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, or   is a seven-game championship played by the teams of Japanmarker's two professional baseball leagues (the Central League and Pacific League).


The Series is the highest level of play in professional baseball in Japan. It is usually played in October or November. As in all of the best-of-seven series, the first team to win four games is the overall winner and is declared in each year. The 2009 Series began on October 31. Japan Series' winner will be the Japan representative in the Asia Series.

The home team for the games 1, 2 and eventual 6 and 7, alternates between the two leagues with the Pacific League having the advantage on the years ending with an odd number and the Central League on the years ending with an even number. Designated Hitters are used if the team from the Pacific League hosts the game.

Historically, the Central League has been more successful in the Japan Series than the Pacific League, having won thirty-three times versus the Pacific League's twenty-four. The team with most championships is the Yomiuri Giants, who have won the Japan Series twenty-one times. However, the Pacific League won four consecutive Series from 2003-2006, and did not lose the Series since the inception of their three-team stepladder playoff format to determine the league champion. But starting with the 2007 postseason, the Central League has also adopted the playoff format (now dubbed the "Climax Series"). Since Climax Series does not affact team's position in regular season, the nature of Japan Series slightly changed from a match between the Champions of leagues in the past to a mini-tournament postseason in nowadays, somewhat like World Series in MLB.

List of winners of Japan Series

Central League Pacific League
Year Winning Team Losing Team Series MVP
Mainichi Orions (PL) Shochiku Robins (CL) 4–2 Kaoru Bettou
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Nankai Hawks (PL) 4–2 Yukou Minamimura
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Nankai Hawks (PL) 4–2 Takehiko Bessho
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Nankai Hawks (PL) 4–2–1 Tetsuharu Kawakami
1954 Chunichi Dragons (CL) Nishitetsu Lions (PL) 4–3 Shigeru Sugishita
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Nankai Hawks (PL) 4–3 Takehiko Bessho
Nishitetsu Lions (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–2 Yasumitsu Toyoda
Nishitetsu Lions (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–0–1 Hiroshi Oshita
Nishitetsu Lions (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–3 Kazuhisa Inao
Nankai Hawks (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–0 Tadashi Sugiura
Taiyō Whales (CL) Daimai Orions (PL) 4–0 Akihito Kondo
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Nankai Hawks (PL) 4–2 Toshio Miyamoto
Toei Flyers (PL) Hanshin Tigers (CL) 4–2–1 Masayuki Dobashi

Masayuki Tanemo
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Nishitetsu Lions (PL) 4–3 Shigeo Nagashima
Nankai Hawks (PL) Hanshin Tigers (CL) 4–3 Joe Stanka
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Nankai Hawks (PL) 4–1 Shigeo Nagashima
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Nankai Hawks (PL) 4–2 Isao Shibata
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Hankyu Braves (PL) 4–2 Masaaki Mori
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Hankyu Braves (PL) 4–2 Shigeru Takada
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Hankyu Braves (PL) 4–2 Shigeo Nagashima
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Lotte Orions (PL) 4–1 Shigeo Nagashima
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Hankyu Braves (PL) 4–1 Toshimitsu Suetsugu
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Hankyu Braves (PL) 4–1 Tsuneo Horiuchi
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Nankai Hawks (PL) 4–1 Tsuneo Horiuchi
Lotte Orions (PL) Chunichi Dragons (CL) 4–2 Sumio Hirota
Hankyu Braves (PL) Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) 4–0–1 Takashi Yamaguchi
Hankyu Braves (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–3 Yutaka Fukumoto
Hankyu Braves (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–1 Hisashi Yamada
Yakult Swallows (CL) Hankyu Braves (PL) 4–3 Katsuo Osugi
Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) Kintetsu Buffaloes (PL) 4–3 Yoshihiko Takahashi
Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) Kintetsu Buffaloes (PL) 4–3 Jim Lyttle
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Nippon Ham Fighters (PL) 4–2 Takashi Nishimoto
Seibu Lions (PL) Chunichi Dragons (CL) 4–3 Osamu Higashio
Seibu Lions (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–3 Takuji Ota
Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) Hankyu Braves (PL) 4–3 Kiyoyuki Nagashima
Hanshin Tigers (CL) Seibu Lions (PL) 4–2 Randy Bass
Seibu Lions (PL) Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) 4–3–1 Kimiyasu Kudo
Seibu Lions (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–2 Kimiyasu Kudo
Seibu Lions (PL) Chunichi Dragons (CL) 4–1 Hiromichi Ishige
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Kintetsu Buffaloes (PL) 4–3 Norihiro Komada
Seibu Lions (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–0 Orestes Destrade
Seibu Lions (PL) Hiroshima Toyo Carp (CL) 4–3 Kouji Akiyama
Seibu Lions (PL) Yakult Swallows (CL) 4–3 Takehiro Ishii
Yakult Swallows (CL) Seibu Lions (PL) 4–3 Kenjiro Kawasaki
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Seibu Lions (PL) 4–1 Hiromi Makihara
Yakult Swallows (CL) Orix Blue Wave (PL) 4–1 Tom O'Malley
Orix BlueWave (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–1 Troy Neel
Yakult Swallows (CL) Seibu Lions (PL) 4–1 Atsuya Furuta
Yokohama BayStars (CL) Seibu Lions (PL) 4–2 Takanori Suzuki
Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (PL) Chunichi Dragons (CL) 4–1 Kouji Akiyama
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (PL) 4–2 Hideki Matsui
Yakult Swallows (CL) Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes (PL) 4–1 Atsuya Furuta
Yomiuri Giants (CL) Seibu Lions (PL) 4–0 Tomohiro Nioka
Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (PL) Hanshin Tigers (CL) 4–3 Toshiya Sugiuchi
Seibu Lions (PL) Chunichi Dragons (CL) 4–3 Takashi Ishii
2005 Chiba Lotte Marines (PL) Hanshin Tigers (CL) 4–0 Toshiaki Imae
2006 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (PL) Chunichi Dragons (CL) 4–1 Atsunori Inaba
2007 Chunichi Dragons (CL) Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (PL) 4–1 Norihiro Nakamura
2008 Saitama Seibu Lions (PL) Yomiuri Giants (CL) 4–3 Takayuki Kishi
2009 Yomiuri Giants (CL) Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (PL) 4–2 Shinnosuke Abe


NOTE: There is a limit to the number of innings which may be played during any game in Japanese professional baseball. All ties after 15 innings (was originally 12 innings) are official tie games and must be replayed for the purpose of the Series.

Teams by number of wins in Japan Series

Team Wins Losses
Yomiuri Giants 21 11
Saitama Seibu Lions 13 8
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 5 1
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 4 9
Orix Buffaloes 4 8
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 3 3
Chiba Lotte Marines 3 2
Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 2 3
Yokohama BayStars 2 0
Chunichi Dragons 2 6
Hanshin Tigers 1 4
Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes 0 4
Shochiku Robins 0 1


See also



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