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Why do Japanese pro baseball team uniforms have the players' names in Romaji instead of kanji?

9 Comments

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They didn't originally. https://www.tofugu.com/japan/japanese-baseball-history/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is next on Kono Taro’s hit list. All romaji on baseball uniforms to be changed to Kanji!

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So the majors can read it.

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I don’t know. Perhaps you should be asking those who made the decision?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Easier for the MLB scouts to read, helping them poach the best players from NPB? If the decline in international posting bonus money continues, maybe Kanji names on uniforms will become a statement of independence.

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Smartacus, I don't think I've ever seen any player names on the backs of uniforms at the high school level, in either kanji or Roman. Sometimes you'll see players hand-writing their names in kanji, instead of numbers, on their all-white practice uniforms, but not on game uniforms.

Even at the professional level, I'm a fan of uniforms with only numbers on the backs and not names. From the cheap seats -- and there are fewer and fewer of those these days -- names are impossible to read in any alphabet. Give us a nice big clean number that anybody can read; the scoreboards have the players' names and on TV we have graphics for that.

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High school baseball teams used to use kanji on their uniforms, but in recent years, they have switched to romaji for the players' names.

And some high school baseball teams that have a smaller budget don’t even have names on the back, because they reuse the uniforms. Just a big handmade signboard with the player name and number.

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Probably because some kanji names are difficult to read while others have more than one way to read them. High school baseball teams used to use kanji on their uniforms, but in recent years, they have switched to romaji for the players' names.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Because it’s easier to read from a distance, or on a smaller TV.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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