Sunday, February 5, 2012

Slow News Day: Professional Baseball Player Likes Famicom

I was browsing the excellent Japanese Famicom news blog Famicom no neta yesterday and I came across a link to the blog of Rakuten Eagles player Ryo Hijirisawa. It contained an entry with the above photo of Eagle`s outfielder Masato Nakamura playing a handheld gaming device.

Look closely though and you`ll notice what is sticking out of that gaming device - a Famicom cart! I`ve examined the photo with a team of experts (me and my dog) and we were not able to identify the game just by looking at the cart. Anybody out there have any idea what game he was playing when this candid photo was taken? Maybe Dragon Quest? But...not quite.

Do have a look at Famicom no neta if you get a chance and can read Japanese (or know how to use Google translate), there are some interesting Famicom news pieces there.


  1. Awesome! Rakuten is my favorite Japanese baseball team team. I kind of liked Nakamura before (anyone who wears #00 is alright in my book) but this gives me more reason to cheer for him. He has "game" (ゲーム)listed under his hobbies on his profile page on their website too.

    Speaking of which, I was recently asked by the school I'll work at in Japan to give them my hobbies and such so they can make a profile to give to the students, parents, teachers etc. I made sure to put "collecting Famicom games" on there.

    I'll definitely check out Famicom no Neta too. When I clicked on the link, it was awesome to see your "Wall of Baseball Games" post featured. Haha!

  2. Really? I`ve seen them play here in Fukuoka a couple of times, naturally though I`m a Hawks fan. I will admit that I also have a newfound admiration for Nakamura though now that I know he is also a Famicom fan.

    That`ll be cool if you put Famicom collecting on your list of hobbies, you`ll probably meet some students who share the interest!

    And Famicom no Neta is a cool site, all the latest Famicom news is there. I was quite happy that he featured my wall of baseball game post:)

  3. Yeah, while I also like Nippon-Ham because Hokkaido/Sapporo was the first place I stayed in Japan (and saw them play in the Tokyo Dome a few years ago), I like Rakuten because a few years ago Yahoo Sports Japan offered streaming of all PL games on their website... but only if you lived in Japan. For a bit, Rakuten also streamed games from their own website, region-free and in really good quality and in a window that told the box score and everything. But then it seemed that Yahoo brought the hammer down and made all the team websites the same format, so it disappeared. But, I don't think Yahoo streams the games at all anymore, anyway.

    Plus, I have a thing for real scrappy underdog teams. I'm a life-long Mets fan, so I kind of have to be.

    Last year, while I was in Tokyo, I was planning to visit Sendai to see a game and see the city itself, but obviously, that didn't work out...

  4. I don't know much about baseball, but I'm pretty sure he's playing the first Fire Emblem. I can tell because of the sword on the left, the angle of the rectangular shape, and the colors on the artwork to the right. I'd post a picture of the artwork, but I'm posting this from my phone, and it's hard to do that way...

  5. Nate - ah, cool. NPB is about the most fan-unfriendly professional sports league out there so I am not surprised that they don`t stream games anymore. It really is stupid.

    I`m a fan of the underdog too (lifetime Montreal Expos fan - which takes it to a whole new level as I root for a team that no longer exists), though I also root for the home team and hence my support of the Hawks. I used to live in the Kansai area and was a big Tigers fan back then.

    Skyrunner - ah, good eye! That probably is FIre Emblem now that you mention it! The color is bang on.

  6. Hah! I feel for you about the Expos. I'm from Burlington, Vermont and Montreal is about an hour and a half away. When they were still around, people would often go up and watch them play against the Yankees, Red Sox or Mets, because it was a lot cheaper and a shorter drive than going to NYC or Boston. I never saw a game at Olympic Stadium (or Stade Olympique if you want to get technical), but I have been to Montreal many times and been around and in the stadium itself (just when there's no games).

    On top of that, our local minor league baseball time was an affiliate of the Expos/Nationals for a long time. They were called the Vermont Expos until they made the switch to DC and changed their name (via fan contest) to the Lake Monsters. Just last year the A's acquired them as an affiliate, they kept the Lake Monsters name, but all around the park is history to the old Expos.

    I always thought they should have kept the Expos name after they made the move. Just to be that final link to the "history" of the Expos.

    Anyway, Kanazawa doesn't have a home team, other than a team in a small independent league made up of teams from around the "Hokuriku" region, which I'm actually looking forward to seeing, so I guess I'll have to pick a Kansai team to cheer for too.

  7. Ah yes, I`ve heard about the northern Vermont Expos fans before!

    Actually my dad is from Montreal and I spent most of my childhood only a couple hours drive away, so every summer when we`d go to visit my grandparents who lived in the countryside just outside of the city we`d take in an Expos game or two. I have a ton of great memories, lots of father-son bonding stuff, associated with the Expos. I even caught a foul ball at a game once, in a game against the Giants. Thrill of a lifetime for a 13 year old.

    I was so bummed when they moved. Just felt like a huge betrayal. Ah, I could go on and on. They gave me a lot of great memories and I`m thankful for that.

    That`ll be coolif you can see some independent league teams in Kanazawa. If you are looking for a Kansai pro team, I say go for the Tigers! The Buffaloes - meh. The one thing I loved about going to see Tigers games when I lived in the Kansai area was Koshien Stadium - totally old school and outdoor - the type of place that baseball is meant to be played in. The Osaka Dome (and, for that matter, the Fukuoka Dome) just suck in comparison.

  8. That cart also looks a lot like Parodius Da.

  9. I totally agree. One of the smartest things George W. Bush ever said was baseball should always be played outside. While I will admit, the Tokyo Dome was probably one of the nicest places I've ever seen a ball game and I certainly appreciated the climate controlled atmosphere to get out of the insane humidity that exists during a typical Tokyo summer. But at the same time, it just felt weird watching a baseball game "inside" so to speak.

    I went to the spring Koshien last year while taking refuge in Osaka (on my American university's order) and loved the stadium. The Vermont Expos/Lake Monsters play at a stadium that was built in 1906 and only really renovated once in 1922, so I really like the old stadiums. I was pretty upset when they got rid of Shea for Citi Field too.

    So, I'll definitely have to catch some Hanshin Tigers games and only go to the Osaka Dome when the Buffaloes play Rakuten. Also, it appears that once a year, two NPB teams play a game at the ball park in Kanazawa, so at least once a year, there's pro baseball on my doorstep.

  10. Nathan - true, the coloring looks a lot like Parodius Da. I don`t think it is one of those Konami carts with the label that goes all the way around though.

    Nate - yup, outdoors is where it is at. One of the things I did not like about the Expos was that Stadium. Baseball was not meant to be played under an orange plastic roof!

    That is cool that NPB will play in Kanazawa. Actually here in Kyushu they do something similar, the Hawks play about a dozen or so of their home games in other major cities on the island (Kitakyushu, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, etc) in an effort to make the team the Kyushu team rather than just the Fukuoka team.

  11. No good asking me but it's pretty cool all the same! :)

  12. Yeah that's definitely Fire Emblem. If you look closely you can see Marth's sword sticking out behind the logo, and where it segues into the artwork.
    Definitely not the first game I'd expect to see a pro-baseball player going at.

    Nice blog by the way, definitely envious of your collection. I've actually had a major yearning for some retro gaming the past few weeks, ever since I found some translated episodes of Game Center CX, and I'm considering tracking down an NES if I can afford one.

  13. Thanks! Game Center CX will do that to a person, I love that show! Good luck tracking down an NES!