Japanese High School Baseball Championship

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Japanese High School Baseball Championship
Sport Baseball
Founded 1915
No. of teams 56
Country  Japan
Most recent
champion(s)
Osaka Riseisha
Most titles Chukyōdai Chukyō (7 titles)
TV partner(s) NHK, ABC
Official website [1]
1st National High School Baseball Championship Ceremonial First Pitch, August 18, 1915
Koryo-High School Hanshin Koshien Stadium

The National High School Baseball Championship (全国高等学校野球選手権大会, Zenkoku Kōtō Gakkō Yakyū Senshuken Taikai) of Japan, commonly known as "Summer Koshien" (夏の甲子園, Natsu no Kōshien), was an annual nationwide high school baseball tournament that was held between 1915 and 2019, with a one-year break in 1918 as a result of World War I and a five year hiatus between 1941 and 1945 due to World War II. It was the largest scale amateur sport event in Japan.

The tournament, which was organized by the Japan High School Baseball Federation and Asahi Shimbun, took place during the summer school vacation period, culminating in a two-week final tournament stage with 49 teams in August at Hanshin Koshien Stadium (阪神甲子園球場, Hanshin Kōshien Kyūjō) in the Koshien district of Nishinomiya City, Hyōgo, Japan.

The Japan High School Baseball Federation announced the discontinuation of the tournament in May 2020, partially due to restrictions that were implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.[1][2]


Background[edit]

Before World War II, teams from overseas participated in the tournament. Korea fielded teams from 1921 to 1940; both Taiwan and Manchuria had teams participate from 1923 to 1940.

The 49 schools taking part in the final tourney represent regional champions of each of the prefectures of Japan (with two from Hokkaidō and Tokyo). From mid-June until July, regional tournaments are held to decide who is sent to Koshien.[3]

The rules were the same as in the National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament. It was a single elimination tournament with nine inning games. Games were declared official after seven complete innings in the case of suspension (due to weather, et cetera), except for the championship game, which had to be played to completion. For the regional tournaments, games ended if one team led by at least ten runs after five innings or seven runs after seven innings, except in the championship games. Designated hitters were not used. Four umpires were used, except for night games and the championship game, in which two extra outfield line umpires were added.

The first round pairings and byes were decided by lottery. 34 teams met in the first round, and 15 teams with byes join at the second round (32 teams play in the second round). Therefore, it took either five or six wins for a team to win the championship. Until 2002, the four quarter finals were played in one day, but this was changed to two a day over two days to give the players time off. If rainouts continued for more than three days, four games were played in one day. This occurred in 2003, so the first time the quarter finals were played over two days was actually 2004. To accommodate the extra day, the long tradition of starting the tournament on August 8 was changed to start a day or two early.

Up to four games were played each day until the quarter finals. The starting times of each day's games was shown below, with future games beginning about 30 minutes after the previous game ends. Due to the fast pace of the pitching, four games in one day were usually completed before sunset.

Day of the tournament 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Round 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st/2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd Quarter Quarter Semi Final
Games
Start time
3
10:20
4
8:30
4
8:30
4
8:30
3
9:30
4
8:30
4
8:30
4
8:30
3
9:30
4
8:30
4
8:30
2
11:00
2
11:00
2
11:00
1
13:00

Extra innings[edit]

From the tournament's beginning in 1915 until 1958, there were no extra inning limits for a game tied after nine innings of play. In 1933, Masao Yoshida had pitched a complete game during a 25 inning shutout in the semifinal, an all-time record. Yoshida had thrown 336 pitches during that game. Beginning in 1959, a replay was required after 18 innings. The first pitcher to pitch a complete game 18 innings was Eiji Bando in a 1958 quarterfinal game. Daisuke Matsuzaka became the last pitcher to pitch a complete game over 15 innings (17 innings in 250 pitches, 1998). From 2000, the limit was reduced to 15 innings. If a game was tied after 15 innings, replays were scheduled for the following day. This first happened in the finals in 2006. For the last two tournaments in 2018 and 2019, the World Baseball Softball Confederation tiebreaker was in effect starting in the 13th inning.

Traditions[edit]

The tournament theme song was "The Laurels of Victory Shine on You". Every five years, the tournament celebrated the anniversary, and a deep crimson was used for the championship flag.

For third year students, a loss at the tournament signified an end to their high school baseball career, as there were no other major tournaments for the rest of their academic career. It was common for players to collect soil from the stadium as a souvenir. For third year students, the dirt was kept as memorabilia, whereas lower grade players often used it as motivation to return to the tournament.

Finals[edit]

List of champions[edit]

Number Year Champion Runner-up Final Score Notes
1 1915 Kyoto Dai-ni Central Akita Central 2-1
2 1916 Keio University High School Ichioka Central 6-2
3 1917 Aichi Dai-Ichi Central Kansai Gakuin Central 0-1 The first game was rained out after 3 innings.
Aichi Dai-Ichi Central Kansai Gakuin Central 1-0
4 1918 Tournament canceled due to the rice riots of 1918 and the end of World War I
5 1919 Kobe Dai-Ichi Central Nagano Shihan 7-4
6 1920 Kansai Gakuin Central Keio Futsubu 17-0
7 1921 Wakayama Central Kyoto Dai-Ichi 16-4
8 1922 Wakayama Central Kobe 8-4
9 1923 Kouyou Central Wakayama Central 5-2
10 1924 Hiroshima Matsumoto 3-0
11 1925 Takamatsu Waseda Jitsugyō 5-3
12 1926 Shizuoka Central Tairen 2-1 Tairen was the only team from Manchuria to make it to the finals when they participated in the tournament from 1923-1940
13 1927 Takamatsu Kouryo Central 5-1
14 1928 Matsumoto Heian 3-1
15 1929 Hiroshima Kaisou Central 3-0
16 1930 Hiroshima Suwa Sanshi 8-2
17 1931 Chukyōdai Chukyō Kagi Nōrin (Agriculture) High School 4-1 Kagi Nōrin was the only team from Taiwan to make it to the finals when they participated in the tournament from 1923-1940
18 1932 Chukyōdai Chukyō Matsuyama 4-3
19 1933 Chukyōdai Chukyō Heian 2-1
20 1934 Gokou Central Kumamoto Kougyou 2-0
21 1935 Matsuyama Ikuei 6-1
22 1936 Gifu Heian 9-1
23 1937 Chukyōdai Chukyō Kumamoto Kougyou 3-1
24 1938 Heian Gifu 2-1
25 1939 Kaisou Central Shimonoseki 5-0 Seiichi Shima threw the first no-hitter in the finals.
26 1940 Kaisou Central Shimada 2-1
27 1941 Tournament canceled due to World War II
Tournament not held 1942–1945 due to World War II
28 1946 Naniwa Kyoto Dai-ni Central 2-0
29 1947 Kokura Central Gifu 6-3
30 1948 Kokura Touin 1-0
31 1949 Shounan Gifu 5-3
32 1950 Matsuyama Higashi Naruto 12-8
33 1951 Heian Kumagai 7-4
34 1952 Ashiya Yatsuo 4-1
35 1953 Matsuyama Tosa 3-2
36 1954 Chukyōdai Chukyō Shizuoka 3-0
37 1955 Yokkaichi Sakaide 4-1
38 1956 Heian Gifu 3-2
39 1957 Hiroshima Hosei Dai-ni 3-1
40 1958 Yanai Tokushima 7-0
41 1959 Saijo Utsunomiya Kougyou 8-2
42 1960 Hosei Dai-ni Shizuoka 3-0
43 1961 Nami Touin 1-0
44 1962 Sakushin Gakuin Kurume 1-0
45 1963 Myojo Shimonoseki 2-1
46 1964 Kochi Hayatomo 2-0
47 1965 Miike Kougyou Choshi 2-0
48 1966 Chukyōdai Chukyō Matsuyama 3-1
49 1967 Narashino Kouryo 7-1
50 1968 Kokoku Shizuoka 1-0
51 1969* Matsuyama Misawa 0-0 The first game was called after 18 innings; Koji Ohta pitched every inning and then appeared again the next day.
Matsuyama Misawa 4–2
52 1970 Tōkaidai Sagami PL Gakuen 10-6
53 1971 Tōin Gakuen Iwaki 1-0
54 1972 Tsukumi Yanai 3-1
55 1973 Hiroshima Shizuoka 3-2
56 1974 Choshi Shogyo Hofu 7-0
57 1975 Narashino Niihama 5-4
58 1976 Obirin PL Gakuen 4-3
59 1977 Toyodai Himeji Higashikuni 4-1 The game was won with a three-run sayonara homerun in the bottom of the tenth inning.
60 1978 PL Gakuen Kōchi Shōgyō 3–2
61 1979 Minoshima Ikeda 4–3
62 1980 Yokohama Waseda Jitsugyō 6–4
63 1981 Hōtoku Gakuen Kyōto Shōgyō 2–0
64 1982 Ikeda Hiroshima Shōgyō 12–2
65 1983 PL Gakuen Yokohama Shōgyō 3–0
66 1984 Toride Dai-ni PL Gakuen 8–4
67 1985 PL Gakuen Ube Shōgyō 4–3
68 1986 Tenri Matsuyama Shōgyō 3–2
69 1987 PL Gakuen Jōsō Gakuin 5–2
70 1988 Hiroshima Shōgyō Fukuoka Dai-ichi 1–0
71 1989 Teikyō Sendai Ikuei 2–0
72 1990 Tenri Okinawa Suisan 8–4
73 1991 Osaka Tōin Okinawa Suisan 13–8
74 1992 Nishi Nihon Tandai Fuzoku Takudai Kōryō 1–0
75 1993 Ikuei Kasukabe Kyōei 3–2
76 1994 Saga Shōgyō Shōnan 8–4
77 1995 Teikyō Seiryō 3–1
78 1996 Matsuyama Shōgyō Kumamoto Kōgyō 6–3
79 1997 Chiben Wakayama Heian 6–3
80 1998 Yokohama Kyōto Seishō 3–0 Daisuke Matsuzaka threw the second no-hitter in the finals.[4]
81 1999 Kiryu Dai-ichi Okayama Ridai Fuzoku 14–4
82 2000 Chiben Wakayama Tōkaidai Urayasu 11–6
83 2001 Nichidai-san ōhmi 5–2
84 2002 Meitoku Gijuku Chiben Wakayama 7–2
85 2003 Jōsō Gakuin Tōhoku 4–2
86 2004 Komadai Tomakomai Saibi 13–10
87 2005 Komadai Tomakomai Kyōto Gaidai Nishi 5–3
88 2006* Waseda Jitsugyō Komadai Tomakomai 1–1 Waseda Jitsugyo's Yuki Saito threw 6 complete games, 69 innings, and 948 pitches over the 2-week span, including 4 complete games, 43 innings and 553 pitches, in the final 4 days of the tournament.
Waseda Jitsugyō Komadai Tomakomai 4–3
89 2007 Saga Kita Kōryō 5–4 Kouryou took a 4-0 lead lead by their ace pitcher, Nomura. In the bottom of the 8th, Nomura gives up a bases loaded walk followed by a grand slam home run by Soejima which lifts Saga Kita to the title.
90 2008 Osaka Tōin Tokoha Kikugawa 17–0 Okumura hits a grand slam home run to open the first inning as Osaka Tōin's offensive juggernaut overwhelmed Tokoha Kikugawa. Osaka Toin's ace Fukushima Yuuto pitches a complete game 5-hit shutout for the win.
91 2009 Chukyōdai Chukyō Nihon Bunri 10–9 Chukyo holds a 10-4 lead into the 9th inning. Their ace Doubayashi Shouta goes back on the mound for the final inning. But with 2 outs Nihon Bunri comes back with a comeback for the ages, forcing Doubayashi off the mound and scoring 5 runs. The tying runner stood on 3rd base when Wakabayashi lines out to 3rd base to end the game. Nihon Bunri would have been the first team from Niigata to win the title had they completed the comeback.
92 2010 Kōnan Tōkaidai Sagami 13–1 Shimabukuro Yousuke and Kounan dominate the field, giving the first ever Summer Koshien champion to an Okinawan school.
93 2011 Nichidai-san Kōsei Gakuin 11–0 Kentaro Yoshinaga throws a 5-hitter, while Shun Takayama hits a 3-run homer in this rout of a match
94 2012 Osaka Tōin Kōsei Gakuin 3–0 Shintaro Fujinami fans 14 batters in a 2-hitter to wrap up the title, as Osaka Tōin becomes the 6th school to win the spring and summer Koshiens in the same year.
95 2013 Maebashi Ikuei Nobeoka Gakuen 4–3 Kona Takahashi allows his first runs in six games this tournament but still gets the win. Kaito Arai drives in the winning hit in the 7th inning.
96 2014 Osaka Tōin Mie 4-3 Kosuke Fukushima goes the distance for the win while Makoto Nakamura's 2-run, 2-out single in the bottom of the 7th inning is the winning hit.
97 2015 Tōkaidai Sagami Sendai Ikuei 10-6
98 2016 Sakushin Gakuin Hokkai 7-1
99 2017 Hanasaki Tokuharu Kōryō 14-4
100 2018 Osaka Tōin Kanaashi Nogyo 13-2 Kanaashi Nogyo was the first time a team from Akita (and the Tohoku region) to reach the finals in a 103 years, the previous time being 1915.
101 2019 Riseisha Seiryo 5-3

2018 tournament[edit]

Table lists all the High Schools participating in the 2018 tournament.[5]

Area City/Town High School Name Previous Appearance Total Appearances
North Hokkaido Asahikawa Asahikawadai 2009 8
South Hokkaido Otaru Hokusho 2013 4
Aomori Hachinohe Hachinohe Gakuin Kosei 2016 9
Iwate Hanamaki Hanakami Higashi 2015 9
Akita Akita Kanaashi Nougyou 2007 6
Miyagi Sendai Sendai Ikuei 2017 27
Yamagata Tsuruoka Haguro 2003 2
Fukushima Date Seikō Gakuin 2017 15
Ibaraki Tsuchiura Tsuchiura Nihon Daigaku 2017 4
Tochigi Utsunomiya Sakushin Gakuin 2017 14
Gunma Maebashi Maebashi Ikuei 2017 4
North Saitama Kazo Hanasaki Tokuharu 2017 6
South Saitama Urawa Urawa Gakuin 2013 13
East Chiba Kisarazu Kisarazu Sōgō 2017 7
West Chiba Abiko Chuo Gakuin N/A 1
East Tokyo Tokyo Nishō Gakusa Daigaku Fuzoku 2017 3
West Tokyo Machida Nichidaisan 2013 17
North Kanagawa Yokohama Keiō Gijuku 2008 18
South Kanagawa Yokohama Yokohama 2017 18
Yamanashi Kōfu Yamanashi Gakuin 2017 8
Niigata Nagaoka Chuetsu 2016 11
Toyama Takaoka Takaoka Shōgyō 2017 19
Ishikawa Kanazawa Seiryo 2016 19
Fukui Tsuruga Tsuruga Kehi 2015 8
Nagano Iwamurada Saku Chosei 2016 8
Shizuoka Tokoha Tokohadai Kikugawa 2016 6
East Aichi Okazaki Aichi Sangyōdai Mikawa 1996 2
West Aichi Nagoya Aikōdaimeiden 2013 12
Gifu ōgaki ōgaki Nihon Daigaku 2017 5
Mie Tsu Hakusan N/A 1
Shiga Hikone Ohmi 2016 13
Kyoto Kyōto Ryukokudai Heian 2014 34
North Osaka Daitō ōsaka Tōin 2017 10
South Osaka Higashi-Osaka Kinki Daigaku Fuzoku 2008 5
East Hyōgo Nishinomiya Hōtoku Gakuen 2010 15
West Hyōgo Akashi Akashi Shōgyō N/A 1
Nara Nara Nara Daigaku Fuzoku N/A 1
Wakayama Wakayama Chiben Wakayama 2017 23
Tottori Tottori Tottori Johoku 2015 5
Shimane Masuda Masuda Higashi 2000 4
Okayama Kita Soshi Gakuen 2016 2
Hiroshima Hiroshima Kōryō 2017 23
Yamaguchi Shimonoseki Shimonoseki Kokusai 2017 2
Kagawa Marugame Marugame Josei 2005 5
Tokushima Naruto Naruto 2016 12
Ehime Matsuyama Saibi 2017 6
Kochi Kōchi Kōchi Shōgyō 2006 23
North Fukuoka Kitakyushu Orio Aishin N/A 1
South Fukuoka Fukuoka Oki Gakuen N/A 1
Saga Saga Saga shōgyō 2008 16
Nagasaki Isahaya Sōseikan 2015 2
Kumamoto Kumamoto Tōkaidai Seishō 1983 2
Oita Hita Tōin 1990 2
Miyazaki Nichinan Nichinan Gakuen 2016 9
Kagoshima Kagoshima Kagoshima Jitsugyō 2015 19
Okinawa Naha Kōnan 2017 12

Match[edit]

Finals[edit]

 
Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 
                   
 
 
 
 
Osaka Touin 11
 
 
 
Urawa Gakuin 2
 
Osaka Touin 5
 
 
 
Saibi 2
 
Saibi 3
 
 
 
Hōtoku Gakuen 2
 
Osaka Touin 13
 
 
 
Kanaashi Nōgyō 2
 
Nichidai-san 3
 
 
 
Shimonoseki Kokusai 2
 
Kanaashi Nōgyō 2
 
 
 
Nichidai-san 1
 
Kanaashi Nōgyō 3x
 
 
Ōmi 2
 

Round 1 - Round 3[edit]

 
Round 2 Round 3
 
           
 
 
 
 
Hōtoku Gakuen 3
 
 
 
Seikō Gakuin 2
 
Hōtoku Gakuen 7
 
 
 
Aikodaimeiden 2
 
Aikodaimeiden 10
 
 
Hakusan 0
 


 
Round 2 Round 3
 
           
 
 
 
 
Nishōgakusha Daifuzoku 5
 
 
 
Kōryō 2
 
Urawa Gakuin 6
 
 
 
Nishōgakusha Daifuzoku 0
 
Urawa Gakuin 9
 
 
Sendai Ikuei 0
 


 
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
 
                   
 
 
 
 
Seiryō 9
 
 
 
Tōin 4
 
Saibi 13x
 
 
 
Seiryō 11
 
Saibi 5
 
 
 
Chuo Gakuin 4
 
Saibi 3
 
 
 
Kōchi shōgyō 1
 
Keio 3x
 
 
 
Chuetsu 2
 
Kōchi shōgyō 12
 
 
 
Keio 6
 
Kōchi shōgyō 14
 
 
Yamanashi Gakuin 12
 


 
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
 
                   
 
 
 
 
Ōsaka tōin 3
 
 
 
Sakushin Gakuin 1
 
Ōsaka tōin 10
 
 
 
Oki Gakuen 4
 
Oki Gakuen 4
 
 
 
Hokusho 2
 
Ōsaka tōin 3
 
 
 
Takaoka Shōgyō 1
 
Saku Chosei 5
 
 
 
Asahikawa-dai 4
 
Takaoka Shōgyō 5
 
 
 
Saku Chosei 4
 
Takaoka Shōgyō 4
 
 
Saga Shōgyō 1
 


 
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
 
                   
 
 
 
 
Ōmi 7
 
 
 
Chiben Wakayama 3
 
Ōmi 4x
 
 
 
Maebashi Ikuei 3
 
Maebashi Ikuei 2
 
 
 
Kindai Fuzoku 0
 
Ōmi 9
 
 
 
Tokohadai Kikugawa 4
 
Tokohadai Kikugawa 8
 
 
 
Masuda Higashi 7
 
Tokohadai Kikugawa 3
 
 
 
Nichinan Gakuen 0
 
Nichinan Gakuen 2
 
 
Marugame Josei 0
 


 
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
 
                   
 
 
 
 
Kanaashi Nōgyō 5
 
 
 
Kagoshima Jitsugyo 1
 
Kanaashi Nōgyō 6
 
 
 
Ōgaki Nichidai 3
 
Ōgaki Nichidai 9
 
 
 
Tōkaidai Seishō 3
 
Kanaashi Nōgyō 5
 
 
 
Yokohama 4
 
Hanasaki Tokuharu 8
 
 
 
Naruto 5
 
Yokohama 8
 
 
 
Hanasaki Tokuharu 6
 
Yokohama 7
 
 
Aichi Sangyodai Mikawa 0
 


 
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
 
                   
 
 
 
 
Shimonoseki Kokusai 4
 
 
 
Hanamaki Higashi 2
 
Shimonoseki Kokusai 5
 
 
 
Sōshi Gakuen 4
 
Sōshi Gakuen 7
 
 
 
Sōseikan 0
 
Shimonoseki Kokusai 4
 
 
 
Kisaradzu Sōgō 1
 
Kōnan 6
 
 
 
Tsuchiura Nichidai 2
 
Kisaradzu Sōgō 7
 
 
 
Kōnan 0
 
Kisaradzu Sōgō 10
 
 
Tsuruga Kehi 1
 


 
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
 
                   
 
 
 
 
Nichidai-san 16
 
 
 
Orio Aishin 3
 
Nichidai-san 8
 
 
 
Nara Daifuzoku 4
 
Nara Daifuzoku 4
 
 
 
Haguro 1
 
Nichidai-san 4
 
 
 
Ryūkokudai Heian 3
 
Ryūkokudai Heian 3x
 
 
 
Tottori Jōhoku 2
 
Ryūkokudai Heian 14
 
 
 
Hachinohe Gakuin Kosei 1
 
Hachinohe Gakuin Kosei 9
 
 
Akashi shōgyō 8
 

In Popular Culture[edit]

Some of the most famous appearances of the Japanese High School Baseball Championship in popular culture are in the manga and anime series Touch, H2 and Cross Game by Mitsuru Adachi, "Ace of Diamond" by Yuji Terajima, and Major by Takuya Mitsuda. Those series follow the struggles of different high school teams' bids to make it to the Kōshien tournament.

The 2014 hit Taiwanese film Kano is based on the true story of a high school baseball team from the Kagi Nōrin (Agriculture) High School (now known as National Chiayi University) team in Kagi (now known as Chiayi), Taiwan who qualified for the tournament for the first time in 1931 after never having won a game in its first three seasons. The team was made up of ethnic Japanese, Han Chinese and Taiwanese aborigines. The team won three games to make it to the championship game before losing 4–0 to Chukyō Shōgyō from Nagoya. This was the first of four appearances at the tournament for the Kano team, who later qualified in 1933, 1935 and 1936.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Latest: Tottenham looking into another breach by Aurier". AP NEWS. May 20, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  2. ^ "Japan's nat'l high school baseball meet canceled over virus". Kyodo News. May 20, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Takahara, Kanako, "Japan baseball stars first shine bright at Koshien", Japan Times, July 24, 2007, p. 2.
  4. ^ "Beware of The Monster". ESPN. November 22, 2006. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
  5. ^ Asahi Shinbun Koshien page (japanese) http://koshien.asahi.co.jp/local/ Archived July 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°43′16.34″N 135°21′41.84″E / 34.7212056°N 135.3616222°E / 34.7212056; 135.3616222