Left Menu
Development News Edition

Rugby-Thousands laud Brave Blossoms in central Tokyo parade

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 11-12-2019 12:59 IST | Created: 11-12-2019 12:51 IST
Rugby-Thousands laud Brave Blossoms in central Tokyo parade

Thousands of fans lined the streets of Tokyo on Wednesday to cheer parading members of the Japan rugby union team who made history at their home World Cup earlier this year, reaching the quarter-finals for the first time.

As he did during the tournament, captain Michael Leitch led from the front as the players, dressed in black suit and tie, walked slowly along the parade route. Event organizers said that approximately 50,000 fans lined the route, taking photographs and screaming the names of their favorite players.

"We've managed to make a big impact," Leitch said, pointing to the massed fans. "I'm very happy about this."

During the Sept. 20 – Nov. 2 tournament, Japan beat tier-one nations Ireland and Scotland en route to winning Pool A and reaching the knockout stages for the first time. The Brave Blossoms were knocked out in the quarter-finals by eventual winners South Africa.

For the final pool stage match against Scotland, over 50 million people tuned in to watch on television across Japan as Brave Blossoms fever took hold. The team's mantra, 'one team' – recently named buzzword of the year - featured heavily on many fans' banners and the players shouted out the slogan when posing for photographs.

The phrase came to embody a team and coaching staff born in many different countries but choosing to compete for Japan. The emotion of the occasion was all too much for scrumhalf Fumiaki Tanaka who, as a veteran of the 2011 World Cup when Japan finished without a win, broke down in tears as he reflected on how far his country has come.

"In 2011, I was aggrieved that we've dropped (the reputation) of rugby in Japan," he said. "I'm so pleased that so many people have gathered today."

The team's sponsor, Taisho Pharmaceutical, announced earlier on Wednesday that each of the Brave Blossoms and staff would receive a 2 million yen (US$18,392 )performance bonus, twice the amount they received following the 2015 World Cup.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Uganda COVID-19 response: Was off to a good start but reopening dwindled prospects

Uganda has shown success in using health information to enhance efficiency of disease surveillance, reporting and monitoring. The success, however, has critical challenges confronting it as the country resumes normal activities....

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Videos

Latest News

IndusInd Bank Q2 net profit halves as pandemic-related provisions go up

Bogged down by money set aside for possible reverses in asset quality due to the coronavirus pandemic, IndusInd Banks September quarter net profit halved to Rs 663 crore and the private sector lender hinted of more pain in the offing saying...

No pressure on us: East Bengal coach Fowler ahead of ISL's Kolkata derby

Liverpool legend and head coach of East Bengal Robbie Fowler on Friday said that the match against ATK Mohun Bagan in the seventh season of Indian Super League ISL will be a massive one for them. SC East Bengal will take on ATK Mohun Bagan ...

WB CID arrests two sharpshooters from Punjab in Manish Shukla murder

The West Bengal CID has arrested two sharpshooters from Ludhiana in Punjab for their alleged involvement in the murder of BJP leader Manish Shukla, a senior official said on Friday. The two hail from Bihar and had fled to Punjab after alleg...

Air quality 'very poor' in Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Faridabad

The air quality largely remained very poor in Noida Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad in the National Capital Region on Friday, according to a government agency. Concentration of major air pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 also rema...

Give Feedback