Hideki Matsui of the Yankees Apologizes….

Hideki Matsui of the Yankees Apologizes….

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Who’s your favorite baseball player?

I love Japanese baseball players in the States.

The reason is simple – they come to play. And they play professionally.

But Hideki Matsui of the Yankees showed some real character and a gave a glimpse of what I like best about the Japanese, their work ethics and the loyalty to their company, in this case, his baseball team.

When Matsui is trying to make a catch the other day, he came up with a broken wrist and a broken streak.

Matsui had show up to play EVERY game AND played in EVERY game since coming to the Yankees over three years ago. Before that, he played in EVERY game for the Yomiuri Giants for 8 years in a row. I love that about the Japanese. They are always there.

“Due to this injury, I feel very sorry and, at the same time, very disappointed to let my teammates down. I will do my best to fully recover and return to the field to help my team once again,” Matsui said.

Joe Torre, manager of the Yankees, says that Matsui comes to him and apologizes if he makes an error in a game. Apologizes?!

An American would blame it on the sun, on the grass, on the wind, on the popcorn vendor yelling just as he was about to make the catch.

Matsui demonstrates all that is good about the Japanese – responsibility – we call this sekininkan – (see like in set, key, neen like in keen, kan like in con.) Not surprisingly, we don’t have an English equivalent for this word. –  – Call it a sense of responsbility.

Matsui will be back, stronger and quicker than anybody expects. He’s Japanese.

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.


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