In Japan, baseball diamonds are a pleasant obsession

Baseball came to Japan like a breath of wind, like a whispered word. A word first spoken by an American migrant, the educator Horace Wilson, and quickly transformed into 野球.

Baseball bats and diamonds invaded the prefectures of the Rising Sun from 1872, taking root in the national school system and creating what, today, turns out to be the most popular sport in the whole nation.

This pleasant sporting obsession takes shape in the pictures of Sam Benard. An obsession that, portrait after portrait, wears orange: the color of the uniforms of a youth team from the city of Osaka. Here, in Japan’s third metropolitan area, a dusty field is peered by rationalist architecture. Here, in the traditional commercial capital of the country, the whirling and organized daily confusion finds an oasis of peace between bases and home runs.



Sam Bénard

IG @sambenard

April 29, 2021