Daily Archives: September 15, 2009

Ichiro Breaks 108-year-old Record

Ichiro Gets Hit No.200

Baseball superstar Suzuki Ichiro (36) set another milestone yesterday as he became the first Major League player ever to record 200 or more hits in nine consecutive seasons. In the second inning of the second game in a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, the Seattle Mariners leadoff man hit one of his trademark infield singles to reach the 200 landmark. And this in a season where injury and a stomach ulcer forced him to sit out 16 games, as many as he missed in the last eight years combined. The hit allowed Ichiro to pass the record held by Wee Willie Keeler for more than a century. At home, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper published a special edition headlined, “Ichiro breaks Major League record.” Baseball legend Oh Sadaharu was quoted as saying, “Sometimes we forget how difficult it is to accomplish these things amid a baseball schedule which is much tougher in the U.S. than in Japan. It’s hard to find the words to describe what he has accomplished.”

• But expect the Japanese media frenzy to be distracted elsewhere today if actress/singer Sakai Noriko (38) is released on ¥5-million bail in her ongoing drug possession case. Her bail was approved yesterday, while it was refused for her husband, Takao Yuichi (41). A legal expert said this was most likely to ensure that the couple cannot “compare notes” on their upcoming trials. Takaso is scheduled to appear at the Tokyo District Court on October 21, and Sakai five days later.

J-Rock in Pearl Harbor

Vamps play the USS Missouri

Talk about an interesting choice of venue. J-rock supergroup Vamps finished off their world concert tour with a show on a ship – not just any ship but the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The battleship was where the official surrender agreement was signed between Japan and the Allies in Tokyo Bay in September 1945. It was decommissioned in the 1990s and is now a museum. Yesterday’s concert was the first major music event to be held on board. Interestingly, the event doesn’t seem to have drawn any attention from the mainstream U.S. media.

Flanked by the ship’s 16-inch guns and with the stars and stripes flying behind them, the band performed 20 songs, including the upcoming release “Sweet Dreams.” About 600 fans paid $150 each to see the unique show. Vamps was formed in 2008 around L’Arc en Ciel frontman Hyde and Oblivion Dust guitarist K.A.Z. The lineup also includes bassist Ju-ken, who has performed with Gackt and X Japan’s Yoshiki. They have released one album and three singles. The tour took in 60 shows in Japan and the U.S. and finishing off in Hawaii, which is in more than one way the meeting point between the two countries, was heavily symbolic. Hyde said, “I think it’s great that an instrument of war can be used to send out a message of peace like this.”