Japan Samurai U15 National Team Finishes 2nd in 11th BFA U15 Asian Championship

11th BFA U15 Asian Championship Ends with Japan in 2nd Place

The 11th BFA U15 Asian Championship, held in Weihai, China, concluded on August 26th after a week of intense competition. Unfortunately, the Japan Samurai U15 National Team fell short in the final match against Chinese Taipei, leaving them in 2nd place and unable to secure their third consecutive title.

The team experienced a significant turning point during their match against China. The game was initially postponed due to rain, and the atmosphere among the players was somewhat lackluster in their previous matches against Hong Kong and Pakistan. However, everything changed when they faced off against China. The Chinese team fought fiercely with their impressive physical abilities, pushing the Samurai Japan Under-15 National Team to their limits. Despite their best efforts to score in the Super Round, the Japanese team couldn’t achieve the desired results.

During the game against China, the players began to rally, raising their voices and supporting each other on both offense and defense. This newfound unity as a team created a positive atmosphere that motivated everyone to play at their best. Ultimately, the Chinese team narrowly lost to South Korea in the 3rd place playoff, leaving several players in tears.

The Samurai Japan U-15 showcased exceptional pitching skills throughout the tournament. Pitchers like Seima Ikeda and Rumi Hagino delivered outstanding performances, with Ikeda achieving the best ERA of 0 earned runs. Despite facing challenges in ball control, Oshiro Oshiro also contributed greatly to the team’s success.

On the field, the players struggled with the low durability bats used in the tournament. However, manager Kazuyuki Imayama’s instructions to focus on hitting low liners instead of aiming for big hits proved effective. Aomi Fujita and Yuji Matsumoto made significant contributions in offense and defense, while Ougi Yamato demonstrated great play in the outfield. Additionally, Wataru Komine impressed with a bases loaded home run and became the stolen base king with his aggressive attitude.

Coach Shodai Ito played a crucial role in inspiring and guiding the team. As the pitching coach, he not only provided technical advice but also offered vocal support during games. The players greatly appreciated his care and guidance both on and off the field. Rintaro Koizumi, despite his inability to play due to his condition, remained a pillar of support and encouragement for the team.

As the tournament progressed, the U-15 Samurai Japan National Team evolved into a cohesive unit with growing strength. The coaching staff emphasized the players’ role as representatives of Japan, and even in their frustration after the final loss, they graciously praised the victorious Chinese Taipei team. This display of sportsmanship was commended by the tournament referee, Mr. Katsuhito Koyama.

Looking ahead, these young players will undoubtedly continue to excel in the future. Director Imayama expressed his regret for not securing the gold medal but conveyed his unwavering support and confidence in the team’s future endeavors.

The 11th BFA U15 Asian Championship showcased the immense talent and determination of these young samurai warriors. As they move forward with their experiences and frustrations, we eagerly anticipate their continued growth and success.

Tournament Details:
– Opening Round:
– Sunday, August 20: Hong Kong 1-21 Japan
– August 21 (Mon): Japan vs. China (cancelled due to rain)
– Tuesday, August 22: Japan 15-0 Pakistan
– Wednesday, August 23: Japan 3-0 China

– Super Round:
– Thursday, August 24: Chinese Taipei 5-6 Japan
– Friday, August 25: Japan 5-1 Korea

– Final:
– Saturday, August 26: Japan 4-6 Chinese Taipei

Location: Weihai City, China.


August 30, 2023

On August 26th, the 11th BFA U15 Asian Championship held in Weihai, Shandong Province, China, ended after seven days. The Japan Samurai U15 National Team lost to Chinese Taipei in the final match and finished the tournament in 2nd place, failing to win their third consecutive title.

The game against China changed the team

The second match of the opening round, China PR, was postponed due to rain, and the first match was against Hong Kong, and the second match was against Pakistan. The two opponents have different abilities, so at the beginning there was an atmosphere like “It’s natural to hit” and “It’s natural to hold down”, and even if you actually hit a timely hit or strike out, the bench response is a little weak.
However, the team had a major turnaround in the postponed third round against China. The players showed a relaxed expression even before the game, as the under-15 generation had won cold victories against them in the past, but when the game started, the Chinese team fought desperately with their high physical ability. Although the Samurai Japan Under-15 National Team tried different things for the Super Round, they did not manage to score as expected.
In the middle of this game, the players raised their voices even more, and when they played well on hits and defense, everyone on the bench started praising them, creating a sense of unity as a team.
In the end, the Chinese team had a close match with South Korea in the 3rd place playoff, but they narrowly lost 1-2. After the match, several players were in tears. Noda.

Catchers who achieved high pitching power and directions

Samurai Japan U-15 showed strong pitching skills throughout the tournament, just like in the past. Seima Ikeda (Kumamoto Chuo Boys), who started in both games against China and South Korea and achieved the best ERA with 0 earned runs, Rumi Hagino (young Okayama Yankees), who showed good relief, Super Round In the game against Chinese Taipei in 2010, the pitchers played well in this tournament, such as Oshiro Oshiro (Urasoe Boys), who managed to win the game due to poor ball control, but was avenged in the last game.
Shigekazu Higashihama (Okinawa Prefecture Ginowan Ponies), who was expected to be an ace, could not play as expected and shed tears of frustration after the Super Round game against Chinese Taipei. He is a pitcher who will carry this generation on his back. there is an opportunity to pitch, I would like him to offer next time.”

Fielders in this tournament have been struggling to deal with the low durability bats noted in the tournament since the last training camp, but manager Kazuyuki Imayama said, “Instead of aiming for big hits, hit balls with low liners in careful.” I gave instructions, and the players responded to it and produced results.
Aomi Fujita (Seki Medi Baseball Gakuin Pony) created opportunities with tenacious two-out hits in both games in the Super Round, leading to follow-up goals and contributing greatly to the victory. Fujita scored the most points and reached the Top Nine (3rd baseman), played an active role in offense and defense with Yuji Matsumoto (Tohoku Rakuten Little Senior), who was active in both offense and defense, such as high defense and come- o- behind hits in the Super Round, and showed great play in defense as well. Ougi Yamato (Tohoku Rakuten Little Senior) won Best Nine (outfielder). Wataru Komine (Saga Field Nine), who hit the bases loaded home run in the game against Korea and decided to steal 5 bases, the most in the tournament, became the stolen base king with an aggressive attitude.
In addition, Joichiro Sone (Konko Boys), who entered the finals from defense and hit two timely shots, Ikeda, who showed a high level of play in offense and defense, and Shugo Murakumo, who saved the team with’ to strong and good shoulders (Kyoto Sagano Boys) and other players who showed great performance in international tournaments managed to get a good result from 2nd place.

Coaches and Players Who Inspired Their Teams

Among them, the presence of coach Shodai Ito was the biggest. As a pitching coach, he not only gives proactive advice on how to use the body, but also encourages the team by raising his voice during the game even if the points difference is wide. In terms of everyday life, he looked after the players and gave guidance if there were areas where they were not balanced, and improved the strength of the team as a national team player.
In addition, I actually visited the stadium and checked the video over and over again, analyzing the opposing team as much as time allowed. The characteristics of hitters, measurement times, effective offensive methods, etc. were shared with the whole team to make thorough preparations, and the players responded with excellent results.
Rintaro Koizumi (Osaka Fukushima Little Senior) has become a big presence along with Coach Ito. Although he didn’t get a chance to play in this tournament due to his condition, he always cheered the team up with a smile and a loud voice without looking down. And Koizumi, who continued to raise his voice until the end, lost his voice after the final match.

In this way, the U-15 Samurai Japan National Team improved their cohesion and team strength as the games progressed. During the period, the staff, including the manager, told the players of the Japanese national team to act as players fit for them, but after losing the final, they naturally praised the winning team of Chinese Taipei in frustration. This action was praised by Mr. Katsuhito Koyama, the referee of the tournament, and the players have grown to be “Good Gooders” who not only forget strength but also respect the opposing team.
Players who will step up to the next generation in the future. When the team finished, Director Imayama said through tears, “I’m sorry we couldn’t let you win the gold medal. I want to watch over everyone’s hard work from afar. I want them to go to the next step with confidence.” talk to We look forward to seeing the young samurai warriors make further progress in the future, based on their frustration and experience.

11th BFA Asian U15 Championship

Meeting players summary

Tournament period

Between August 20 and August 26, 2023

opening round

Sunday, August 20 15:00 Hong Kong 1-21 Japan
August 21 (Mon) 19:00 Japan (cancelled due to rain) China
Tuesday, August 22 15:00 Japan 15-0 Pakistan
Wednesday, August 23 19:00 Japan 3-0 China
* Start time is Japan time (China: time difference -1 hour)

super round

Thursday, August 24 15:00 Chinese Taipei 5-6 Japan
Friday, August 25 15:00 Japan 5-1 Korea
* Start time is Japan time (China: time difference -1 hour)


Saturday, August 26 19:00 Japan 4-6 Chinese Taipei
* Start time is Japan time (China: time difference -1 hour)


China (Weihai City)

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