Wednesday, 21 April 2010

JAPAN

THEY ARE:
What appears to be the most modern and neon country on the globe. The world loves their electronics and until recently their cars (do not mention Toyota and braking). Japan is the badass country of the Far East, traditionally not happy to suffer fools and very much of an island mentality with regards to its apparent attitude towards the rest of the world. They are a wonderful thing.

AS A FOOTBALL NATION:
Along with South Korea they hosted the tournament back in 2002 which was the first time the World Cup had ever been held on the Asian continent. By all reports they both made a very good job of hosting proceedings.

MY OWN EXPERIENCE:
Japanese people are generally great but their football team is a mystery. South Korea has always tended to overshadow them. Gary Lineker actually ended his career playing in Japan for Grampus Eight which has always seemed like the weirdest decision with hindsight. The J-League appears on FIFA video games but has never really possessed much of a world profile.

IN 2010:
They have had some decent results in the run up to the finals and could well put in a very respectable showing. Group E is a mixed bag of spent powers and underachievers so a second spot might not be beyond the realms of reality. Their manager Takeshi Okada cuts the shadow of a real salaryman.

FAMOUS PLAYERS:
Shunsuke Nakamura had a pretty successful stint playing for Celtic.

MOST OBVIOUS REFERENCE:
Sushi.

AWAY FROM FOOTBALL:
So much cool stuff originates from Japan, just watch an episode of Japanorama. Some of my favourite things include Nintendo, Anime, wrestling and J-Pop music by stars such as Koda Kumi and Ayumi Hamasaki. There is also a great tradition of indie and noise bands including Shonen Knife, Boris, Afrirampo, Melt-Banana, Boredoms and DJ Scotch Egg. Then there is also the Yakuza.

NUMBER OF PEOPLE FROM JAPAN THAT I KNOW:
Quite a few surprisingly including ladies called Junko and Yuko.

QUOTE FROM A JAPANESE PERSON:
I’m trying.

DO I LIKE THEM:
Yes I do. I don’t rate them as a football nation but think they are great on so many levels.

FINAL COMMENT:
They rock.

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