Each year, more than a dozen teams play in the softball Hinohara Cup Tournament in Japan. The tournament is named after Dr. Hinohara who is 102 years old and still goes to work every day. He believes in an active lifestyle, as well as working in an occupation for which you are passionate. With that passion, work becomes play.

In 2010, Hawai‘i was invited to participate in the tournament for the first time. Thirteen of Hawai‘i’s top senior softball players swept the competition, winning the Tokyo All Japan Cup, the Hinohara Cup, the Meya Makule Cup and the Grand Trophy. Although the team was invited back to play in 2011 and 2012, the To¯hoku earthquake and tsunami made it unfavorable to accept the invitation.

Generations Magazine - Playing Hard - Image 01

2013 Hawaii Dream Team (top row, lt.–rt.): Robert
Oshiro, Gary Yamaguchi, Robert Kunimitsu, Gordon
Okuhara, James Koishigawa, Gerard Takiguchi, and
Bobby Chinen. Kneeling (lt.–rt.): Coach Wayne Shibata,
Clinton Tanimoto, Jeffery Kamiya and Melvin Aoki.

In 2013, 22 teams from Japan, Taiwan and Hawai‘i participated in the Hinohara Cup Tournament. Taiwan and Hawai‘i are the only outside teams that are invited to play annually. The first day of the tournament was rained out. On the second day, the Dream Team won its first game but lost the second and was thereby eliminated. However, the nine-day whirlwind trip through Japan was an experience of a lifetime, and the team thanks Bobby Chinen Tours for the excellent escort services.

The team looks forward to the 2015 tournament. It will visit Hokkaido and travel to Akita to play the local team, then travel to Tokyo to play in the Hinohara Cup again.