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The 'Nitou ryu' challenge

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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.

The 'Nitou ryu' challenge








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





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


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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Guest Saturday, 25 September 2021