Half a month has passed since Sendai Ikuei became the first team from the Tohoku region to win the 104th National High School Baseball Championship. In Sendai, there are calls for a celebratory parade, but the city denies it, citing a request from the Japan High School Federation to refrain from excessive celebrations. Is it really impossible to have a parade of athletes who battled with their hometown expectations as a national event? (Takahiro Kameyama News Department)
Sendai Ikuei players went to the town hall on the 5th to announce the victory. About 200 people, including city representatives and citizens, warmly welcomed them in front of the main entrance with the spectacle of the fire department band.
“As long as the parade is stopped by Takanoren, it’s the best sincerity,” a city official said. On August 23, the day after the victory, Mayor Kazuko Kori asked for understanding, saying, “The Takanoren asked us to refrain from going to school, so unfortunately we cannot hold a parade. “
Calls for a parade to celebrate this feat still simmer among city council members and business people. An official from the Sendai Station East Community Development Council, which is made up of residents and businesses near the east exit of JR Sendai Station, expressed his frustration, saying, “There are deep voices of hope for a parade as the residents of the school who got their long-held wish to pass the Shirakawa checkpoint.” do.
Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, many parades have been held in the city of Sendai to honor achievements in sports. 90,000 to 210,000 people marched through the streets in the 2013 parade for the victory of the professional baseball team Tohoku Rakuten and the triumphant comeback parades of 2014 and 2018 for Yuzuru Hanyu, the men’s figure skating champion who won won back-to-back Olympic gold medals for men. figure skating They flocked to raise the spirits of the inhabitants of the prefecture affected by the earthquake.
In Aomori City, a parade is held for Aomori Yamada Football Club, which won the 100th National High School Football Championship in January this year and won the “High School Triple Crown”.
Why is the High School Baseball Parade NG? In the “Guidelines for School Representation”, which Takanoren distributes in advance to participating schools, there is a description that “the parade treats high school students as heroes and instills false feelings”. A Takanoren representative explained, “High school baseball is only part of the education and extracurricular activities. We ask everyone to refrain from playing in order to avoid crowd accidents.”
Sendai Ikuei director Wataru Sue told the media during his visit to the city hall on the 5th of this month, “I was moved by the congratulations from the citizens. I will follow Takanoren’s policy.”
There is precedent for scrapping the parade of high school baseball players. In 2015, the city of Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture considered holding a parade for Tsuruga Kehi, the first team from Hokuriku to win a Spring Selection Tournament, but dropped the idea of the Takanoren.
Takanobu Nakajima, a professor of applied economics at Keio University and author of books such as “Economics of High School Baseball,” said high school baseball, which received “special treatment” such as exemption from Koshien Stadium user fees, should not be subject to commercial criticism. He pointed out that Takanoren tried to eliminate sexuality as much as possible. “In the current situation, we cannot accept an indirectly commercialized parade,” he said.