He made an appearance over the weekend at Yankee Stadium, albeit in road grays — video.
While we’re at it, here he is earlier in the year, on some Japanese TV show…
I think this is the same guy, running in the Tokyo Marathon in February — pic found here…
Video of him going through the motions in some random location, back when Ichiro was still a Mariner…
Taking a coffee break, found here…
This next picture was posted on the Mariner fan blog Lookout Landing in 2008 — it looks like the same guy, but I’m not totally certain…
Then there’s this guy…
See all eight Ichiro impersonator posts thus far here.
This is the guy I met in 2011, who days later got in trouble at Safeco Field. The above clip was shot at a Japanese shopping mall, where “Ichiro” had his own emcee. For those who don’t wanna sit through its nearly nine-minute length, some key moments…
0:09 – Ichiro makes his grand entrance on the down escalator.
3:35 – Ichiro pantomimes a hit in slow motion.
5:03 – Ichiro steals a base by running around the atrium.
5:25 – Ichiro pounds a Yunker.
7:50 – Ichiro makes his grand exit on the up escalator, perhaps on his way to Orange Julius.
Here’s a newer clip from some Japanese TV show, in which Ichiro has updated his act with a Yankee uniform and a Kirin…
Finally, a Mariners-era clip at a Matsumoto Yamaga soccer game — look for the uniform surprise at 2:57…
Wasn’t long after the big trade that photos of the Ichiro impersonator in pinstripes started appearing online (link)… Back when he dressed as a Mariner, someone snapped a photo of him taking a whiz at the Tokyo Dome (link)…
Geoff Baker has video of Ichiro’s doppelganger crashing an autograph session with Mariners Michael Saunders and Munenori Kawasaki. Watch here and here.
Found on the Mariners web site is this Ichiro jack o’ lantern stencil, above… Below, our friend the Ichiro impersonator (who apparently dresses up every day like it’s Halloween) has appeared again, this time on a Japanese game show…
My pals Ken and Chinatsu recorded this Gong Show-like program for me, in which contestants imitate Japanese celebrities. However, instead of getting “gonged” offstage by the judges (who for some reason are dressed like mad scientists), a trap door suddenly opens beneath the contestants, and they drop out of sight! “Ichiro” appeared in a few different bits in various Mariner jerseys, acting out at-bats, playing catch in the field, and leading off first base. He was pretty good, but was “trap-doored” each time. Needless to say, he didn’t take home any prizes.
Finally, there’s this guy, whose ’09 Halloween costume was Ichiro…
Ken George and Chinatsu (whose work is featured in Ichiro Art #10) sent me this link to a Japanese site with a bunch of photos and videos of the infamous Ichiro impersonator. Yesterday I learned his name is Kenta Imamura. Today, with Chinatsu’s translation, I learned that Kenta is a 32-year-old actor and performer, nicknamed “Nicchiro,” who’s been doing his Ichiro routine since 2009. He’s supposedly the same height as Ichiro (5’8″), but when I stood next to him last week, he sure seemed taller than that.
Not to nit-pick, but I can’t help but notice he’s using tan leather glove (as seen on the ground in the top photo), while the real Ichiro’s is black. Instead of wearing his pants with high cuffs that expose his socks, the bottom of his pant legs are simply crammed into his socks. And though he’s wearing Ichiro’s brand of shoes, it looks like he’s going for a jog along the waterfront. In some photos his lid looks like it needs cap surgery, and what’s with the plastic bat?
But the resemblance is still remarkable (especially the facial hair and mannerisms), and the prop Yunker energy drink is a nice touch…
Many more videos here.
Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images
Runs Batted In:
Left on Base:
Played DH… Three singles, flyout, strikeout… Faux Ichiro was back in action at Safeco today (above); I’m glad he didn’t let his embarrassment from last night’s boo-boo
keep him away from the ballpark. Oh, and his name is Kenta Imamura.
Game 111 at Los Angeles, 7:05 Friday.