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Japan Series

Not to be confused with the Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series

The Japan Championship Series (日本選手権シリーズ Nippon Senshuken Shiriizu?), or Japan Series (日本シリーズ Nippon Shiriizu?) is the annual championship series in Nippon Professional Baseball and the top baseball league in Japan. It is a seven-game series between the winning clubs of the league's two circuits, the Central League and the Pacific League.

The Series is the highest level of play in professional baseball in Japan. It is usually played in October or November. As in all of the best-of-seven series, the first team to win four games is the overall winner and is declared the Japan Series Champion (日本一 Nippon Ichi?, number one in Japan) each year. The winner of the Japan Series also goes on to be the Japanese representative team in the annual Asia Series.

The home team for games 1, 2 and eventually 6 and 7, alternates between the two leagues with the Pacific League having the advantage on the years ending with an odd number and the Central League on the years ending with an even number. Designated Hitters are used if the team from the Pacific League hosts the game.

There is a 40-man postseason roster limit, and the rule on drawn games is changed to 15 innings instead of 12. If the series is tied after the seventh game, a Game 8 will be held without any limits in extra innings with the same team hosting Games 6 and 7 hosting this game. Only once a Game 8 has been played in Japan Series history, where the Seibu Lions defeated the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in 1986.

Historically, the Central League has been more successful in the Japan Series than the Pacific League, having won thirty-five times versus the Pacific League's thirty. The team with the most championships is the Yomiuri Giants, who have won the Japan Series twenty-two times. In 2004, the Pacific League instituted a three-team stepladder playoff format to determine the league champion, while the Central League champion had a long wait before the Japan Series. During this time, the Pacific League won four consecutive Series from 2003-2006. Starting with the 2007 postseason, both leagues adopted the Climax Series to determine their champions. The Climax Series involves the top three finishers in each league, though the format gives a significant advantage to the team with the best record in each league.

On November 6, 2010, the Chunichi Dragons and Chiba Lotte Marines played the longest game in Japan Series History. It lasted fifteen innings and resulted in a 2-2 draw.

List of winners

Central League Pacific League
Year Winning Team Losing Team Series MVP
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Mainichi Orions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Shochiku Robins (CL) || 4–2 || Kaoru Bettou
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nankai Hawks (PL) || 4–2 || Yukou Minamimura
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nankai Hawks (PL) || 4–2 || Takehiko Bessho
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nankai Hawks (PL) || 4–2–1 || Tetsuharu Kawakami
1954 Chunichi Dragons (CL) Nishitetsu Lions (PL) 4–3 Shigeru Sugishita
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nankai Hawks (PL) || 4–3 || Takehiko Bessho
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nishitetsu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) || 4–2 || Yasumitsu Toyoda
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nishitetsu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) || 4–0–1 || Hiroshi Oshita
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nishitetsu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) || 4–3 || Kazuhisa Inao
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nankai Hawks (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) || 4–0 || Tadashi Sugiura
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Taiyō Whales (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Daimai Orions (PL) || 4–0 || Akihito Kondo
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nankai Hawks (PL) || 4–2 || Toshio Miyamoto
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Toei Flyers (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Hanshin Tigers (CL) || 4–2–1 || Masayuki Dobashi
    Masayuki Tanemo
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nishitetsu Lions (PL) || 4–3 || Shigeo Nagashima
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nankai Hawks (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Hanshin Tigers (CL) || 4–3 || Joe Stanka
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nankai Hawks (PL) || 4–1 || Shigeo Nagashima
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nankai Hawks (PL) || 4–2 || Isao Shibata
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Hankyu Braves (PL) || 4–2 || Masaaki Mori
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Hankyu Braves (PL) || 4–2 || Shigeru Takada
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Hankyu Braves (PL) || 4–2 || Shigeo Nagashima
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Lotte Orions (PL) || 4–1 || Shigeo Nagashima
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Hankyu Braves (PL) || 4–1 || Toshimitsu Suetsugu
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Hankyu Braves (PL) || 4–1 || Tsuneo Horiuchi
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nankai Hawks (PL) || 4–1 || Tsuneo Horiuchi
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Lotte Orions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Chunichi Dragons (CL) || 4–2 || Sumio Hirota
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Hankyu Braves (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) || 4–0–1 || Takashi Yamaguchi
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Hankyu Braves (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) || 4–3 || Yutaka Fukumoto
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Hankyu Braves (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) || 4–1 || Hisashi Yamada
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yakult Swallows (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Hankyu Braves (PL) || 4–3 || Katsuo Osugi
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Kintetsu Buffaloes (PL) || 4–3 || Yoshihiko Takahashi
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Kintetsu Buffaloes (PL) || 4–3 || Jim Lyttle
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Nippon Ham Fighters (PL) || 4–2 || Takashi Nishimoto
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Chunichi Dragons (CL) || 4–3 || Osamu Higashio
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) || 4–3 || Takuji Ota
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Hankyu Braves (PL) || 4–3 || Kiyoyuki Nagashima
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Hanshin Tigers (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) || 4–2 || Randy Bass
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) || 4–3–1 || Kimiyasu Kudoh
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) || 4–2 || Kimiyasu Kudoh
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Chunichi Dragons (CL) || 4–1 || Hiromichi Ishige
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Kintetsu Buffaloes (PL) || 4–3 || Norihiro Komada
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) || 4–0 || Orestes Destrade
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) || 4–3 || Kouji Akiyama
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yakult Swallows (CL) || 4–3 || Takehiro Ishii
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yakult Swallows (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) || 4–3 || Kenjiro Kawasaki
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) || 4–2 || Hiromi Makihara
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yakult Swallows (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Orix Blue Wave (PL) || 4–1 || Tom O'Malley
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Orix BlueWave (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) || 4–1 || Troy Neel
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yakult Swallows (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) || 4–1 || Atsuya Furuta
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yokohama BayStars (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) || 4–2 || Takanori Suzuki
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Chunichi Dragons (CL) || 4–1 || Kouji Akiyama
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (PL) || 4–2 || Hideki Matsui
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yakult Swallows (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes (PL) || 4–1 || Atsuya Furuta
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Yomiuri Giants (CL) ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) || 4–0 || Tomohiro Nioka
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Hanshin Tigers (CL) || 4–3 || Toshiya Sugiuchi
  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year ||bgcolor="#7880ff"| Seibu Lions (PL) ||bgcolor="#a6d96b"| Chunichi Dragons (CL) || 4–3 || Takashi Ishii
2005 Chiba Lotte Marines (PL) Hanshin Tigers (CL) 4–0 Toshiaki Imae
2006 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (PL) Chunichi Dragons (CL) 4–1 Atsunori Inaba
2007 Chunichi Dragons (CL) Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (PL) 4–1 Norihiro Nakamura
2008 Saitama Seibu Lions (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–3 Takayuki Kishi
2009 Yomiuri Giants (CL) Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (PL) 4–2 Shinnosuke Abe
2010 Chiba Lotte Marines (PL) Chunichi Dragons (CL) 4–2–1 Toshiaki Imae
2011 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (PL) Chunichi Dragons (CL) 4–3 Hiroki Kokubo
2012 Yomiuri Giants (CL) Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (PL) 4–2 Tetsuya Utsumi
2013 Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–3 Manabu Mima
2014 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (PL) Hanshin Tigers (CL) 4–1 Seiichi Uchikawa

NOTE: There is a limit to the number of innings which may be played during any game in Japanese professional baseball. All ties after 15 innings (was originally 12 innings) are official tie games.

Teams by number of wins

Team Wins Losses
Yomiuri Giants 22 12
Saitama Seibu Lions1 13 8
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks2 6 9
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 5 1
Orix Buffaloes3 4 8
Chiba Lotte Marines4 4 2
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 3 3
Chunichi Dragons 2 8
Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters5 2 4
Yokohama BayStars6 2 0
Hanshin Tigers 1 5
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 1 0
Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes7 0 4
Shochiku Robins8 0 1

1The franchise currently known as the Saitama Seibu Lions had a Japan Series record of 3–2 as the Nishitetsu Lions.
2The franchise currently known as the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks had a Japan Series record of 2–8 as the Nankai Hawks.
3The franchise currently known as the Orix Buffaloes had a Japan Series record of 3–7 as the Hankyu Braves, and 1–1 as the Orix BlueWave. It took its current name in 2005 after merging with the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes.
4The franchise currently known as the Chiba Lotte Marines had a Japan Series record of 1–0 as the Mainichi Orions, 0–1 as the Daimai Orions, and 1–1 as the Lotte Orions.
5The franchise currently known as the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters had a Japan Series record of 1–0 as the Toei Flyers.
6The franchise currently known as the Yokohama BayStars had a Japan Series record of 1–0 as the Taiyō Whales.
7The Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes were merged with the Orix BlueWave in 2005 to form the Orix Buffaloes.
8The Shochiku Robins were merged with the Taiyō Whales in 1953, eventually becoming the Yokohama BayStars.

Leagues by number of wins

Team Wins Losses
Central League 35 30
Pacific League 30 35

Streaks and droughts

See also

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External links