Sports: Ichiromania returns to Japan: Will he retire, or won't he? - PressFrom - Canada

SportsIchiromania returns to Japan: Will he retire, or won't he?

19:07  14 march  2019
19:07  14 march  2019 Source:

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K-Pop Star Quits Music Following Investigation Into Prostitution Dealings Amid serious legal and criminal controversies, one of K-pop’s biggest stars has announced his retirement. RELATED: K-Pop Boy Band TXT Smash Records With Colourful Debut Music Video Seungri, a member of the boy band Big Bang, made the announcement on Monday, writing on his Instagram, “I think it is about the right time to retire from show business." Seungri announces his decision to retire from the entertainment industry following ongoing legal controversies and investigations in his business dealings. The famous K-pop singer debuted in 2006 as the youngest member of BIGBANG. Translation via Soompi: pic.twitter.

Akihito has devoted his life to the happiness of his people. In return , he deserves to be allowed to retire in peace.

TOKYO — The Japanese have acknowledged that their emperor is not a god and he has been stripped of all political power, but the nation still views its monarch as so central to the sense of identity that he is not permitted to resign. Now, Emperor Akihito is suggesting that his people let him retire .

TOKYO - There's an adage in Japanese that translates easily to English.

Deru kugi wa utareru.

The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

Ichiro Suzuki has been the nail in a culture that values formality, caution, and deference to authority. Doing it his way, he's developed into Japan's greatest baseball player and arguably its best athlete.

"At such a young age he already had his own mind," said Keizo Konishi, a reporter with the Japanese news agency Kyodo. "The older generation tells young people what they should do. Particularly in the structured baseball world."

Ichiro has played 2,651 major league games since joining the Seattle Mariners in 2001. Konishi has seen almost every one; from Seattle to New York, then to Miami, and back to Seattle. Add on hundreds before that with the Orix BlueWave.

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He knows quite a bit about this subject, so we hope his advice enables you to take your first steps toward retiring in the Land of the Rising Sun. That's why I started a website called RetireJapan: to help people who are moving or have moved to Japan with the intent of making it their permanent home.

“Zayn wants to go solo, so he can try and fly under the radar and not have the pressures of being in the world’s biggest pop group,” an inside source told Hollywood Life.“Zayn won ’ t return to 1D, and certainly not before he can prove to himself and the doubters that he can forge a successful career on his own.”

The odyssey returns him to Japan where Ichiro is expected to play in a two-game series when the Mariners and the Oakland A's open the season March 20-21 at the Tokyo Dome.

Ichiromania returns to Japan: Will he retire, or won't he?© Provided by FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 file photo, Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki bats during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Peoria, Ariz. Jerry Dipoto's first introduction to the world of Ichiro Suzuki was only a small taste compared to what the Seattle Mariners are about to experience when they open the season in Tokyo with a pair of games against the Oakland Athletics. The most decorated player ever to export his talents from Japan to the major leagues is returning home for what could be a farewell to his Hall of Fame career on both sides of the Pacific. His teammates can't wait. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Afterward, who knows? Some Japanese want the 45-year-old to finally retire, and the Mariners have said they want to go with youth.

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Akihito said last year that he planned to step down before he died. CreditCreditKimimasa Mayama/European Pressphoto Agency. Japan ’s Parliament passed a law in June that allows the emperor to retire , and proposed considering allowing the position to be passed to a female descendant.

In the series of tweets, he also suggests he has a big announcement coming from a "fashion house," and that he still has "a few obligations left" in reference to a possible tour. He also makes reference to the fact that fans have him "until 17," which most likely means 2017.

One thing is certain in Tokyo: Ichiromania rules.

He's a source of national pride; the first position player to make it big in the majors, countering the perception that the country produced only pitchers, and players like Ichiro were too small. He's revered for breaking through, for his fashion sense, and his Zen-like training. He'll be the first Japanese player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, almost surely on the first ballot.

He can also be aloof and arrogant, known to disdain interviews, and often evasive with a habit of turning his back on reporters and disparaging questions he doesn't like. Japanese journalists have often been targets, and organizers say just over 1,000 are accredited for the two games.

"On so many occasions he's given me very interesting answers," Konishi said in an interview with The Associated Press. "But he can give me a hard time. He tries for perfect preparation. So he also requires me to be perfect, which is not easy."

Mariners' Ichiro to start opener vs. A's in Japan

Mariners' Ichiro to start opener vs. A's in Japan When the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics take the field at the Tokyo Dome on Wednesday, a familiar face will be in Seattle's starting lineup. Mariners manager Scott Servais confirmed Ichiro Suzuki will start in the contest versus the A's, according to's Greg Johns. Wednesday's game is the first of the 2019 regular season and will be followed by a second between the two clubs on Thursday. The 45-year-old Ichiro could retire at the end of the series, which makes his return to Japan a momentous one. He spent nine years starring for Japan's Orix Blue Wave before becoming a household name in MLB in 2001.

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He doesn' t have a professional baseball contract in America or Japan . His agent, John Boggs, has called, texted and emailed teams so often that one MLB general manager now calls Boggs "the elephant hunter," because he 's stalking his prey.

The baseball editor at Kyodo, Takashi Yamakawa described two Ichiros.

"He's acting, I think. He's playing Ichiro," Yamakawa said. "There are two different aspects. There's the very normal, polite Japanese man. And there's maybe the real Ichiro breaking the rules, fighting for himself. He's always thinking in a different way."

If Ichiro is the seldom-bending nail, his father, Nobuyuki, was the hammer who put his son through rigorous, well-documented daily baseball training from age 7.

"It bordered on hazing and I suffered a lot. But I also couldn't say no to him," American Robert Whiting quoted Ichiro saying in his book "The Samurai Way of Baseball." The book was first sold under the title "The Meaning of Ichiro."

Whiting points out that Ichiro means "most cheerful boy" in Japanese. He writes he "was not always so cheerful about practicing, especially during the harsh winter days of central Japan, when his fingers grew so numb from the frigid air that he could not button his shirt."

Whiting has spent much of his life in Japan writing about baseball and Japanese culture. He speculated that because of World War II and the American occupation, Japan developed an inferiority complex in relation to the United States. Tokyo's 1964 Olympics and the booming economy of the 1970s and 80s remedied much of that, and Ichiro and pitcher Hideo Nomo further boosted morale.

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Hayao Miyazaki, the retiring czar of Japanese animation, said Friday that while he will no longer be at the forefront of creating feature-length animated m. “I know I made headlines by signaling my intention to retire numerous times before, but this time I’m serious,” Miyazaki told reporters in Tokyo’s

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"The athletic field has a different kind of symbolism," Whiting said in an interview with AP. "No American could name a famous Japanese; not a top singer or the prime minister or even the emperor after Hirohito. The Japanese were simply known as people who could make things. But everybody could name Nomo and Ichiro. It had a huge impact on the country's psyche."

From its beginning in Japan about 150 years ago, baseball — known as "yakyu (field ball) — has been viewed as a moral discipline and linked to the martial arts and relentless training. Whiting recounts how the first game between Japanese and Americans took place in Yokohama in 1898. Japan won 29-4, and many of those players were members of Samurai families.

"Basically, Japanese baseball involves an insane amount of practice," Whiting said. "The whole idea of self-sacrifice and the development of spirit. Japanese baseball starts voluntary training right after the new year and camp starts Feb. 1. American spring training looks like a three-week vacation at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Florida."

Whiting called Ichiro "transformational" with five times the buzz that Nomo created just a few years before.

"He shocked everybody by how good he was. He is an everyday Japanese position player — not a pitcher — who had what it took to be a big star. It was something people didn't imagine before."

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Ichiro was must-see TV when he joined the Mariners. Large-screen video displays in central Tokyo played — and replayed — every game as the Mariners won 116 times in the regular season. Ichiro won the American League batting title and was the league's Rookie of the Year and MVP.

An electrical engineer and a weekend baseball umpire and coach, Iwao Fukushi recalls getting up to watch the Mariners on TV in Gunma prefecture, just northwest of Tokyo, and then heading to work between innings.

"I would go to the office and then watch on the coffee break — just five minutes," he said with a snicker, suggesting it might have been longer. "We saw him every day, and he seemed to always have one or two hits."

Fukushi said he believes Ichiro will continue playing after the opening games, or become a coach. Others think he should stop now.

Some on social media in Japan say he's being used mostly to sell merchandise, suggesting his value now is largely commercial.

"For me, he should quit here," said Takashi Yamakawa, the baseball editor. "Perfect. It's a beautiful story."

"Whatever he does, take your sunglasses," Whiting added. "Because when he comes to bat, everybody in the stadium will be shooting a flash camera or an iPhone with a flash."


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Ichiro gets the start in what could be his last MLB game.
Ichiro gets the start in what could be his last MLB game

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