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Insider

Johjima's game expected to translate well

12/2/2005

Kenji Johjima is enough of a mystery in the United States that he was two weeks into his free-agent tour before American media outlets began spelling his surname correctly. Somewhere between Fukuoka and Seattle, the "h" in the middle accidentally took a hike.

Now that Johjima is signed, spelled and delivered -- having agreed to terms on a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the Mariners -- here's a mini-primer on baseball's newest Japanese import:

Johjima is 29 years old and comes from the Japanese coastal town of Sasebo, located between Fukuoka and Nagasaki on the map. He's married with two children and is a "country boy" at heart, in the words of agent Alan Nero. After baseball, Johjima's second-favorite pursuit is fishing.