Once again Jim and I were privileged to be able to attend the one day Gateball event outside of Tokyo at a place called Higashi Urawa. It is well organised with teams, triples and doubles all playing in a complex draw system. Despite the very cold weather, our welcome was very warm. Assisted by our wonderful friend, Mr. Keiichi Imagawa, we made our way to the courts. He was playing with Kayoko San, another good friend from Adachi club, and who has previously visited Australia four times to play Gateball or give refereeing assistance.
We were not able to match the tactical skills of the local players. We did well but not well enough to win many games. It was so good to note that more than half of the players were young people of High School or University age. Coached by knowledgeable teachers, these players are formidable in their intensity.
At the conclusion of the day the prizes were handed out. The winning duo had first selection of the practical items displayed as prizes. Our friend, Satoshi Kamijo, was part of the duo and he chose a bottle of soy sauce.
Even we won prizes- I chose a bottle of cooking oil and Jim selected curry and rice packages.
The evening meal after the event was the best ever. Three hours were given over to eating, drinking and discussing all manner of things relating to Gateball.
Kayoko San, Shoiichi San, Barbara, Satoshi San and Jim had a wonderful get together. Thanks to Keiichi San for the photographs.