Meiji Jingu Base-Ball Ground, c. 1930.



1930sAmusements & RecreationsSports & Athletics
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Meiji Jingu Base-Ball Ground, c. 1930

See also:
Meiji Shrine Outer Garden & Memorial Picture Gallery, c. 1925
1964 Summer Olympics Venues, Tokyo

“[Babe Ruth] dragged a bulging sack of baseballs from the dugout, and the Americans took their practice swings. Meiji Jingu Stadium was larger than most American ballparks … the outfield walls stood about 330 feet away down the lines and 390 in center. Few Japanese could reach the outfield stands, but the All American sluggers sent ball after ball arcing into the packed bleachers. Fans rushed to grab each souvenir.

“Nearly all of the sixty thousand seemed to focus on Ruth … One old man brought a pair of high-powered binoculars, amusing himself and neighboring fans by focusing on the Bambino’s famous broad nose, making his nostrils fill the lens. The Babe relished the attention and transformed into a comedian.”

Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination During the 1934 Tour of Japan, Robert K. Fitts, 2012

Map: Meiji Outer Garden (from Japan: The Official Guide, 1941)

Map: Meiji Shrine Outer Garden (from Japan: The Official Guide, 1941)

Meiji Jingu baseball stadium was built in 1926. It was used as the main venue for the 1930 Far Eastern Games, and was also intended to be used for the 1940 Summer Olympics (cancelled due to the Pacific War). The stadium is still in use today, as the home field for the Yakult Swallows baseball club.

Meiji Jingu Gaien is the outer precinct of Meiji Shrine separated from the inner precinct grounds by the Harauku and Aoyama residential districts. The grounds of Meiji Gaien include the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery (housing a collection of 80 large murals illustrative of the events in the lives of the Emperor Meiji and his consort), and a variety of sports facilities including the Meiji Jingu baseball stadium (1926), National Stadium (since 1956), and Tokyo Rugby Stadium (1947); and the Meiji Memorial Hall [Kempo Kinen-kan], which was originally used for governmental meetings including discussions surrounding the drafting of the Meiji Constitution in the late 19th century. Today it is used for Shinto weddings.

Aerial view of the Meiji Outer Garden athletic fields and Meiji Gallery, c. 1940.

Meiji Jingu Gaien Stadium (foreground), Meiji Field (upper left), the Wrestling Ring (between the stadium and field), and the Meiji Gallery (upper right) at Meiji Shrine Outer Garden, Tokyo, c. 1940. Meiji Field would be demolished after the war and replaced by the larger National Olympic Stadium for the 1964 Summer Olympiad.

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  1. Pingback: Meiji Shrine Outer Garden & Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery under construction, c. 1925. | Old Tokyo

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