Every summer in Japan, baseball fans are swept up in the thrill of Koshien, the wildly popular national high school baseball championship named after Osaka’s hallowed Koshien Stadium. On the historic 100th anniversary of the single elimination tournament, documentary filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki follows the coaches and players of two promising teams as they undergo rigorous training—a process that reveals a uniquely Japanese and exceptionally martial approach to the Western sport that emphasizes self-sacrifice and spiritual conditioning. Through the lens of baseball, Yamazaki’s perceptive film considers Japanese society as a whole as it continues to balance respect for tradition with the adoption of progressive change.
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