Who actually wins Koushien?

Who actually wins Koushien?

(original screencap source unknown, holy crap why am I continuing to pull things from memories of games I’d like to forget. Oh well it’s used to prove a point so I guess it’s ok.)

From my last article, you can see that despite the numerous schools that participate for Koushien, really there’s a select group that for the most part takes the spots each and every year. In reality, it shouldn’t be that surprising at all.

What shouldn’t be surprising as well is who actually wins it all. It’d be foolish to think that all qualficants are made equal. Especially from rural areas where as little as 4 wins get you the title. More populous areas generally means more competition.

So how bad is it here? Let’s take a look at the Haru and Natsu Koushien tournaments for the last 20 years.

Who won the title?

  • There were several repeat winners in both tournaments
    • Haru Koushien
      • Toukaidai Sagami (Kanagawa) – 2000, 2011
      • Yokohama (Kanagawa) – 1998, 2006
      • Okinawa Shougaku (Okinawa) – 1999, 2008
    • Natsu Koushien
      • Osaka Touin (Osaka) – 2008, 2012, 2014
      • Nichidai-san (Nishi Tokyo) – 2001, 2011
      • Chiben Wakayama (Wakayama) – 1997, 2000
      • Komadai Tomakomai (Minami Hokkaido) – 2004, 2005
    • Combined there were 9 schools who have won multiple titles:
      • Osaka Touin (Osaka) – 2008/2012/2014 (Natsu), 2012 (Haru)
      • Yokohama (Kanagawa) – 1998 (Natsu), 1998/2006 (Haru)
      • Toukaidai Sagami (Kanagawa) – 2015 (Natsu), 2000/2011 (Haru)
      • Nichidai-san (Nishi Tokyo) – 2001, 2011 (Natsu)
      • Chiben Wakayama (Wakayama) – 1997, 2000 (Natsu)
      • Komadai Tomakomai (Minami Hokkaido) – 2004, 2005 (Natsu)
      • Kounan (Okinawa) – 2010 (Natsu), 2010 (Haru)
      • Jyousou Gakuin (Ibaraki) – 2003 (Natsu), 2001 (Haru)
      • Okinawa Shougaku (Okinawa) – 1999, 2008 (Haru)

That means that those 9 schools accounted for 55% of the titles in the past 2 decades.

Where did these come from?

  • Not surprisingly, from the 2015 Census (courtesy of the Statistics Bureau), almost half of the winners came from the 10 most populous prefectures (Haru/Natsu Titles):
    • Tokyo – 0(!)/3
    • Kanagawa – 4/2
    • Osaka – 1(!)/3
    • Aichi – 1/1
    • Saitama – 1/0
    • Chiba – 0/0
    • Hyogo – 1/0
    • Hokkaido – 0/2
    • Fukuoka – 0/0
    • Shizuoka – 1/0
  • While the 10 least populous prefectures mostly suffered:
    • Tottori – 0/0
    • Shimane – 0/0
    • Kochi – 0/1 (Meitoku Gijyuku)
    • Tokushima – 0/0
    • Fukui – 1 (Tsuruga Kehi)/0
    • Saga – 0/1 (Saga Kita)
    • Yamanashi – 0/0
    • Wakayama – 0/2 (Chiben Wakayama)
    • Kagawa – 0/0
    • Akita – 0/0
  • Of the others:
    • 11th – Ibaraki – 1/0
    • 12th – Hiroshima – 1/0
    • 13th – Kyoto – 1/0
    • 18th – Tochigi – 0/1
    • 19th – Gunma – 0/1
    • 25th – Okinawa – 3/1
    • 28th – Ehime – 1/0
    • 29th – Nagasaki – 1/0
    • 30th – Nara – 2/0
  • 26 out of the 47 prefectures have not won either a Haru or Natsu title in the last 20 years, with Chiba being the most populous prefecture to have failed to do so.

A complete look can be found here.

While it seems odd that the lower population prefectures seems to have had more success at Natsu Koushien than Haru Koushien, you have to note that:

  1. The last Natsu winner from the 10 current least populous prefectures was Saga Kita back in 2007, and if you remember that game it looked that that was an impossibility until that fateful bottom of the 8th. Before that, you have to go back to 2002 and Meitoku Gijyuku and then before that Chiben Wakayama’s 2 titles, and we all know in hindsight that Chiben Wakayama was on a steady decline after that.
  2. The Haru Koushien is run differently in that Super-Regions are awarded a fixed number of bids with some floating bids between regions. So while regions like Tohoku, Chuugoku and Shikoku get 2 bids guaranteed, Tokyo itself is guaranteed 1 and Kinki gets 6. So it follows that not every rural prefecture is represented each year at Haru Koushien.

It’s not all that surprising then that we see what we see in recent years then. And with talent continuing to be funneled into a concentrated number of schools more and more prefectures will probably just have to settle with being happy to be there. It’s sad, but a realistic viewpoint.

 

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