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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,645,940


In General the last game Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #84 New 09-30-2011 01:03 PM
the last game
old ball by Takuya Abe used under creative commons licence

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on; on; and out of sight.

Siegfried Sassoon, Everyone Sang

The language of the game is interesting. You can think of the pauses as caesuras, breaks between the lines. As a poem the game is composed of a number of short lines representing the pitches. The number of lines per batter form a stanza. Then there is a space. Sometimes the stanzas become breathless, rushing full paragraphs that build rapidly on each other until the poem-inning explodes.
Andrei Codrescu

In baseball, home plate is where you begin your journey and also your destination. You venture out onto the bases, to first and second and third, always striving to return to the spot from which you began. There is danger on the basepath - pick-offs, rundowns, force-outs, double plays - and safety only back at home. I am not saying, as a true fan would, that baseball is the key to life; rather, life is the key to baseball. We play or watch this game because it draws pictures of our desires.
Scott Sanders

Calamus Gladio Fortior - The pen is mightier than the sword
Motto of Keio University

I'm British. So I don't know much about baseball. I picked up the rules roughly by occasionally listening to games on the armed forces radio in Japan. The announcers were great. They painted vivid word pictures of the games. The duel between the pitcher and the batter seemed to be much more intense than in the English game cricket.

Then I eventually got to see my first game. It was in the old Giants stadium before the Tokyo Dome was built. The Yomiuri Giants against the Hanshin Tigers. The Giants are the most popular team in Tokyo and the Tigers are the most popular team in Osaka. There is a fierce rivalry between the teams. That day there was a fight between the groups of supporters.

A few days ago I saw a movie called The Last Game: Waseda vs. Keio. In Japanese the title is Last Game - Saigo no Soukeisen. Sou is the on reading of the Wa in Waseda and Kei is the first syllable of Keio.

The Last Game is about the baseball clubs at these two famous Tokyo universities. It's set in 1943 against the background of World War II. Many of the students were about to be called up. Baseball itself was criticized as trivial and even un-Japanese by the authorities. But eventually, knowing that some of the students would not come back from the war, the two universities managed to arrange a game. The last game.

The score wasn't important. There was a moving moment at the end of the game when the students of each university showed their respect by singing the other university's school song. Some of the players died in the war. Perhaps because of the impending tragedy of war the movie transcends the usual formula of sports movies. One of the main characters is played by Ken Watanabe's son Dai.

Keio University and Waseda University are both there in the history books of aikido.

For example Koichi Tohei Sensei the founder of the Ki Society and Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido went to Keio University. So did Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei the founder of Aikido Yuishinkai.

Kenji Tomiki Sensei, the founder of Tomiki-style/Shodokan Aikido was a graduate of Waseda and taught aikido there.

The second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba also went to Waseda. He was an undergraduate at Waseda at the time of the last game. Perhaps he even went to see it. Perhaps he even sang Keio's school song.


articles about the last game

Siegfried Sassoon, Everyone Sang
There is a short biography of Siegfried Sassoon on that page. He was one of the poets who fought in the First World War.

asiamediawiki page for the movie
imdb page for The Last Game: Waseda vs. Keio

wikipedia articles
The pen is mightier than the sword
articles about the founder of Keio
article about the founder of Waseda

wikipedia article about Tomiki Sensei with links to an Aikido Journal interview

interviews with Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei

my columns on aikiweb:
Indigo Blue
Improvised Weapons No.1: The Umbrella
Unbalance - Feet of Clay
Half a Tatami
Zen in the Art of Aikido

I have an essay in a charity e-book put together by some writers and photographers to raise money for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku on 11 March 2011. It costs $9.99.

niall matthews 2011
Views: 4541 | Comments: 5

RSS Feed 5 Responses to "the last game"
#5 10-07-2011 08:58 AM
niall Says:
[cont] And your comment also reminded me of the Matt Damon movie The Adjustment Bureau. How much do we control our destiny and how much has been planned out for us? But instead of wondering what fate has in store for us maybe we can think about what we have in store for fate... Best regards, Niall
#4 10-07-2011 08:57 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Francis. Steve Jobs' quotation has a poignancy this week.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: 'If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right.' It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?'
#3 10-02-2011 03:12 PM
aikishihan Says:
Great reminder, Niall, of the vagaries of life that can overturn the best laid plans of even learned men and women, who may have the best of intentions. Let us never take for granted the fact that our "last game" may have already been scheduled without our knowledge, and to live each day to the fullest until that time. No season really marks the beginning or end of any life cycle, especially for humans. Mai nichi, gambarimashoo!
#2 09-30-2011 08:57 PM
niall Says:
Thanks Carina. Yes autumn is coming. Yesterday was perhaps the last hot day. About 29 degrees C 84 degrees F. From today it will probably only hit the low twenties C low seventies F. That's an interesting link. It's not difficult to find information about Tohei Sensei or second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba but people - especially people from diffferent styles - might not think of looking for information about Imaizumi Sensei or Maruyama Sensei.
#1 09-30-2011 04:26 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Thanks Niall for another interesting post and I like that photo a lot, colours of autumn Just to add that Shizuo Imaizumi Shihan one of the founders of the Waseda University Aikido Club played baseball since he was 7 and was a student of Kenji Tomiki Sensei. Perhaps this interesting interview will complete your post

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