Playback ’93] “Unexpected Big-name Talent” Who Sneaked into the Victory Banquet of “Yakult Japan’s First Place”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Playback ’93] “Unexpected Big-name Talent” Who Sneaked into the Victory Banquet of “Yakult Japan’s First Place”.

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Back row, from left: Ikeyama, Ishibashi, Hirosawa, Hata. Front row, from right: Kawasaki, Furuta, Azuma, and others. Everyone is in high spirits.

What did “FRIDAY” report 10, 20, and 30 years ago? This “Playback Friday” takes a look back at the topics that were popular at the time. In connection with the Japan Series, in which the Hanshin and Orix teams are currently battling it out every night, this time we will look back at “Furuta and Ikeyama are both funny,” which appeared in the November 19, 1993 issue, 30 years ago! The night of the Yakult’s victory, an exclusive for this issue. The following is a report on the night the Yakult team won its second Japanese championship in 15 years, when we went to the after-party of the victory celebration. We were surprised to find that an unexpected person “interrupted” the party…

A big-name intruder! Playback of the feast, which was a great success!

After all, this was the best party in Japan. The party was a great success. The Yakult Nine on November 1, the day they beat their archrival Seibu. The beer-splashing at the victory celebration was a grand affair, but the after-party was even more heated than that.

The venue was Karaoke Babu in Roppongi, Tokyo. The “rude party,” which started at 10:00 p.m., began so quietly that it seemed almost anticlimactic at first, thanks to the fact that the main players had to appear on TV. Then, Takaaki Ishibashi of “Tunnels” rushed in. Veteran pitcher Akimitsu Ito was a junior member of the baseball team at Teikyo High School, his alma mater, and he and others suddenly burst in. The first thing he said was, ” What the heck, everyone’s gone!

He was disappointed. However, as time went by, one by one the “main players” started to gather, and around midnight, the party finally reached a fever pitch. Then came the hard part. Since the restaurant was reserved for private parties, there was a lot of noise, drinking and singing. The party was a riot of laughter and shouting in Roppongi at night.

This magazine asked the team leader, Katsumi Hirosawa (then 31), to capture the scene on camera. Hirozawa readily agreed, but Takaaki Ishibashi (then 32), Atsuya Furuta (then 28), Takahiro Ikeyama (then 27), and others had various ideas.

Hirosawa: “Well, do you want to leave after we shoot this?”

─ Yes, of course.

Hirosawa “Yosh, everyone get in line as soon as possible.

Ishibashi: “Are you sure you want to go home? Can you promise? Then, give me your business card.

Furuta: “Oh my God, are you guys really going to do this? Even if you cooperate with Friday, you will be beaten if you are beaten. I’m ……

Furuta was reluctant to get on board because this magazine had published an article about his female relationships in July of that year.

Ikeyama: “It took me two hours to convince Furuta (Furuta).”

Furuta: “Even I got screwed over, didn’t I?”

Ikeyama “That was ‘Focus’ (laughs) but, in return, I won’t do it to the members here anymore.”

Ishibashi: “Don’t worry, don’t worry. If you guys have any problems, you can talk to, um… (looking at his business card) Mr. XX.

Ikeyama: “About Mr. Ishibashi, too. Can you swear to properly fire him?”

─ Yes, yes, I swear (I do).

Everyone said, “Well then, Seeno, banzai!”

This is how the photo at the top was taken. This is the brightest smile in Japan. The Japan Series this year was against Seibu, the team that had suffered the previous year. The joy must have been especially special because they won the Japan Series after taking revenge on Seibu, who had won the series three years in a row until the previous year.

Which team will be able to enjoy this kind of joyous revelry this year?

Manager Katsuya Nomura, flying in the air. This was his first Japan championship as a manager.
  • PHOTO Sang Yun Lee, Shuichi Masuda

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