Clips from Seeing Sociology

Japanese Baseball




A Study in How Culture Matters

This film clip made available on a fair use basis for students of Prof. Wood's Introduction to Sociology course

Discussion Questions

(1) What are the major ways in which baseball in Japan differs from baseball in the United States? How is this related to differences in culture? What do we learn about Japanese society by looking at how it has transformed the game of baseball?

(2) What is the difference between a concept of fairness based on "fair play" versus a concept of fairness based on "fair shares"? How can the "expanding strike zone" be justified from a Japanese point of view? Why are ties and close races popular in Japan?

(3) How can these different concepts of fairness be seen in other aspects of life in Japan and the United States?

(4) What does this comparison of baseball in these two countries tell us about the dangers of ethnocentrism?