In Transpacific Field of Dreams, Sayuri Guthrie-Shimizu, 20th Century Research Award Recipient (2001-2002), explores the role that baseball has played in U.S.-Japan relations. In Chapter 7, entitled “Field of Dreams,” she focuses on the return of baseball to Occupied Japan. She states, “On November 23, 1945, at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, the Japanese enjoyed a much-awaited opportunity to satisfy their long pent-up craving for baseball, the game that had until a little over two months before been reviled by their militarist government as an ‘enemy sport’ incongruent with the nation’s ‘true spirit.'” (p.199)
The popularity of baseball during the Occupation is apparent in the Prange Collection, with over 20 magazines with yakyu in the title, including the two below. Circulation for some titles rose as high as 100,000 — a phenomenal number, considering the paper shortage during this period.