Shibuya and make a big fuss.

The few Otani fans in Shibuya were excited to see the big sign!
No one was watching the WBC TV screen because they were too busy chatting.
Shibuya was having a normal weekend.
A female Otani fan left right after the game!
A couple of people were posing for the camera and saying, “WBC is awesome! and a couple posing for the camera
Police officers patrolling Shibuya
Samurai Japan supporters excitedly saying, “Ohtani’s really halfway there!
  • Photo by Takero Shigumura Reporting and writing Hirokazu Ueno

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