FIFA celebrated Japanese football fans in a video highlighting their selfless attitudes and their unwavering support for Samurai Blue at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Posted on Twitter on Monday, Episode 1 of FIFA’s “The Culture Club” series follows Arsenal presenter Daniyal Khan
as he joins Samurai Blue superfan Akira Kohara in the stands to watch the national team.
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“Japan has won the hearts of people around the world, thanks to their incredible displays at this year’s FIFA World Cup. But even more so, thanks to their fans,” narrates Khan, who calls Japan’s supporters “the true heroes, committed to blending passion and fire with honesty and integrity.”
“Supporting the Japanese national team makes me proud to be Japanese and to have been born in Japan,” Kohara says outside the stadium. “I will continue to proudly support the Japan team. Go, Japan!”
Shots from the stands show a sea of Japanese fans waving flags, beating on drums and chanting “Nippon” as they shake their fists in the air.
“It doesn’t really seem to matter if they hit the post, make a bad challenge or lose the ball, the support doesn’t change, they keep going and they keep supporting their team,” says Khan as the chants continue.
Kohara attributes the attitude of Japanese fans to their upbringing, citing the country’s education system and cultural values.
“We say in Japan, ‘It is an ill bird that fouls its own nest,'” Kohara says. “We want to return what we used, cleaner than before we used it. Traditionally, many of us have that awareness. I think that consciousness showed up at this World Cup.”
Twitter users likewise celebrated Japanese football fans in the comments, lamenting the team’s elimination but remaining hopeful for their return.
“They’re indeed the greatest supporters, cleaning the stadium environment after every of their games,” one user wrote
“Thanks for the great memories. Japan have exceeded expectations and the fans are awesome. Hope they come back stronger in 4 years time!” another user commented