Knowing very little of the team’s tradition or its long-time writers, I picked this book up to get a quick education. It ended up being much more than that – a real entertaining read about some of the quirks of Hanshin fans, anecdotes of various players throughout history, and even a few write-ups about Tigers-related establishments in and around Koshien.
Without doing any actual research, my guess is that the author of the book has been a follower of the team his whole life, and has written about them for much of his adult life. The richness of his stories show his devotion to the team and his understanding of the fans.
Just a few spoilers of the content:
– You cannot consider yourself a true fan of the team if you cannot sing the second and third verses of Rokko Oroshi by heart. (I guess I’m not quite there yet, then!)
– The most devoted of fans will often “threaten” to stop following the team, but always come crawling back.
– Some of the more superstitious fans of the team will not ride on any of Hanshin railway’s orange-colored trains, as it represents alliance with the Yomiuri Giants. Instead, they will delay their work commute or appointments to ride the more neutral-colored “Chunichi Blue” colored trains.
The book includes lots of fun illustrations, anecdotes of the writer’s friends and family, and even some good old-fashioned self-deprecation. For a light but educational read about Hanshin and its world-class fans, Nangin Kosugi’s “School of Hanshin Fans” is a must read.