Banzai Babe Ruth
Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination During the 1934 Tour of JapanBook - 2012
Politicians on both sides of the Pacific hoped that the amity generated by the tour--and the two nations' shared love of the game--could help heal their growing political differences. But the Babe and baseball could not overcome Japan's growing nationalism, as a bloody coup d'état by young army officers and an assassination attempt by the ultranationalist War Gods Society jeopardized the tour's success. A tale of international intrigue, espionage, attempted murder, and, of course, baseball, Banzai Babe Ruth is the first detailed account of the doomed attempt to reconcile the United States and Japan through the 1934 All American baseball tour. Robert K. Fitts provides a wonderful story about baseball, nationalism, and American and Japanese cultural history.
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"Patriots" arrested for violent crimes, including assassination of elected officials, were often given short jail sentences once they explained that their actions stemmed from the love of country and emperor.
From its beginnings at Ichiko, the Japanese had infused baseball with concepts borrowed from Bushido.
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