Here’s a clip of a young, shirtless Sadaharu Oh slicing through paper with a samurai sword:
I recently finished reading Oh’s autobiography (co-authored by Dave Falkner), Sadaharu Oh: A Zen Way of Baseball, and it is not simply an excellent book, it may be the best autobiography I’ve ever read.
Fascinating in its insight, beautiful in its prose, courageous in its revelations, Oh and Falkner have written a compelling account of Oh’s journey to master hitting baseballs as far as they can be hit. The book was first published in 1974 and it remains among the best of its genre. I can’t recommend Sadaharu Oh: A Zen Way of Baseball enough.
Reading Oh’s autobiography has given me a new interest in playing the 1973 Tokyo Yamiuri Giants’ season on Strat-O-Matic’s PC game. I’ve played a handful of games with teams in this season roster, but haven’t yet taken on any projects.
If you’re interested in learning more about Japanese Baseball history, I’d suggest any of Robert Whiting’s books, such as You Gotta Have Wa or The Chrysanthemum and the Bat: Baseball Samurai Style
Also, if you’re interested in playing some C & D Strat-O-Matic with some Japanese all-time greats, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can direct you to an unofficial, fan-created set that’s been floating around for a while.