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Japanese culture

Learn about Japanese culture from this Japanese language blog by the JOI's professional Japanese teachers.

Posted by on in Japanese culture

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani is a professional baseball player who now plays for the Los Angeles Angels in MLB (Major League Baseball). He started his professional career in Japan playing for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in the Pacific League.

He has captured the hearts of fans all around the world with his ability to play as both a pitcher and batter and officially recorded the fastest pitch by a Japanese pitcher and in NPB history at 165 kilometers per hour.

In this blog for Japanese learners, one of the Japanese teachers at JOI, Ayako Suzuki writes about this remarkable young phenom and introduces some great words for your Japanese vocabulary learning.

You can also watch the video and enjoy listening to fluent a Japanese language speaker reading the blog.

二刀流への挑戦
The 'Nitou ryu' challenge

suzuki

By SUZUKI Ayako

Otani-baseball

 「二刀流」ということばを知っていますか。二刀流とは、左右の手に刀を1本ずつ持って戦う剣術のことです。そこから転じて、「お酒も甘い物も両方好きな人」や「二つの物事を同時に上手に行う人」という意味でも使われます。

 二刀流といえば、今年、日本のプロ野球界からメジャーリーグ(MLB)に移籍した大谷翔平選手を思い浮かべる人が多いのではないでしょうか。大谷選手は投手と打者の両方をこなす二刀流選手として、今年からメジャーリーグに挑戦しています。

 通常、プロ野球選手は投手か打者のどちらかに専念するのが常識です。大谷選手はこの常識を覆し、日本球界で二刀流選手として結果を残しました。メジャーリーグに移籍した今シーズンは、打者として本塁打19本。日本人メジャーリーガー1年目の本塁打記録を更新しました。しかし、投手としての成績は、けがもあり、今のところ4勝にとどまっています(2018年9月10日現在)。

 大谷選手の二刀流への挑戦はこれからも続きます。

To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video. 

 「二刀流(にとうりゅう)」ということばを知(し)っていますか。二刀流(にとうりゅう)とは、左右(さゆう)の手(て)に刀(かたな)を1本(ぽん)ずつ持(も)って戦(たたか)う剣術(けんじゅつ)のことです。そこから転(てん)じて、「お酒(さけ)も甘(あま)い物(もの)も両方(りょうほう)好(す)きな人(ひと)」や「二つ(ふたつ)の物事(ものごと)を同時(どうじ)に上手(じょうず)に行(おこな)う人(ひと)」という意味(いみ)でも使(つか)われます。

 二刀流(にとうりゅう)といえば、今年(ことし)、日本(にほん)のプロ野球界(やきゅうかい)からメジャーリーグ(MLB)に移籍(いせき)した大谷翔平(おおたにしょうへい)選手(せんしゅ)を思(おも)い浮(う)かべる人(ひと)が多(おお)いのではないでしょうか。大谷(おおたに)選手(しょうへい)は投手(とうしゅ)と打者(だしゃ)の両方(りょうほう)をこなす二刀流(にとうりゅう)選手(せんしゅ)として、今年(ことし)からメジャーリーグに挑戦(ちょうせん)しています。

 通常(つうじょう)、プロ野球(やきゅう)選手(せんしゅ)は投手(とうしゅ)か打者(だしゃ)のどちらかに専念(せんねん)するのが常識(じょうしき)です。大谷選手はこの常識(じょうしき)を覆(くつがえ)し、日本球界(にほんきゅうかい)で二刀流(にとうりゅう)選手(せんしゅ)として結果(けっか)を残(のこ)しました。メジャーリーグに移籍(いせき)した今(こん)シーズンは、打者(だしゃ)として本塁打(ほんるいだ)19本(ほん)。日本人(にほんじん)メジャーリーガー1年目(ねんめ)の本塁打(ほんるいだ)記録(きろく)を更新(こうしん)しました。しかし、投手(とうしゅ)としての成績(せいせき)は、けがもあり、今(いま)のところ4勝(しょう)にとどまっています(2018年(ねん)9月(がつ)10日(とおか)現在(げんざい))。

 大谷(おおたに)選手(せんしゅ)の二刀流(にとうりゅう)への挑戦(ちょうせん)はこれからも続(つづ)きます。

The 'Nitou ryu' challenge

Have you ever of the Japanese phrase 'Nitou ryu'? 'Nitou ryu' is the sword fighting technique in which a person holds a sword in each of their left and right hands. And this can be turned around to mean a person who likes 'both drinking alcohol and eating sweets' or someone who 'can do two things well at the same time'.

When the phrase 'Nitou ryu' is mentioned, the first name to pop into minds of many people would probably be Shohei Ohtani who was traded from the Japanese professional baseball league to the major league (MLB) this year. The athlete Ohtani can perform well as both a pitcher and batter and is attempting to make it in the major league this year.

Usually, it is common for a player to focus on being either a pitcher or batter. But Ohtani defied conventional wisdom and produced results within the Japanese professional baseball world. Having transferred to the majors this season, he has already hit 19 home runs as a batter. This has rewritten the record for the number of home runs hit by a first year Japanese player. And as a pitcher, due to some injuries, he has stopped at four wins as of September 10th 2018.

Ohtani's challenge to be a 'Nitou ryu' player will continue on from here.

二刀流(にとうりゅう)  two-way; a person who can play two roles

移籍(いせき)する  be traded to another team

こなす  perform ~ well

常識(じょうしき)を覆(くつがえ)す  defy conventional wisdom

本塁打(ほんるいだ)  a home run; a homer

suzuki

Konnichiwa. My name is Ayako Suzuki.
I live in Tochigi prefecture with my husband and two children. Tochigi has two towns that are very popular tourist attractions; Nikko, which is famous for its World Heritage shrine and its wonderful nature, and Mashiko which is famous for its pottery. Its only two hours by train from Tokyo, so if you get that chance, please come and visit Tochigi.
Through the language of Japanese, I am happy to and looking forward to meeting you all. Lets study Japanese together.

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