香山リカのココロの万華鏡:見る人の心奪う「野球」 /東京

November 10, 2013(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The power of baseball
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:見る人の心奪う「野球」 /東京

This year's professional baseball Nippon Series really generated a buzz. The Yomiuri Giants and Rakuten Golden Eagles came to the plate with very different histories. Some people were moved to give the Golden Eagles their fervent support simply because they were a team from the disaster-hit northeast.

Baseball fans were excited elsewhere as well. In American Major League Baseball the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, with Japanese pitchers Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa greatly contributing to the victory and grabbing the attention of fans in Japan, as well as those in the United States.

This talk about baseball reminds me of the 1976 Academy Award winner "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Set in a 1960s American mental institution, a man pretending to be a psychiatric patient is admitted there and rebels against the administration. During a "discussion therapy" session that is anything but, he suddenly requests that the institution staff change the building's schedule so the patients can watch the World Series.

Although the other patients at first say they want to watch baseball, when a vote is held only two others agree with the man.

Afterwards, the man convinces the other patients that it's OK for them to express their opinions, and in a second vote on the baseball issue all the participating patients vote in favor of the man's proposal.

However, the medical staff turn down the idea on the grounds that not all the patients participated in the vote, and in the end they refuse to allow them to watch the games.

The movie was a heavy critique of mental institutions of the time that ignored patients' rights, and there are many things that can be learned from it. When I first watched it as a university student, I was moved by the power of baseball to motivate people to act, even when they were resigned to other things.

When I became a psychiatrist myself and began working in a hospital ward, I started experiencing that power again and again.

Back then, many baseball games, Giants games in particular, were broadcast on television. When the clock went past 6 p.m., patients would gather around the television to watch games.

There were many times when I was surprised by a patient who, though normally reticent, would give swift responses when asked about their favorite baseball team or baseball player.
他の話題には乗ってこないような人に「好きな球団は? ひいきの選手は?」と問いかけると即座に答えが返ってきて、驚くこともしばしばだった。

Afterwards, soccer replaced baseball as the more popular sport, and baseball games became a less common sight on TV.

However, the roles of the different players in baseball are more clearly defined than in soccer, and the rule of changing batting and fielding roles every three outs, along with other aspects of the sport, give it ups and downs that continue to entertain audiences.

I no longer work in the hospital where I watched the baseball games with the patients, but I think nostalgically about whether those patients watched and enjoyed the Nippon Series this year.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2013年11月05日 地方版

by kiyoshimat | 2013-11-12 06:47 | 英字新聞

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