What is Carp-girls? -women wearing red costume in baseball stadium-

カープ女子とはなんぞや? -球場にいる赤い女性軍団-
What is Carp-girls? -women wearing red costume in baseball stadium-

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Japan has 12 professional baseball teams. There is a team that placed in the high ranks of NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) for the first time in 16 years. That is Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Since it is low salary team, they cannot keep the players who declared FA (free agent) in the team.  However, people in Hiroshima love Carp. Thanks to their fundraising, it has recovered from team continuation crisis.

In recent years, this team gets new fans. Japanese professional baseball mainly has male fans, and it is natural that citizens support their local team. Originally, there has been a culture that female Carp supporters are called “Carp-girls”. However, “today” Carp-girls means that women with any relation cheer Carp, which is the biggest feature that “Carp-girls” are now interested.
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Its team color is red female like. You can enjoy with the players the sense of unity which is specially stronger than the other teams. You can feel empathy for the appearance of the players working hard in spite of weak. These features attract “Carp-girls”. Its popularity has attracted attention in wide areas such as launching a photo book, and having parties.


The cover of Photo book “Carp Girl”

In may, 2014, Carp held a watching baseball game tour targeting women in Kanto area(eastern half of Japan, Hirosima is in western area). It is clear that Carp-girls gain enormous popularity because approximately 16 times as many people as candidates applied for this tour (148 advertised/ 2305 signed up).It is dreamy plan for tourists because the team pays travel cost between Tokyo to Hiroshima, and prepare special events and goods.Moreover, team character and Tomonori Maeda who spent with the Hiroshima Carp until 2013 welcome tourists at Hiroshima Station and they enjoy taking pictures with them. Carp made a big win this day, and it could be said that one of the reasons was Carp girls’ cheers. Carp-girls might be Nike (Goddess of victory in Roman myth) for Hiroshima Toyo Carp.
カープは今年の5月、球団は関東在住の女性を対象とした「関東カープ女子 野球観戦ツアー」を開催した。募集人数148人に対して応募総数は16倍の2305人、と「カープ女子」の人気は絶大だ。東京から広島までの交通費は球団負担、イベントや限定グッツのプレゼントなど、カープ女子にとっては夢のような企画である。参加者が広島駅に着くと球団のマスコットキャラクターや元カープの前田智徳選手がサプライズでお出迎えしてくれたり、一緒に写真を撮ったりするなど観戦前から至れり尽くせりのおもてなし。カープ女子の応援もあってこの日の試合は大勝。カープ女子は広島東洋カープにとって勝利の女神なのかもしれない。

Carp Girl / Shoji Shinichi

Written by Ikumi Ihara/Translated by Kayoko Takahashi

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