Nihondai San High School, the team representing the Tokyo West region, has just won the summer baseball tournament, beating Kosei High School, the team representing Aomori Prefecture. The final score was 11 - 0.
It was 40 years since a team from Aomori Prefecture (population rank among prefectures = #31) last managed to make it all the way to the final. It shows that my contention -- that the smaller prefectures scarcely have a chance in the national contest, due to the lower level of competition in their intra-prefectural contests -- has its exceptions.
But was this team really from Aomori? That is a good question. It turns out that Kosei High School is a magnet school, recruiting students from all over the country.
So how many of the Kosei High School starting nine were actually from Aomori?
Not a single one.
Eight of the starting nine were from Osaka -- Japan's second city. The remaining player, the team captain, hails from Okinawa, the prefecture with the highest birth rate in the country.
So the principle of numbers breeding competition breeding success is not violated.
Bad news for the small population prefectures.