Tokyo Big6 Baseball League

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Tokyo Big6 Baseball League
Established 1925
Teams 6
National Championships 23
Meiji Jingu Tournament Championships 12
Region Kantō, Japan
Prefectures 1 – Tokyo
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Map of states with Tokyo Big Six Baseball League schools.png

Tokyo Big6 Baseball League (東京六大学野球連盟, Tōkyō roku daigaku yakyū renmei) is an intercollegiate baseball league that features six prominent universities in the Tokyo area. Before the 1936 establishment of the Japanese Baseball League and subsequent growth (after 1950) of Nippon Professional Baseball, the Big6 League was widely considered the highest level of baseball in Japan.


Hosei University[edit]

  • Established: 1915
  • All-Time Record: 1113-795-109
  • League Championships: 45
  • Last Championship: Autumn 2012

Keio University[edit]

  • Established: 1892
  • All-Time Record: 1110-797-87
  • League Championships: 34
  • Last Championship: Spring 2014

Meiji University[edit]

  • Established: 1910
  • All-Time Record: 1139-780-97
  • League Championships: 39
  • Last Championship: Autumn 2016

Rikkyo University[edit]

  • Established: 1874
  • All-Time Record: 851-1058-91
  • League Championships: 13
  • Last Championship: Spring 2017

University of Tokyo[edit]

  • Established: 1917
  • All-Time Record: 244-1520-55
  • League Championships: None
  • Last Championship: N/A

Waseda University[edit]

  • Established: 1901
  • All-Time Record: 1197-703-83
  • League Championships: 45
  • Last Championship: Autumn 2015

Current as of Spring 2017


The Tokyo Big6 Baseball League was established in 1925. It is also the origin of the Tokyo 6 Universities (東京六大学, Tōkyō roku daigaku) nickname that is given to the same six universities.


All games are played at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku in downtown Tokyo. Games are known to be rowdy and celebratory, with male cheerleaders (応援団, Ōendan), cheerleaders and bands working themselves and the crowd into a frenzy.

Schedule and rules[edit]

The six teams play short, eight-weekend seasons in the spring and autumn of each year. Each team plays a short series against each of the five other teams in the league. The series format is similar to a three-game playoff, where the first to two wins is given a series victory. Home field is alternated, and all games are played at Jingu Stadium. Should a team sweep the first two games, the third game is not played.

The champion of the league is determined by the team with the most series victories. The champion team is given the Emperor's Cup. This is unique in Japan in that the other Emperor's cups are given to national champions in other sports such as Emperor's Cup of Football. The spring champion is allowed to participate in the All Japan University Baseball Championship Series while the fall champion is allowed to compete in the Meiji Jingu Stadium Tournament.

The league uses rules that are similar to the National and Central Leagues. The designated hitter rule is not used and the pitcher is required to bat. Also, unlike American university leagues, non-wood bats are banned.


Waseda Victory parade in 2010 showing the players and a crowd of by-standers
Waseda University victory parade after their 2010 Big6 League victory

Waseda University has won the league the most times with 45 league championships. Hosei University follows with 44 championships, despite sporting the best record in the league's history. Meiji University has won 39 times and Keio University has captured 34 league titles. Rikkyo trails with 13, while the University of Tokyo has yet to win a championship.

University Number of championships
Waseda 45
Hosei 44
Meiji 39
Keio 34
Rikkyo 13
Tokyo 0

Current as of Spring 2017


Waseda vs. Keio: Sōkeisen[edit]

The series between Waseda and Keio, Sōkeisen (早慶戦[1]), attracts the most attention and is greatly enjoyed by the students, not least because it causes classes at both universities to be canceled.[2] The game is still broadcast on NHK and it is the only series played during the last week of the season.[3]

The Sōkeisen actually predates the establishment of the Tokyo Big6 League by over 20 years, beginning in 1903. The games often caused much tension between the two student bodies, often spilling out of the stadium and leading to the cancellation of games.

The addition of Meiji (1914), Hosei (1917) and Rikkyo[4] (1921) would do little to remedy the rivalry. This state would continue until the addition of Tokyo Imperial University and the official establishment of the Tokyo Big6 Baseball League.

The name is a combination of the two university's names first kanji characters and the character for battle or match, sen (). , is the alternate reading of Wa () in Waseda (早稲田) (also from the short name, Sōdai (早大)), while Kei () is the first character of Keio (慶応).

Notable alumni[edit]

Hosei alumni[edit]

Keio alumni[edit]

Meiji alumni[edit]

Rikkyo alumni[edit]

Tokyo alumni[edit]

Waseda alumni[edit]


  1. ^ It is often reversed, 慶早戦, Keisōsen, by the student body at Keio University.
  2. ^ A victory no longer guarantees the cancellation of classes at Waseda University.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Though the university officially uses the name Rikkyo University, Rikkyo remains on the team's jerseys. This article uses Rikkyo accordingly.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y 東京六大学野球の面白さ
  6. ^ The Yakult Swallows Home Plate

External links[edit]