From Baseball Star to World Traveler: The Unexpected Journey of Kento Tsujimoto

In 2004, there was a young baseball player who was drafted at the age of 15, the youngest player in history, and attracted attention from all over Japan. Kento Tsujimoto joined the Hanshin Tigers in the 8th round of the draft. What does Tsujimoto do now that he has left baseball after being declared disabled in 2009 and taking on the challenge of competing in the American baseball world? He gave a long interview to a reporter he used to know in his hometown of Kobe. (1st of 3 episodes / Go to #2 and #3) “Because 90% of people don’t know that I played baseball.”

In mid-March, when the cherry blossoms were still in bud and about to be shut up, I had the opportunity to speak with a translator at a cafe near Kobe’s Ikuta Shrine. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down with him in person. How did you spend those days and how are you living now? After she broke up with him, she listened to the voice recorder again. Suddenly, a passage from a book I once read flashed through my mind.

“Each person has their own time. And this time can only be lived as long as it is truly yours. 》(Michael Ende “Momo” Iwanami Shonen Bunko, translated by Kaori Oshima)

The translator’s mornings are early. When I communicate with him on LINE, the messages always arrive at 4am. He says he gets up early to have business meetings overseas. It’s been a long time since I started moving before dawn when the rest of the world was asleep, and I like this cycle of life.

“I keep in touch with people overseas from early in the morning. However, I haven’t been to America at all lately. I only go to London once in a while.”

More than 10 years have passed since Kento Tsujimoto began translating Japanese magazines and books into English. He turned 35 this January. Having lived overseas for a long time since he was young, he uses his fluent English to sometimes coordinate foreigners coming to Japan.

He is slender and tall, with flowing long hair and a beard. Looking at his deeply carved and unique appearance, it would be no surprise if he were an artist, a musician, or even on the silver screen.

No one would realize that 20 years ago, he was a baseball player who attracted the attention of the public in Japan’s professional baseball world.

“Ninety percent of the people I work with don’t know that I play baseball.”

He says with a mischievous smile.

[Next page]“While I was happy, I also felt anxious…” Memories of the day I was drafted

2024-04-08 14:24:52
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