Japan Match

Scottish Select v Japan

The first encounter between Scotland and Japan was in 1989.

The April 1989 Bulletin announced:

On Thursday 27 July 1989 Scotland is to play Japan at Hurlingham, London; we would very much have liked to host the match in Scotland but the short time the visitors have in Britain means that a trip to Bush would have been impractical.  This is the first ever international tour for the Japanese and this will be their first ever international event.  The Japanese, who have only recently taken up International Rules croquet, are very much an unknown quantity and we will be getting our first chance to study them during the few days preceding the match when they play in a handicap tournament in Southwick, Brighton.  The day after playing Scotland the tourists will have an even tougher challenge against an England team.

The July 1989 Bulletin announced:

The Scotland v Japan international scheduled for 27 July at Hurlingham has changed.  Although the match is still on, it is no longer a representative match.  The Japanese, unfortunately, are no longer able to field a full or even their strongest team, so we have decided to play the match more as a ‘cultural exchange’ match than a proper international.  As only three Japanese players are now available, the match will consist of a doubles in the morning, in which each of the Japanese players is partnered by an established CA player (John Solomon, Bernard Neal and William Ormerod are the likely CA players) playing against a high/low Scottish pairing, followed in the afternoon by singles matches in which the Japanese will play Scottish middle / high bisquers first, followed by handicap games against Scottish low bisquers.

The October 1989 Bulletin included this report by Simon Jones:

On Thursday 27 July, 1989, a Scottish Select team played a one-day event against an Anglo-Japanese team at the Hurlingham Club in Putney, London.  Atsuo Tanaka, Katsumi Kagawa and Martin Selman formed the core of the Anglo-Japanese side, and were joined by Jerry Guest of the Hurlingham Club.  Scotland was represented by Rod Williams, Corla van Griethuysen, Mona Wright and Simon Jones.  The weather was tropical (what else should we have expected from London in July?), and a most enjoyable day was spent by one and all on and off the closely mown lawns.  Trees and a small tent along the south boundary line provided welcome shelter when the going got too hot!

During the day everyone played three games – giving plenty of opportunity for ringing the changes on team-mates and opponents.  All games were played between roughly balanced sides, so we played without bisques, and in addition, to advanced rules.  The overall result was Scotland 5 wins, Anglo-Japanese team 2 wins.

Before lunch there were two doubles matches: Rod Williams and Mona Wright beat Jerry Guest and Atsuo Tanaka +7T, and Corla van Griethuysen and Simon Jones beat Martin Selman and Katsumi Kagawa +2T.  We took lunch on the patio of Hurlingham House, the Club’s modest home; buffet, beer and congenial chat engendered a suitably relaxed start to the afternoon’s events.

The afternoon started with a doubles and two singles matches, in which the Japanese had the chance to show their individual mettle:  Rod Williams and Corla van Griethuysen beat Jerry Guest and Martin Selman +3T, Mona Wright lost to Katsumi Kagawa -10T, and Simon Jones beat Atsuo Tanaka +4T.  Afternoon tea on the veranda was a necessary interlude to revive thirsty players.  To finish off the day we again played two doubles matches: Rod Williams and Simon Jones lost to Jerry Guest and Katsumi Kagawa -5T, and Corla van Griethuysen and Mona Wright beat Martin Selman and Atsuo Tanaka +9T.

Play continued quite late; then a quick change of clothing and dinner in the Club.  We lingered over dinner, exchanging thoughts about croquet in our respective countries, and exchanging invitations for further international croquet visits.  As will be evident, the day was well spent, both in playing croquet and in forging social and sporting links.  Many thanks to our hosts in London, and to our new Japanese friends.

Match result:


Scottish Select




at Hurlingham

Players who participated in this match were:

Simon Jones

Japan 89

Corla van Griethuysen

Japan 89

Rod Williams

Japan 89

Mona Wright

Japan 89


Results (Scottish names first):

R.ap W. Williams and M.G. Wright beat J. Guest and Atsuo Tanaka +7T
C.M. van Griethuysen and S. Jones beat M. Selman and Katsumi Kagawa +2T
C.M. van Griethuysen and R.ap W. Williams beat M. Selman and J. Guest +3T
R.ap W. Williams and S. Jones lost to J. Guest and Katsumi Kagawa -5T
C.M. van Griethuysen and M.G. Wright beat M. Selman and Atsuo Tanaka +9T

M.G. Wright lost to Katsumi Tagawa -10T
S. Jones beat Atsuo Tanaka +4T