Osaka erupted on the night of Nov. 5 as Hanshin Tigers fans celebrated the end of a 38-year title drought after their club concluded a thrilling Japan Series with a 7-1 drubbing of the Orix Buffaloes.
The city’s Namba district was the nexus of the excitement, with the club’s famously boisterous fans taking to the streets of the nightlife area to sing, dance and perhaps take a dip in the Dotonbori River.
But many didn’t get close to the waterway.
A heavy police presence made sure that, for the most part, incidents after past Tigers’ successes – including celebrations in 1985 that saw fans throw a statue of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Sanders into the river – would not be repeated.
Still, NHK reported that, as of 12 a.m. Nov. 6, 37 people had jumped in, with no injuries reported.
The all-Kansai series has proved to be a winner for broadcasters, restaurants and retailers.
An average of 38.1% of Kansai households watched Game 7, compared to 18.1% in Kanto, with 50% of Kansai homes tuning in as the Tigers closed out the series, according to analytics company Video Research.
On Nov. 6, Kansai department stores and supermarkets run by the Tigers’ parent company launched a campaign to celebrate the team’s victory.
The campaign is likely to continue the economic boost already sparked by the Tigers and the Osaka-based Buffaloes. (The Japan Times)