Each week, here at Osaka.com, we bring you a selection of some of the top stories about Osaka making the local and national news here in Japan. Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s funny, but it’s always direct to you, from Osaka.
Here’s a look at some of the stories hitting the headlines in Osaka this week.
Table of Contents
Hanshin Tigers Take Home First National Title in 38 years
It’s been a long time coming, but finally, after decades of near misses, the Hanshin Tigers are officially Japan’s best baseball team once again. The Tigers, based in Amagasaki, just outside Osaka, last won the national baseball championship’s grand final, The Japan Series, in 1985. This year’s Japan Series was a Kansai Derby. Only last year’s champions, the Orix Buffaloes, who play out of Nishi Ward’s Osaka Dome, stood between the Hanshin Tigers and the end of their near 40-year hoodoo.
And the Tigers had to fight all the way for the series title. Orix tied the series at 3-3 after game 6 on November 4. This set up a final, winner takes all showdown on Sunday night. The Tigers came to play, and absolutely blew the Buffaloes away, with a comprehensive 7-1 victory. The win sparked joyous celebrations across Osaka. 38 years of disappointment and defeat finally came to an end.
From the looks of them, the majority of the fans who gathered to celebrate the win at Osaka’s Dotonbori riverside on Sunday night probably weren’t even born the last time the Tigers took home the grand prize. Despite going so long without a championship win, The Tigers have always been one of the most popular sporting institutions in Japan. Over the past few days, fans from as far afield as Kyushu and Hokkaido descended on Osaka to join the celebrations. They also, no doubt, snapped up some of the huge range of commemorative souvenirs that have found their way into stores over the last few days.
Tigers Triumph Sparks Economic Surge Across Osaka
Indeed, the economic benefits that the Tigers long awaited return to the top of Japanese Baseball cannot be understated. The very next day, Hanshin’s flagship department store in Umeda launched their celebratory sale, as did numerous other department stores and shops across Osaka. With more than 2000 eager Tigers fans gathered outside by 9am, the Umeda store opened its doors 40 minutes earlier than the usually scheduled 10am. Analysts predict that the total economic impact for the greater Osaka area, especially after an all-Kansai Japan Series win for the Tigers, could run into hundreds of millions of yen.
However, most sports fans would agree, whatever the economics of it all, the scenes of pure joy over the last few days in Osaka have been absolutely priceless.
Musician Saves Drowning Girl
The Tigers weren’t the only heroes hitting the headlines in Osaka this week. Amidst the celebrations, one individual’s quick thinking and bravery saved a woman’s life.
In an act of incredible courage, Chazzy Green, a prominent Jazz musician, originally from the US, leapt into the Dotonbori to rescue a woman who jumped into the water. In typically self-deprecating style, the hero said: “I’m from Detroit, it’s what we do.” The exact circumstances of the incident remain unclear. Green gave a first-hand account on Facebook shortly after saving the woman on the evening of November 4th.
He said he saw the woman jump into the canal, and he quickly dived in after her and dragged her to safety. Police continue to investigate exactly what happened, but they, along with several witnesses, praised Green’s actions. The hero himself, remains humble and sought no publicity. However, it is our duty here at Osaka.com to tell you, our readers, about the very best Osaka has to offer. After this incredible act, Mr Green definitely represents all that is good about this great city.
One of the Kansai region’s best known companies also enjoyed good fortune this past week. Nintendo posted 271.3 billion yen in profits for the past six months. Analysts attribute this to a 2.4 percent increase in sales of Nintendo’s flagship Switch console. However, as we all know, consoles are only as good as the games you can play on them.
So, naturally, this surge in console sales has also been backed up by a stream of highly successful game releases. Among them, new entries in the long-running Super Mario, Zelda and Pokemon series’. Despite having noticeably weaker hardware tech than both the Play Station 5 and the X Box S series, the Switch continues to do very well for Nintendo.
The console’s portability has made it a big hit not just domestically, but across the world. Rumors continue to fly around the gaming circuit of a new, truly next-generation console from Nintendo coming soon. However, whilst the Switch continues to do so well, it may be a while yet before we see any major overhauls on the hardware side.
That’s all for now but be sure to check back again same time next week for another round of this week in Osaka!