Musical Portraying Japan-Taiwan Baseball Ties to Start in April

The Yomiuri Shimbun
From right, Kazukiyo Nishikiori, Daisuke Habara and Toshiyuki Jin attend a press conference about the musical “Kano — 1931: Koshien made 2,000 Kiro” (Kano — 1931: 2,000 Kilometers to Koshien Stadium) in Matsuyama on March 14.

MATSUYAMA — A musical depicting the coaching work of Hyotaro Kondo (1888-1966), who guided a school baseball team representing Taiwan to a national summer championship in the 1930s, will start its run in April in Toon, Ehime Prefecture.

The musical, titled “Kano — 1931: Koshien made 2,000 Kiro” (Kano — 1931: 2,000 Kilometers to Koshien Stadium) will be performed in the city’s Botchan Theater.

The musical commemorates 100 years of baseball exchange history between Japan and Taiwan, and shows are also scheduled to be held in Taiwan. The production is based on the true story of a baseball team from southern Taiwan’s Chiayi School of Agriculture and Forestry, which was known as Kano baseball team in Japan.

In 1931, when Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the team participated for the first time in Japan’s national baseball championship for secondary schools at Koshien Stadium. They would be led by Kondo, who served as the head coach for the baseball team at today’s Matsuyama Commercial High School before moving to Taiwan, where he formed a school team comprising Japanese, Han Chinese and Taiwan’s indigenous people.

Daisuke Habara, a playwright who has worked on movies such as “Hula Girls” and “Pacchigi!,” wrote the script for the musical.

Kazukiyo Nishikiori, formerly the leader of male idol group Shonentai, will direct the production.