Tetsuharu Kawakami

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Tetsuharu Kawakami
Kawakami Tetsuharu.jpg
Tetsuharu Kawakami
First basemen
Born: (1920-03-23)March 23, 1920
Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto, Japan
Died: October 28, 2013(2013-10-28) (aged 93)
Inagi, Tokyo, Japan
Batted: Left Threw: Left
Professional debut
Japanese Baseball League (JBL): Spring, 1938 for the Tokyo Kyojin
Last professional appearance
1958 for the Yomiuri Giants
JBL/Nippon Professional Baseball statistics
Batting average .313
Hits 2,351
Home runs 181
Runs batted in 1,319

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards
  • 3x league MVP
  • 5x batting champion
  • 2x home run crown
  • 3x RBI champ
  • (as manager): 9 consecutive Japan Series championships
Member of the Japanese
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Inducted 1965

Tetsuharu Kawakami (川上 哲治 Kawakami Tetsuharu?, March 23, 1920 – October 28, 2013) was a Japanese baseball player and manager, nicknamed 打撃の神様 (dageki no kamisama, "the God of Batting/Hitting"?).

Born in Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto, he played for the Yomiuri Giants between 1938 and 1958. In 1951, he struck out 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 manager of the Giants from 1961–1974, he was known for his ruthless, tough-love style, but he led the Yomiuri Giants to nine consecutive championships.[2][3]


Tetsuharu Kawakami appeared in three films:[4]

In addition, Kawakami is referred to by name in the baseball game scene from film director Akira Kurosawa's Stray Dog (1949); a.k.a. 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