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Why do all Japanese baseball players shave their heads?

For the longest time, I’ve wondered why, with what seems to be a 100% compliance rate, Japanese baseball players all have a shaved head (well, at least the young ones). So I did a bit of research and found this article (in Japanese). It turns out it’s a remnant from the war, that just didn’t stop once the war was over.

During the war, with all metal and other resources needed to be used for the war effort, baseball started to get a bad wrap. Until a professor at Waseda University by the name of Tobita Suishu managed to convince the right people that baseball was good for the war effort.

By practicing baseball, such as hitting the bat 1000 times, or doing running drills, and in the case of Japan, having a shaved head, students could learn discipline and perseverance, traits that would serve them well in the war.

Once the war ended, these traditions continued, even though Tobita really only wanted to keep the game alive. And it’s a tradition that, rightly or wrongly (very stupidly in my opinion) continues to this day.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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