This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (March 2023)
The Japan national baseball team (野球日本代表, Yakyū Nippon Daihyō or Yakyū Nihon Daihyō), also known as Samurai Japan (侍ジャパン), is the national team representing Japan in international baseball competitions. It won the World Baseball Classic in 2006, 2009, and 2023 as well as WBSC Premier12 in 2019. The team is currently ranked 1st in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
|Japan national baseball team|
|Federation||Baseball Federation of Japan|
|Confederation||Baseball Federation of Asia|
|Current||1 (31 December 2022)|
|Highest||1 (8 times; latest in December 2021)|
|Lowest||3 (December 2012)|
|World Baseball Classic|
|Appearances||6 (first in 2006)|
|Best result||1st (3 times, most recent in 2023)|
|Appearances||6 (first in 1992)|
|Best result||1st (1 time, in 2020)|
|Appearances||2 (first in 2015)|
|Best result||1st (1 time, in 2019)|
|Appearances||15 (first in 1972)|
|Best result||2nd (1 time, in 1982)|
|Appearances||15 (first in 1973)|
|Best result||1st (2 times, most recent in 1997)|
|Appearances||7 (first in 1994)|
|Best result||1st (1 time, in 1994)|
|Appearances||25 (first in 1954)|
|Best result||1st (17 times, most recent in 2017)|
The team has participated in every Summer Olympic Games since the first demonstration tournament in 1984, through when baseball was discontinued following the 2008 Beijing Games. Until 2000, the team was made up exclusively of amateur players. Since the 2000 Summer Olympics, the team has been composed of players from Nippon Professional Baseball. The team that played in the 2006 World Baseball Classic included Japanese players from Major League Baseball as well.
The team won the 2006 Classic. It played at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, as it had qualified through the Asian Baseball Championship in 2007. Unlike the WBC roster, the Olympic team was composed exclusively of NPB players (though it included one amateur player, who was drafted during the tournament's progress). Japan participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, finishing third.
Team Japan won the 2019 WBSC Premier12 Tournament. At the Olympics in 2021 it faced Israel, Mexico, South Korea, the United States, and the Dominican Republic.
|Japan roster – 2023 World Baseball Classic roster|
The team has been nicknamed "Samurai Japan" (侍ジャパン). Like other national teams in Japan, the nickname is usually prefixed with the surname of the manager. However, in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, the team used Samurai, a symbol of Japan's history, instead of Hara, the surname of their manager. In 2012, it was adopted officially.
Results and fixturesEdit
The following is a list of professional baseball match results currently active in the latest version of the WBSC World Rankings, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
Win Lose Void or postponed Fixture
|Friendly||March 9||Mexico||4–2||Japan||Kyocera Dome, Japan|
|Friendly||March 10||Mexico||0–6||Japan||Kyocera Dome, Japan|
|Friendly||August 28||Japan||15–2||France||Hall de Saint-Exupery, France|
|Friendly||August 30||Japan||22–0||France||Gymnase Maréchal, France|
|Friendly||August 31||Japan||15–5||France||Templiers Stadium, France|
|Friendly||September 1||Japan||6–7||France||Templiers Stadium, France|
|Friendly||September 1||Japan||18–8||France||Templiers Stadium, France|
|Asian Championship GS||October 15||Japan||2–0||Chinese Taipei||Douliu Stadium, Taiwan|
|Asian Championship GS||October 16||Hong Kong||0–15 (F/5)||Japan||Taichung Field, Taiwan|
|Asian Championship GS||October 17||Sri Lanka||0–15 (F/5)||Japan||Taichung Field, Taiwan|
|Asian Championship SR||October 18||China||1–11 (F/7)||Japan||Taichung Stadium, Taiwan|
|12:00 TST||Boxscore||Attendance: 346|
|Asian Championship SR||October 19||South Korea||3–11||Japan||Taichung Stadium, Taiwan|
|12:00 TST||Boxscore||Attendance: 362|
|Asian Championship F||October 20||Chinese Taipei||5–4||Japan||Taichung Stadium, Taiwan|
|WBSC Premier 12 GS||November 5||Venezuela||4–8||Japan||Taoyuan Stadium, Taiwan|
|WBSC Premier 12 GS||November 6||Puerto Rico||0–4||Japan||Taoyuan Stadium, Taiwan|
|WBSC Premier 12 GS||November 7||Japan||8–1||Chinese Taipei||Taichung Stadium, Taiwan|
|WBSC Premier 12 SR||November 11||Australia||2–3||Japan||ZOZO Marine Stadium, Japan|
|WBSC Premier 12 SR||November 12||United States||4–3||Japan||Tokyo Dome, Japan|
|WBSC Premier 12 SR||November 13||Mexico||1–3||Japan||Tokyo Dome, Japan|
|WBSC Premier 12 SR||November 16||South Korea||8–10||Japan||Tokyo Dome, Japan|
|WBSC Premier 12 F||November 17||South Korea||3–5||Japan||Tokyo Dome, Japan|
|2020 Summer Olympics GS||July 28||Dominican Republic||3–4||Japan||Azuma Stadium, Japan|
|12:00 JST||LP: Jairo Asencio
||Boxscore||WP: Ryoji Kuribayashi
|2020 Summer Olympics GS||July 31||Japan||7–4||Mexico||Yokohama Stadium, Japan|
|12:00 JST||WP: Masato Morishita
Sv: Ryoji Kuribayashi
HR: Tetsuto Yamada (1), Hayato Sakamoto (1)
|Boxscore||LP: Juan Pablo Oramas
HR: Joey Meneses (1)
|2020 Summer Olympics R2||August 2||United States||6–7 (F/10)||Japan||Yokohama Stadium, Japan|
|19:00 JST||LP: Edwin Jackson
HR: Triston Casas (2)
|Boxscore||WP: Ryoji Kuribayashi
HR: Seiya Suzuki (1)
|2020 Summer Olympics SF||August 4||South Korea||2–5||Japan||Yokohama Stadium, Japan|
|19:00 JST||LP: Go Woo-suk
||Boxscore||WP: Hiromi Itoh
Sv: Ryoji Kuribayashi
|2020 Summer Olympics F||August 7||United States||0–2||Japan||Yokohama Stadium, Japan|
|19:00 JST||LP: Nick Martinez
||Boxscore||WP: Masato Morishita
Sv: Ryoji Kuribayashi
HR: Munetaka Murakami (1)
|Haarlem Week GS||July 8||Japan||1–0||Curaçao||Mulier Stadium, Netherlands|
|Haarlem Week GS||July 9||United States||0–1 (F/8)||Japan||Mulier Stadium, Netherlands|
|Haarlem Week GS||July 10||Cuba||3–4||Japan||Mulier Stadium, Netherlands|
|Haarlem Week GS||July 12||Japan||9–0||Italy||Mulier Stadium, Netherlands|
|Haarlem Week GS||July 13||Netherlands||0–5||Japan||Mulier Stadium, Netherlands|
|Haarlem Week SF||July 14||Netherlands||2–1||Japan||Mulier Stadium, Netherlands|
|Haarlem Week 3rd||July 15||United States||5–1||Japan||Mulier Stadium, Netherlands|
|Friendly||November 9||Australia||1–8||Japan||Sapporo Dome, Japan|
|Friendly||November 10||Australia||0–9||Japan||Sapporo Dome, Japan|
|World Baseball Classic GS||March 9||China||1–8||Japan||Tokyo Dome, Japan|
|19:00 JT||LP: Wang Xiang (0–1)
||Boxscore||WP: Shohei Ohtani (1–0)
HR: Shugo Maki (1)
Umpires: HP – Stu Scheurwater, 1B – Cuti Suarez, 2B – Ben May, 3B – Delfin Colon
|World Baseball Classic GS||March 10||South Korea||4–13||Japan||Tokyo Dome, Japan|
|19:00 JT||LP: Kwang-hyun Kim (0–1)
HR: Yang Eui-ji (2), Park Kun-woo (1)
|Boxscore||WP: Yu Darvish (1–0)
HR: Kensuke Kondo (1)
Umpires: HP: Laz Díaz, 1B: Stu Scheurwater, 2B: Delfin Colon, 3B: Cuti Suárez
|World Baseball Classic GS||March 11||Czech Republic||2–10||Japan||Tokyo Dome, Japan|
|19:00 JT||LP: Ondřej Satoria (0–1)
||Boxscore||WP: Rōki Sasaki (1–0)
Sv: Hiroya Miyagi (1)
HR: Shugo Maki (2)
Umpires: HP: Ben May, 1B: Ramon De Jesus, 2B: Cuti Suárez, 3B: Fabrizio Fabrizzi
|World Baseball Classic GS||March 12||Japan||7–1||Australia||Tokyo Dome, Japan|
|19:00 JT||WP: Yoshinobu Yamamoto (1–0)
HR: Shohei Ohtani (1)
|Boxscore||LP: Will Sherriff (0–1)
HR: Alex Hall (1)
Umpires: HP – Pat Hoberg, 1B – Cuti Suárez, 2B – Adam Hamari, 3B – Chan-Jung Chang
|World Baseball Classic QF||March 16||Italy||3–9||Japan||Tokyo Dome, Japan|
|19:00 NST||LP: Joe LaSorsa (0–1)
HR: Dominic Fletcher (1)
|Boxscore||WP: Shohei Ohtani (2–0)
HR: Kazuma Okamoto (1), Masataka Yoshida (1)
Umpires: HP – Pat Hoberg, 1B – Laz Díaz, 2B – Delfin Colon, 3B – Cuti Suárez
|World Baseball Classic SF||March 20||Japan||6–5||Mexico||loanDepot Park, United States|
|World Baseball Classic F||March 21||United States||2–3||Japan||loanDepot Park, United States|
|19:00 ET||LP: Merrill Kelly (0–1)
HR: Trea Turner (5), Kyle Schwarber (2)
|Boxscore||WP: Shōta Imanaga (1–0)
Sv: Shohei Ohtani (1)
HR: Munetaka Murakami (1), Kazuma Okamoto (2)
Umpires: HP – Lance Barksdale, 1B – John Tumpane, 2B – Edward Pinales, 3B – Ramiro Alfaro, LF – Jong Chui Park, RF – Quinn Wolcott
Asian Baseball ChampionshipEdit
Japan have dominated the Asian Baseball Championship since its inception, and have competed in every year. Japan have never missed out on placing in the top 3 in any tournament, and is the only team to have achieved this feat. Japan also holds the record for most consecutive Asian Championships, having won four times in a row on two occasions.
In all four Asian Games to include baseball, Japan have placed in the top 3 in every tournament, though they have only won the tournament once in the first event held in Hiroshima in 1994.
World Baseball ClassicEdit
Japan won the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic, defeating Cuba in the Final.
2006 WBC rosterEdit
Japan also won the 2009 World Baseball Classic, hosting the Pool A games in the Tokyo Dome. Japan started the tournament opener with a 4–0 win over China. Japan then secured advancement into the second round with a 14–2 win in seven innings over rival South Korea. The game was shortened due to the WBC's mercy rule. Japan then played South Korea again to determine seeding for the second round. In the rematch, the Koreans shut out Japan 1–0, making Japan advance as the Pool A runner-up. In Pool 1 of the WBC quarter-finals, Japan defeated Cuba 6–0, but lost to Korea again 4–1. In the elimination match that followed, Japan secured a spot in the semi-finals with a 5–0 win over Cuba. Japan defeated South Korea in the Finals 5–3 partly because of an Ichiro Suzuki base hit in the 10th inning.
2009 WBC rosterEdit
2013: The end of the championship streakEdit
Japan, the two-time world defending champions, entered the 2013 World Baseball Classic, hosting Pool A games in the Fukuoka Dome, facing off against Cuba, China, and newcomers Brazil. Despite their first loss against the Cuban team, they secured their position for the second round in 2013 World Baseball Classic Pool 1 to face off the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei. The Japanese team narrowly won against Chinese Taipei 4–3, before proceeding to face off against the Dutch team, winning against them twice before proceeding to the semi-final round, along with the Netherlands, as they faced off against Puerto Rico. Despite Japan's efforts, they eventually lost 3–1 against the Puerto Rican team right after Alex Ríos scored two additional runs from a home run. Japan finished third in the 2013 WBC, as their two-time championship streak ended. The Japanese team bowed out to both the crowd and the Puerto Rican team as a gesture of respect.
2013 WBC rosterEdit
In the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Japan hosted Pool B games in the Tokyo Dome. They finished first round play with a 3–0 record and advanced to the second round. After batting .364, outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh was named the Pool B MVP. In the second round, Japan hosted Pool E games in the Tokyo Dome and again finished pool play with a 3–0 record, advancing to the championship round. However, Japan lost to the United States 2–1 in the semifinal. They finished the tournament in third place. Pitcher Kodai Senga was named to the All-World Baseball Classic Team.
2017 WBC rosterEdit
2008 Summer Olympics rosterEdit
Baseball is being featured at the 2020 Summer Olympics, in Tokyo, for the first time since the 2008 Summer Olympics. Six national teams are competing in the tournament: Israel, Japan (host), Mexico, South Korea, the United States, and the Dominican Republic. It will be held from July 28 to August 7, 2021.
2020 Summer Olympics rosterEdit
Baseball World CupEdit
Team Japan came in third in the 2015 WBSC Premier12 Tournament.
Team Japan won the 12-team 2019 WBSC Premier12 Tournament, which was held from November 2 to 17, 2019.
International tournament resultsEdit
World Baseball ClassicEdit
World Baseball Classic
|Japan / United States 2017||3rd|
|Japan / United States 2023||1st|
|World Baseball Classic record||Qualification record|
|2006||Final||1st||5||3||60||21||No qualifiers held|
|2009||Final||1st||7||2||50||16||No qualifiers held|
|Summer Olympics record||Qualification|
|1984||United States||Finals||1st [a]||4||1||33||11|
|1988||South Korea||Finals||2nd [a]||4||1||27||17|
|2000||Australia||Bronze Match||4th||4||5||42||29||1999 Asian Baseball Championship|
|2004||Greece||Bronze Match||3rd||7||2||60||23||2003 Asian Baseball Championship|
|2008||People's Republic of China||Bronze Match||4th||4||5||36||28||2007 Asian Baseball Championship|
Baseball World CupEdit
Asian Baseball ChampionshipEdit
- ^ a b "The WBSC World Ranking". WBSC. 31 December 2022. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
- ^ "2023 List of Players Announced on 3/1/2023". Japan Baseball. Baseball Federation of Japan (BFJ). March 1, 2023. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
- ^ "Samurai Japan sets roster for 2013 World Baseball Classic". 21 February 2013.
- ^ "Japan in the WBSC Ranking (Men's baseball)". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
- ^ "World Baseball Classic: Cuba, Japan advance to 2nd round" – CBC Sports – Baseball – MLB
- ^ "Tsutsugoh named MVP of WBC '17 Pool B". MLB.com.
- ^ 野球・ソフトボール 競技紹介. Olympics.com (in Japanese). Retrieved August 4, 2021.
- ^ オリンピックスケジュール&結果 – 野球・ソフトボール. Olympics.com (in Japanese). Retrieved August 4, 2021.
- ^ "Two teams from WBSC Premier12 2019 to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympic Baseball". WBSC.org. December 19, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Official website (in English)
- 野球日本代表 侍ジャパンオフィシャルサイト (in Japanese)
- 侍ジャパン公式 on Instagram
- 侍ジャパン on Facebook
- 野球日本代表 侍ジャパン on Twitter