I had the intention to record the soundscape of the hubbub caused by supporters in the baseball stadium. But unfortunately, the tickets were all sold out. That afternoon of Mei 14th 2019, a match between Hiroshima Carp and Tokyo Yakult in Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium, Hiroshima was held. When I asked for information regarding the tickets, my innkeeper during my stay in Hiroshima told me that the tickets for Hiroshima Carp in Mazda Stadium was all sold, even until 2 upcoming season (what a crazy enthusiasm!). He told me that even himself, a baseball enthusiast, can only watch the game through television. Hiroshima citizens is known as a fanatic toward the baseball club they admire. You can easily find Hiroshima Carp attributes at souvenir stores in this city.
Even after I was told that the ticket sold out, I still went to the stadium. I was highly interested in the riots during the match. I thought perhaps there is still a ticket left, or there is someone who decided not to watch and sell their ticket outside the stadium, or maybe a scalper (is there any in Japan? Hahaha). At certain points in life, don’t we believe in pseudo-hopes like this? There is no loss in trying. And yet it turns out that what my innkeeper said is right. When I reached the stadium and asked around to the ticket booth, I got nothing. Instead, he asked whether I would like to reserve a ticket for the upcoming season or not.
There’s that. No tickets, therefore I could not enter the stadium. I can only watch the Hiroshima Carp supporters with their prideful attributes, red or white costumes walking into stadium in a pack. I stood outside, around tens of meters from the stadium entrance. At one side, I thought that the soundscape research in Japan would be incomplete without the hullabaloo of supporters during baseball match. I regretted going back to Indonesia without any soundscape of a baseball match.
Yes, baseball is one of the most popular and has a high interest rate in Japan. The history is long, it was started even during Meiji Emperor. Baseball was first introduced to Japan as a sport at schools in 1872 by Horace Wilson, an American English professor who taught in Kaisei Academy in Tokyo. The first adult baseball club organized is called Shimbashi Athletic Club created in 1878. From there, baseball slowly become a highly demanded sport by the Japanese and almost every city has their own baseball clubs from there. The national baseball league is one of the prestigious championship.
Thus even though I did not get my hands on any ticker and did not made it inside the stadium arena, I still recorded the supporter’s riot from outside the stadium. Luckily, the architecture implanted on this stadium is the open ceiling, therefore the chants and applauses could still be head even though of course, not as loud and clear as if I was inside. Other than that, the announcements from the guard who stood near the ticket check can also be heard. The guard gave announcement through a megaphone in a quite loud volume. Without further ado, enjoy this unideal record taken from outside Mazda Zoom-Zoom stadium during the match between Hiroshima Carp versus Tokyo Yakult. I hope the energy of the supporters can still be felt.
Oh, one interesting thing, usually the supporters has their own chant or song that is a part of the ritual of cheering for their favorite team. My best friend and mentor, Mr. Makoto Nomura and Mr. Shin Sakuma was told me a story about the chant of Hanshin Tiger’s supporters, Osaka’s beloved football club with headquarter in Nishinomiya, Hyogo prefecture. They told me that watching the supporters (who watches the game) sometimes is like watching a symphony performance. There are certain chants or songs sung during certain periods of time. There is dramaturgy in baseball stadium.