Tetsuharu Kawakami

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Tetsuharu Kawakami

Tetsuharu Kawakami (川上 哲治 Kawakami Tetsuharu?, March 23, 1920 – October 28, 2013) was a Japanese baseball player and manager.

Born in Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto, he played for the Yomiuri Giants between 1938 tand 1958, being nicknamed 打撃の神様 (dageki no kamisama, "the God of Batting/Hitting"?). In 1951, he whiffed only 6 times, which is the Japanese single-season tie record. He was a professional player for 18 years, winning the batting title five times, two home run crowns, three RBI titles, and had six titles for the most hits in a season. He was the first player in Japanese pro baseball to achieve 2,000 hits and was named the league's MVP three times.[1] As a manager, he was known for his ruthless, tough-love style, but he led the Yomiuri Giants to nine consecutive championships.[2][3]


Tetsuharu Kawakami played in 3 films:[4]

  • 人生選手 (1949)
  • (川上哲治物語 背番号16 Kawakami Tetsuharu monogatari sebangō 16) (1957) as himself
  • BIG−1物語 王貞治 (1977)
  • Kawakami is referred to by name in the baseball game scene from film director Akira Kurosawa's "Stray Dog" (1949); aka "Nora Inu"


  1. ^ "Ex-Giants skipper Kawakami, 'God of Batting,' dies at 93". Kyodo News. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ Whiting, Robert, "Kawakami was Japanese baseball’s first Zen master", Japan Times, 27 November 2013, p. 14, retrieved 27 November 2013.
  3. ^ Whiting, Robert, "Kawakami’s philosophy as manager never wavered", Japan Times, 28 November 2013, p. 16, retrieved 28 November 2013
  4. ^ http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/person/p0233360.htm accessed 27 January 2009

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Shigeru Mizuhara
Yomiuri Giants manager
Succeeded by
Shigeo Nagashima