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Chiayi City Mayor Huang Ming-Hui Visits Japan for Sports and Cultural Exchange

Chiayi City Mayor, Ms. Huang Ming-Hui, led a delegation of ten people to Japan for a sports culture exchange in June, 2014. The main purpose of their visit was to present two bronze statues of Kano Wu Ming-Jie, a baseball legend, one to Koshien History Museum and the other to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, as gifts for their collections. The Mayor hoped that Japan and Taiwan could strengthen their relationship by making more connections through the baseball, arts and culture.

The statues are miniature replicas of a commemorative statue in Chiayi city. The original statue was shaped by Mr. Pu Hao-Ming. He carefully observed every detail of the movement of the pitcher, and the statue captures the vivid spirit of Wu Ming-Jie, and the enthusiasm of Taiwan for baseball as well.

During a ceremony at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on June 19, Ms. Huang thanked Mr. Katsuhiko Kumazaki, the Director and Commissioner of Nippon Professional Baseball and Mr. Hirose for the warm welcome the visitors from Taiwan received. She had brought the statue of Kano the pitcher to this museum, the only place in Japan that has a Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, 83 years after Kano had played there. Ms. Huang commented that it is a very great honor to have a baseball player from Taiwan, included among the famous players honored there.

Kano is a baseball legend. In 1931, Wu Ming-Jie (also called ‘Chiayi Kano’) helped bring the baseball team of the southwestern city's former Kagi Norin Junior High School to be playing in the finals of the prestigious Koshien tournament in Japan. He was the pitcher. The played with all their heart until the last minute even though they knew that they wouldn’t be able to win the match, and they came second overall. But the team’s cooperation and his spirit touched the hearts of the audience and they chanted his name “The world of Kano!”.

More than 40 people attended the simple but moving ceremony. Among them were Wu’s family members, more than 10 old boys from the Waseda University Baseball Club where he had also played, Dr. Hsu, deputy representative at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan and Dr. Lin, deputy director of the Education Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, and by people passionately interested in baseball.