Japan Erupts in Joy over Ohtani's American League MVP Award


Tokyo, Nov. 19 (Jiji Press)--Areas of Japan with ties to Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels erupted in joy on Friday over his selection for the American League's 2021 MVP award by a unanimous vote.

Many people in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Iwate, where he was born and grew up, and in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, where he kicked off his professional baseball career with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters before moving to the United States, voiced their jubilation over the award.

Masaki Tanaka, 50, who, like Ohtani, was part of the baseball club of Hanamaki Higashi High School in the Iwate city of Hanamaki, said that he had seen Ohtani practice as a high school student.

"Over the past 10 years, Iwate's Ohtani has grown to become Japan's Ohtani and the world's Ohtani," Tanaka said.

While Tanaka currently runs an "izakaya" Japanese-style pub in Morioka, the capital of Iwate, an izakaya he owned in the Iwate town of Otsuchi on the Pacific coast was damaged during the 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami.

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