7.6/10
68
2 user 1 critic

Kokoyakyu: High School Baseball (2006)

Chiben Academy is a private, powerhouse baseball academy led by Japan's most legendary tough-as-nails coach, Takashima-kantoku. Over 35 years, Takashima has led his teams to Koshien a ... See full summary »

Director:

Kenneth Eng
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Storyline

Chiben Academy is a private, powerhouse baseball academy led by Japan's most legendary tough-as-nails coach, Takashima-kantoku. Over 35 years, Takashima has led his teams to Koshien a record 21 times, and won 3 National titles. Through extensive interviews we reveal the mindset of the man many Japanese consider a "living Samurai". His training regimen focuses not on technique, but rather on developing fighting spirit . In blistering heat or driving rain, the team trains at least 8 hours a day, 360 days a year. At Chiben, two young recruits, Maeda and Hashimoto, explain their lives as aspiring professional players. They have chosen to put aside their education and their families in pursuit of their baseball dreams. But they can't go pro unless they make it to Koshien. The Chiben Cheer Squad is also legendary throughout Japan, and their senior leader, Furukawa, explains why they too must train so hard. Whenever Chiben plays a game, they bring the cheer squad, the brass band, ... Written by Alexander H. Shear

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Taglines:

Two Japanese high school baseball teams strive to make it to the National Championships at Koshien Stadium.

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Certificate:

G

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Excellent, but....
9 July 2006 | by bgilchSee all my reviews

This is an extremely well made, often beautifully shot documentary about the incredible pressure of high-school baseball and team spirit in one public and one private Japanese school.

However, it seems to offer no criticism or external perspective on what is going on; in this way it is fetishistic of baseball pyjama uniforms and team pride and moreover seems to reinforce every stereotype about Japanese culture and team conformity (especially the weird transplantation of American school rituals, themselves insane to begin with).

The scene where the coach cries in tandem with his charge, asking to be a part of his future life is the one moment where the story is nicely humanized.

Perhaps it could be read a primer on how fascism works: Triumph of the High-School Basesball Team Will. And I mean this with respect to the quality of film-making at work.


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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

4 July 2006 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Osaka, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Projectile Arts Inc. See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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