In the United States, we are accustomed to ordering online for baseball gear these days and while sports shop retailers still exist, you have your department stores that sell baseball gloves and some who go online to find really awesome quality baseball gloves such as Vinci.
In Japan, while many are familiar with Mizuno, SSK, Hatakeyama and Zett but another company out there is Kubota Slugger.
I recently visited the Tokyo Branch of Kubota Slugger across the street from Meiji Jingu Baseball Stadium and learned that the company, whose headquarters are in Osaka. The company has two branches, one in Tokyo (in Shibuya) and the other in Fukuoka (in Chuo).
The company was established in 1936 by Shinichi Kubota, with the first store opening in July 1968 in Fukuoka, an Umeda store opening in 1979 (but closed in 1995) and a store in Tokyo which opened in 2004. For many years, Kubota Slugger has emphasized in high quality and prices tend to reflect that (not just the gloves but other products are also a bit pricey).
There are professional baseball players who use Kubota Slugger and what’s interesting about Kubota Slugger is they use hot water immersion for their gloves, which originated by developer Egashiri Shigetoshi from the Tokyo Slugger Fukuoka Branch.
While visiting the store, one will see uniforms for the old Nankai Hawks, Hanshin Tigers and Nishitetsu Lions. Back in 2008, Kubota had contracted for the production of the uniforms and they were sold exclusively to fans.
Their main clients are Hanshin Tigers, Orix Baseball Club, Seibu Lions, Panasonic, Nippon Life West nippon Telegraph and Telephon Corp. Nippon Steel Sumikin Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Nichidai Co., Ltd.
If you are a baseball fan and want to own Kubota Slugger gear, definitely visit a Kubota Slugger store in Tokyo or Fukuoka.