Fighting Spirit in Baseball Films: Kokoyakyu

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August 31st, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

Cost: Free
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Fighting Spirit in Baseball Films

Kokoyakyu: High School Baseball

*Special draw prize from Spark Slugger Baseball Bats (made in Japan)! 

Director Ken Eng, 2006 (60 min.)

Japanese with English subtitles    [This film will also be screened in Thunderbay]

In conjunction with the U-18 Baseball World Cup taking place September 1 – 10, 2017, we will have a screening of the documentary by Ken Eng, taking viewers in Canada inside a never-before seen world, “Kokoyakyu Highschool Baseball” follows two schools of the 4,000 in Japan striving to make it to the National Championships at Koshien Stadium. After the film we will have special guests, Daisuke Suzuki and Koji Yamane, who will share their insights on Kokoyakyu and what this fighting spirit is about.

The documentary will be screened simultaneously at a special screening event presented by the Bay Street Film Festival in Thunderbay.


Much more just than a game, this martial arts baseball has a deeper purpose: the forging of the spirit. Through the stories of the two schools, the film brings audiences inside this closed world where a North American game has become a Japanese discipline. A Tale of Two Schools: Chiben is a private, powerhouse baseball academy led by Japan’s most legendary tough-as-nails coach, Takashima. Over 35 years, Takashima has led his teams to Koshien a record 21 times, and won 3 National titles. On the other side of the field is Masa-Sensei, the Manager/Teacher of one of Osaka’s top public high schools. What does it mean to embark on the journey to Koshien?

Special Guest Speakers:


Playing baseball since Grade two in Tokyo, Daisuke went on to play at Takanawa Junior High where he was team captain. Moving to Toronto at age 15, he continued to play baseball in Toronto and has played for a number of teams;  Toronto Mets, North York Blues and Etobicoke Rangers.

Currently, Daisuke is playing in Japanese Canadian Baseball League and in the Metro Pacific Baseball League.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Japanese Canadian Baseball League. For more information about their celebration, click here > 


Koji also started young when he was six and lived close to Koshien Baseball stadium. He played for Shinko Gakuen and his team won the regional finals and qualified to play at the 1995 and 1996 Koshien Championships.  After high school he got a university scholarship to play baseball. Unfortunately after an injury in first year, Koji realized he played baseball in high school for Koshien, and not for University. So he decided to retire from competitive baseball. His interest to study English brought him to Toronto where he studied English and Sport Management, and joined the Japanese Canadian Baseball League. Now, Koji has his own business exporting high quality Canadian Maple to be manufactured into baseball bats in Japan. He is currently assistant coach for the U-18 Ontario Giants and Centennial College Baseball Club.

U-18 Baseball World Cup 2017 Thunder Bay

XXVIII World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup 2017 Thunder Bay will see fifty games played from September 1st to September 10th.

Twelve National teams will represent the baseball playing continents of the World. The twelve nations that have secured their place in the pinnacle youth international competition include: United States, Cuba, Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Italy, Netherlands South Africa and Australia.

Several Major League stars have played in this event including Brett Lawrie (White Sox), Russell Martin (Jays) from Canada; and Shin-Soo Choo (Rangers) for Korea,  Yu Darvish (Rangers), and Shohei Ohtani (Nippon Ham Fighters) for Japan.

For tournament schedule, click here > Fascinating tournament info in Japanese here  > ファン向けサイト

Details on the 28th WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup

Opening round
Friday, September 1 22:30 Mexico – Japan
The Sunday, September 3 6:00 Japan – United States
Monday, September 4 6:00 Japan – Cuba
Tuesday, September 5 3:00 Netherlands – Japan
Tuesday, September 5 22:30 Japan – South Africa
※The start time Japan time (sander bay: at time difference -13 time)

Super Round
From Thursday, September 7 to Saturday, September 9
※The start time Japan time (sander bay: at time difference -13 time)

The final, 3rd Place Match Monday, September 11
※The start time Japan time (sander bay: at time difference -13 time)

Participating Nations

Group A: Canada, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Australia, Italy, Nicaragua

Group B: Japan, United States, Cuba, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa

Join the film screening and you could win a prize from Spark Slugger!


August 31st, 2017 @ 6:30 pm
August 31st, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
Doors Open:
6:00 pm
Event Category:


The Japan Foundation, Toronto
View Organizer Website


The Japan Foundation, Toronto
2 Bloor St. East, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8 Canada
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View Organizer Website


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