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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Japan high school baseball

While I have been living in Japan, I've been hearing about how big high school baseball is here. Every year there are two tournaments: Spring Kōshien (for the National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament, organized by the Japan High School Baseball Federation and Mainichi Shimbun), and Summer Kōshien (for the National High School Baseball Championship, organized by the Japan High School Baseball Federation and Asahi Shimbun), and they climax at Hanshin Kōshien Stadium in Nishinomiya. Tournaments are televised locally, and some of them are televised nationally on NHK, as well as in the United States via ABC. Kōshien also attracts attention from scouts, including those from the United States.

Kōshien is so popular that there have been video games created that are based on the tournament. The original game was released in 1989 for Family Computer (also known as NES), additional games were created for Super Famicon (also known as Super NES) from 1992 - 1995, followed by games for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Gameboy Color from 1997 - 1999, then for the PlayStation 2 from 2000 - 2002, and then later for mobile phones in 2005.

Even the Hanshin Koshien Stadium itself is well known. It's one of the largest stadiums in Asia, and along with hosting Kōshien games, it also hosts the Koshien Bowl, Japan's American college football championship game. It also has a connection to American baseball- Babe Ruth once played an exhibition game there.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Multi-Talented UK Rapper DJ JY Signs to Record Label

There is an abundance of rappers in the UK, and at the top of the heap is Johnathan Yesson known as UK rapper DJ JY from surrey quays, south east London. Earlier this month, it was announced that DJ JY signed to record label "RMG" (Redstar Music Group). RMG is owned by celebrity mentalist Morgan Streble. Along with the announcement of DJ JY's signing with the record label, it was also announced that his upcoming debut EP "The Way Forward" will be produced by RMG very soon.

DJ JY was born and raised in Bermondsey, South London. He studied at Bacon’s College, and after finishing GCSE level, DJ JY went straight into work as a website manager at a major power-tool company. His passion outside of I.T is showcasing his rap freestyles on the Internet globally. DJ JY started music at a young age and has since created many singles and published them to iTunes and YouTube. DJ JY is an Internet celebrity on Twitter, Keek, Facebook, and Google+.

Very interesting facts about DJ JY that are not well known are that he is a gaming fanatic, he can perform freestyle football tricks, he works as a website manager (specializing in online marketing), he is a power tool expert, and he has been told that he looks like Eminem.

Check out DJ JY's official website and his page on MTV.com. You can also keep updated on DJ JY via Google+, whosay, and Instagram.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Japanese Pro-Wrestling on TV in Japan (and Potentially Beyond)

A big topic as of late has been the decreasing of the amount of pro-wrestling shows on American television. This year, WWE, TNA, NJPW, ROH, CMLL, Lucha Underground/AAA, and the GWF (via ESPN Classic replays) have been presenting pro-wrestling on a weekly basis. However, the landscape may be changing as the year draws to a close, with there being rumors that Destination America will be dropping TNA's, "Impact Wrestling" program, and El Rey has yet to renew, "Lucha Underground".

Meanwhile, pro-wrestling has been thriving as a television product in Japan. NJPW -Japan's biggest pro-wrestling company- is seen weekly via the TV Asahi network. Unlike the United States, where fans are required to have cable in order to watch programs of the most popular companies in the country, cable is not required to watch NJPW programs in Japan on TV Asahi.

NOAH can be seen regularly on the Nittele G+ sports channel and Samurai TV via satellite. Samurai TV also shows JWP, Stardom, Pro Wrestling ZERO1, BJW, DDT Pro, AJPW, Legend the Pro-Wrestling, and more on their network. Meanwhile GAORA TV provides viewers with Dragon Gate, AJPW, Wrestle-1, and Oz Academy. In total, pro-wrestling fans in Japan are able watch at least 12 different companies on television regularly, with the biggest one being able to be viewed without needing cable or satellite.

Although the pro-wrestling scene is very healthy in Japan, it has the potential to be even healthier. Being that WWE is biggest company in the industry, they have made the United States the center of the pro-wrestling industry. Alexa (a web traffic and ranking website) shows how much attention WWE captures from fans who live in the United States, and how much of an impact they have on their traffic rank. According to Alexa, http://www.WWE.com has a traffic rank of 1,468, with the majority of its visitors being based in the United States.

Japanese pro-wrestling companies branching out to the American market would enable them to potentially gain new fans from the same fan base that WWE has, as well as pro-wrestling fans who don't like the WWE product and are looking for something different. NJPW has already done this- they are currently featured on AXS TV, a network that presents the NJPW product to 200,000 American viewers every week. There are many other networks for the NJPW product to potentially be on, including ones that would be better than AXS TV, but the fact remains that NJPW's exposure has increased and has had a positive impact on the company. Alexa's report on http://www.njpw.co.jp/ 's traffic rankings from the past six months are proof of this. On March 4, 2015, http://www.njpw.co.jp/ had a traffic rank of 37,833. As of this writing, the website was ranked at 28,380 (the lower the number, the higher the rank).

Just as how NJPW has increased its exposure by branching out to the American market, other pro-wrestling companies in Japan can (and should) do the same. Every company has a style of wrestling that is different from what American pro-wrestling fans usually are exposed to, which surely would gain their attention. And along with exposure, the pro-wrestling company would gain the financial benefit of the American television network paying them to show episodes of the wrestling program on the American television network.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

China's Middle Kingdom Wrestling

In 2012, I wrote an article explaining that the Chinese market wasn't utilizing the pro-wrestling market as well as it could have, considering the facts that China is the most populated country in the world and has the second-largest economy. One of my readers has brought to my attention that there is now a new promotion on the pro-wrestling scene in China.

Promoted by Adrian Gomez, Middle Kingdom Wrestling is a promotion that made its debut this month. It features Asian talents such as LENBAI (who was trained in Japan as well as Taiwan) and HoHo Lun (who has also wrestled in Japan and Europe). MKW also features talent from outside of Asia, such as MKW's first and current champion, American wrestler Dalton Bragg. According to MKW, there have been fans in attendance at their shows who had never witnessed a live pro-wrestling event before, let alone a pro-wrestling event featuring talent from outside of Asia. Like I stated in 2012, fan interest in pro-wrestling has always been there, which therefore presented an opportunity for new promotions to be created in China and gain a fanbase- MKW has taken advantage of that opportunity.

MKW will have its third show in January 2016.