According to other sources online, this was a four-month-long 1938 Pacific tour by the US women’s softball team organized by sports promoter Marty Fiedler (links below). This was one year before the Commercial Treaty between USA and Japan was terminated in 1939, ending all US goodwill tours to Japan until they were restarted after the war. There was a mundane article immediately below the photo which I did not include, since it mostly explained the rules of softball, but it did add some more tidbits of info: the average age of the team was 17, they were amateurs, and it was the first time that women’s softball was ever demonstrated in Japan. So I think it’s safe to assume that, by extension, this was the first time that the sport was introduced to Korea.
(my partial translation – part of the caption on the lower right corner was really smudged and pretty illegible, so I skipped it. My wild guess is that it says “in order to relieve tensions with wartime Japan…”)
October 9, 1938 Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijo Ilbo)
A softball team of beautiful women arrives in Korea
A delegation of 51 members of the American Women’s Tourist Softball Team is to arrive in Korea on the 10th on the Chichibu Maru vessel, which entered Yokohama, to promote friendship between Japan and the United States through sports. (photograph: the same team)
(my partial transcription – part of the caption on the lower right corner was really smudged and pretty illegible, so I skipped it)
Reddit Link: On this day 83 years ago, the US women’s amateur softball team arrived in Korea as part of their 4-month-long 1938 Pacific goodwill tour, introducing modern women’s softball to Korea for the first time : korea (reddit.com)