Watch: Japanese rugby fans sing opponents’ national anthems during matches

Watch: Japanese rugby fans sing opponents’ national anthems during matchesWatch: Japanese rugby fans sing opponents’ national anthems during matches
Ryan General
August 1, 2023
Japanese rugby fans are winning hearts online for supporting opposing teams by wearing their colors and singing their national anthems. 
Thinnest jersey wearer: Instagram user @bakuxhiroshi shared in a recent post that he was able to wear the jerseys of 19 out of the 20 teams that participated in the tournament during the 2019 Rugby World Cup held in Japan. Proudly staking the claim online that he wears the “world’s thinnest jersey,” @bakuxhiroshi actually wore the opposing teams’ national colors as body paint. 
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“With the Rugby World Cup in France just around the corner, aren’t you all starting to get excited? As for me, I’m already filled with daily anticipation and excitement 😆,” the user wrote in Japanese in an Instagram post.
“During the last tournament, given that it was held in our home country, I had this crazy idea of wearing the thinnest jersey of all the participating teams. Unfortunately, due to a typhoon, the match against France had to be canceled, but I managed to wear jerseys of 19 out of the 20 teams.” 
National anthem singer: The user also posted videos of himself and other enthusiasts singing the opposing teams’ national anthems as the games kicked off in the Pacific Nations Series in Samoa in July.
In the pocket tournament being held from July 22 to Aug. 5, Japan faces Samoa, Tonga and Fiji as part of their preparation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. He recently shared some videos of him and other fans joyfully doing their renditions of the Fijian, Tongan and Samoan hymns. 
A Japanese tradition: Japanese fans have been singing for their opponents to make the participants feel welcome for quite some time now.
In one viral video, 15,000 Japanese rugby fans sang the Welsh national anthem to make the team feel at home in Kitakyushu City on Japan’s Kyushu Island during the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Another viral clip shows a group of Japanese children performing the ceremonial Māori “haka” war dance to welcome the Kiwi rugby team in the same tournament.

In 2018, Japanese fans were also captured singing the Russian song “Katyusha” at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Belgium.

The FIFA World Cup even recognized Japanese fans as “the true heroes” of the 2022 tournament for exhibiting sportsmanship and cleaning the stadiums after matches, regardless of if their team won or lost.
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