Having grown up in a household with two brothers, Shiki Nakayama is used to being a kou-itten, a Japanese expression to describe the lone girl or woman in a group that literally translates to “a single spot of red.”
So to the 16-year-old, a first-year student at Hokkaido Asahikawa Higashi High School, it is no big deal that she is the only girl on a 26-player baseball team, proving her mettle in a male-dominated sport. She had played alongside boys all her life and did not see why she should not play the same sport as her brothers.
“I just felt like I was more suited to a boys’ team. The boys I saw seemed more serious about the game, and I wanted to play at a higher level,” Nakayama says.