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Agony and ecstasy: Why Japan is obsessed with high school baseball

The annual Koshien Stadium competition is the closest thing to a national festival

ROBERT WHITING, Contributing writer | Japan

TOKYO -- The biggest sporting event of the year in Japan is a high school baseball tournament held each August at the Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, near Kobe, on the north shore of Osaka Bay. Watched by crowds of up to 50,000 per game over two weeks, with live nationwide telecasts reaching millions more, the National High School Baseball Championship has been likened to America's World Series baseball. It is also the closest thing Japan has to a national festival.

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