Japan began its quest for a third World Baseball Classic title with a victory over China on Thursday.
Major League star Ohtani Shohei contributed from the batter's box and the mound at the Tokyo Dome.
Ohtani was the starting pitcher and racked up strikeouts with 160 kilometers per hour fastballs. He only allowed one hit in four innings.
Ohtani also hit a two-run double at a crucial moment in the fourth inning, sending the ball into the fence.
China's Liang Pei responded with a solo homer. But the team could not break Japan's defense any further.
Samurai Japan added five runs later in the game, including a home run from Maki Shugo for a final score of 8 to 1.
In the same pool, Australia belted three homers to beat powerhouse South Korea 8 to 7.