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Cenotaph




Two monuments stand quietly on the left of the street leading to Korakuen Subway Staion. It is just outside of Tokyo Dome, which is visited by eight million people every year, and it is also just across the street from LaQua, a new recreation center featuring hot baths in the midst of Tokyo. But there might be only a few passers-by who stop their steps and read the names inscribed on the big stone.

This is the monument dedicated to the memory of those baseball players who were mobilized to the front during the Second World War and unfortunately never returned.It was erected in April 1981 a little down the street and just by the former building of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and relocated to the present site in March 1988 when the Museum moved to the present site within Tokyo Dome.

Ryuji Suzuki, then the president of the Central League and back in 1936 the representative of Dai-Tokyo, one of the first eight teams of the one-league pro baseball, had long owned himself (and the prosperity of pro baseball after the war) indebted greatly to those who were killed in the last war. It was his earnest wish to set up a monument to repose their souls. The project was endorsed by Takezo Shimoda, the then Commissioner, and other baseball people concerned.

On and around every August 15, memorial day of the end of WW II, bouquets are seen put up in front of the monument.



Memorial Address

 
Memorial Address by Tokichi Ishimaru, elder brother of Shin-ichi Ishimaru

Shin-ichi Ishimaru pitched for the Nagoyas. In 1943, he won 20 games and was selected into the Kanto vs the Kansai game. Enlisted in Sasebo Marine Corps on December 1, 1943. In 1944, pilot officer, belonging to Kamikaze corps at Kanoya Air Base.

At noon on May 11, 1945, he got an order to sally out to attack the battleships off the coast of Kyushu. The former pitcher played catch with his comrade. After throwing 10 strikes he left his glove, ball and a towel headband with gfighth painted on. Then he flew off, never to return.

gI was happy I had played baseball. I have nothing to regret, even though I am going to die as young as at 24. h said his will left behind.

I firmly believe that while playing catch, he was conscious neither of life nor death.



Prospectus

 
The Five Promoters of the Project
Tsuneo Ikeda, president of Baseball Magazine, Co.
Tokichi Ishimaru, president of Shinwa Kotsu
Takezo Shimoda, Commissioenr
Hisaji Kadoya, member of Niigata Prefecture Assembly
Matoko Hosaka, president of Korakuen Stadium
Dedication
April 1981

May it be known that we five deemed it proper to erect this monument to repose the souls of those professional baseball players who, although dreaming forward to the future of professional baseball, died a glorious death in action during World War II.

Ryuji Suzuki

Representing the five promoters



Baseball Players of Blessed Memory

>>Baseball Players of Blessed Memory

 

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