The next morning, Thursday, November 29, was Thanksgiving in the United States. The game that day would be played in Omiya, about fifteen miles north of Tokyo, as Meiji Jingu Stadium was hosting the first true American football game on Japanese soil. Earlier in 1934 Waseda, Meiji, and Rikkyo universities organized football clubs manned primarily by American nisei students. To showcase the newly imported sport, league organizers held a traditional Thanksgiving Day football classic featuring an all-star squad from the universities against members of the Yokohama Country Club. Although larger than their Japanese opponents, few of the country club’s squad had played organized football prior to the Thanksgiving match. Ambassador Grew and Prince Chichibu, the younger brother of the emperor, watched as the younger, fitter, faster, and bettertrained Japanese collegians pummeled the foreigners 26–0. The Japanese victory helped popularize the sport, and just three years later twenty-five thousand watched college all-star teams from eastern and western Japan clash. The sport’s popularity, however, died with the start of World War II, as the trappings of American culture first fell out of favor and then were banned by the military government.
As the All Americans gathered in the lobby of the Imperial Hotel for the short trip to Omiya, Moe Berg was missing. Later reports suggest that nobody noticed his absence and the players left without him. Once his teammates departed Berg dressed in a black kimono, combed his black hair in a Japanese style, and put on geta (traditional wooden sandals). It was just above freezing outside, so he probably slipped on an Inverness overcoat, concealed his 16mm movie camera beneath it, and quietly left the hotel. He headed southeast through. Berg knew the neighborhood well. In 1932 he