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Robert Whiting’s baseball classic, “You Gotta Have Wa,” (updated in 2009) remains the definitive text on Japanese culture seen through the lens of sport. Whiting has an engaging style, his research is exhaustive and his first-hand knowledge has ensured this book is just as entertaining now as it was when it was first published in 1989.

Examining the Japanese ideal of wa (harmony) through baseball, Whiting’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in Japan — even if you don’t know the difference between a balk and a base hit.

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