The Last University Game

Keio University baseball player hits the ball during last Toyko University Six League game. In 1942 the government disbanded the Tokyo Six League because it was deemed a Western influence. In September 1943 all college exemptions for military service were canceled. The Waseda University-Keio University game, a long tradition, was permitted to be played on October 16, 1943. It was the last baseball game for most of the team members before they were drafted as sent to the front. Over 6,000 people came to watch the game, which Waseda won 10-1. The unofficial game was held at Totsuka Stadium. After the game, the spectators sang military songs and both of the schools' anthems in sadness at the departure of both the players and many of the fans. Four Waseda players were killed in combat, including one who died as a kamikaze over Okinawa. The story of the game was made in to a film, Eireitachi-no-Oenka ("The Last Game") in 1979. 7,000 Waseda and Keio University students were killed in combat during World War II.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Saturday, October 16, 1943
Tokyo Prefecture