@58 days until Hiroshima Summit: Balls

by Ryosuke Hattori, Staff Writer

The City of Hiroshima, where sports are thriving, is home to two of the leading ball manufacturers in Japan. They are Molten Corporation, located in Nishi Ward, and Mikasa Corporation, located in Asakita Ward. These balls are used in domestic and international competitions such as soccer and basketball.

Mikasa was founded in 1917 with the manufacturing of rubber sandals. Nobori Rubber Industries, which later merged with Mikasa, invented Japan’s first inflatable dodgeball in 1928. The company’s headquarters, which was located in present-day Nishi Ward, was completely destroyed by the atomic bombing. After the war, dodgeball was used in physical education classes at elementary schools and spread throughout the country.

Mikasa volleyballs have been used in many Olympic Games, and the ball used by the Japanese women’s national team at the 1972 Munich Olympics is still at the head office. A Mikasa volleyball was also used at the Tokyo Olympics held in 2021. Balls made in Hiroshima are supporting the world’s exciting games.

(Originally published on March 22, 2023)