Episode 377 – The Black Mist Scandal

This week, we’re taking a look at one of the greatest scandals in the history of Japanese baseball, when the black mist of yakuza-driven sports gambling wracked Japan’s national pastime.


Kaplan, David, and Alec Dubro. Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld.

Yamazaki, Takuya. Sports Law in Japan.

Some Washington Post coverage of the 2015 Yomiuri Giants gambling scandal.


FUKUOKA, JAPAN – MAY 08: (L to R) Catcher Kimiyasu Murakami, pitcher Masaaki Ikenaga, infielder Kazuhide Funada and infielder Mitsuo Motoi of the Nishitetsu Lions attend a press conference on the game-fixing scandal on May 8, 1970 in Fukuoka, Japan. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
Carl Boles, whose decision to talk to the media ended up blowing the scandal wide open.
Nagayasu Masayuki (right) awaiting one of his many meetings with NPB’s commissioners during the scandal.
Ikenaga Masaaki at the end of his 1965 season, when he was rookie of the year and an all-star player for the Pacific League.
Some of the accused players giving a press conference apologizing for misconduct (a feature of Japanese scandals).
Press coverage of the scandal (the image is not high resolution enough for me to be able to tell which paper). The headline says “Nagayasu Fixes Matches!”

4 thoughts on “Episode 377 – The Black Mist Scandal”

    1. I forgot to paste in the link from libsyn while setting up the show notes! Should still have been available on the RSS feed, but that issue is also fixed. Thank you!

  1. 1. When did Japan first prohibit organized gambling and what was the justification for doing so?
    2. What is the status of sports book and other types of games thanks to the rise of the internet?

    1. If memory serves it was under the OG criminal code because of concerns around the moral character of the nation, and then nobody ever wanted to campaign on a pro-gambling platform. My understanding is that online gambling can’t operate in Japan, but I don’t know about Japanese nationals placing bets via the internet in other countries where doing so is legal…

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