OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics are set to welcome Japanese baseball legend Hideki “Godzilla” Matsui to the Bay Area on Sunday, April 3 at “The A’s Welcome Hideki Matsui & Japanese Heritage Day” at the Oakland Coliseum, as the A’s take on Japanese superstar Ichiro Suzuki and the Seattle Mariners.
The first 10,000 fans into the stadium for the 1:05 p.m. game will receive special Matsui T-shirts.
The event will have a pregame ceremony featuring taiko drumming by Emeryville Taiko, the national anthem sung by Japanese choir group Chorale May and an appearance by 2010 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Arisa Hiroi.
Under the guidance of Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka, founder of San Francisco Taiko Dojo, Yuri Morita with Susan Horn as her assistant, initiated Emeryville Taiko as an Oakland taiko class for children. When Morita decided to go to Japan, Horn became instructor of the group. Not long after, Horn moved the group to a 3,000-square-foot dingy warehouse in Emeryville, Calif., which group members transformed to a dojo with a bamboo-floored performance stage.
Chorale May is a non-section male choir group formed in 1995 which sings primarily in Japanese. Chorale May has sung at the commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, at NHK Nodo-Jiman (Japanese Amateur Hour), a reception for the Japanese Emperor’s birthday, and other events.
A limited number of Lower Box tickets are on sale for $30 as a benefit for the Nichi Bei Foundation, publisher of the first nonprofit weekly newspaper of its kind in the country, the Nichi Bei Weekly. Ten dollars of every ticket sold at www.nichibei.org/tickets will benefit the Nichi Bei Foundation.
Matsui, a former Yomiuri Giants superstar who played last year with the Los Angeles Angels, played the previous seven years with the New York Yankees. The two-time All-Star was the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 World Series.