By NORIYASU NUKUI/ Staff Writer
March 9, 2023 at 18:43 JST
Five players from Samurai Japan are all decked out and armed for battle ahead of the World Baseball Classic, complete with armor and swords along with their bats and gloves.
The figurines on display at a doll shop in Tokyo's Taito Ward are modeled on star players from the Japanese national team including Shohei Ohtani, Yu Darvish, Munetaka Murakami, Lars Nootbaar and Roki Sasaki.
These are the creations of Kyugetsu Co., a Tokyo-based doll manufacturer with nearly two centuries of history.
“We made these dolls with the wish to brighten up the world. Come and see their smiling faces,” Kyugetsu President Hisatoshi Yokoyama said on March 9.
It is particularly fitting to adorn Ohtani in a samurai costume, because in Japan his two-way playing style is referred to as “nitoryu,” which translates as two-sword style.
And sure enough, the doll is armed with two katana swords, on both sides of the hip.
The company annually decorates its outlet with dolls modeled on athletes and celebrities likely to make the most headlines during the year.
This year, the seasonal decoration started a few weeks earlier to celebrate the global baseball tournament.
The figurines are designed in the style of "gogatsu ningyo," warrior dolls displayed at homes to celebrate the traditional Boys Festival day on May 5, when families wish for the health and happiness of their sons.
They will be on display at Kyugetsu's Asakusabashi Main Branch in the ward's Yanagibashi area until March 13.
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