Mushroom (immaculate) wrote in ontd_football,

The Samurai Blue: A Japanese National Team Information Post

Japan? The land of sushi, creepy x-rated animation and maid cafes?
They play football there? What?

Japanese National Team
Information Post

Keisuke Honda welcomes you in!


The History of Football / Soccer In Japan


The Japanese Football League (JSA) was formed in 1921 and Joined FIFA in 1929.
Their first real appearance internationally was during the Berlin Olympics of 1936.
Their first major victory didn't come until the Mexico Olympics of 1968, where they won the Bronze Medal.

The Formation of the J.League

There was no professional football league in Japan (only the semi-professional Japan Soccer League) until the formation of the J.League in 1993. This sparked a major national interest in the sport. There were originally nine professional teams but the league has grown to include eighteen teams in the J1 division and nineteen in the J2 division.
Okada Japan

Takeshi Okada is Japan's current head coach. He also coached the team back in 1998 during their first appearance in the World Cup. Nationally, he had been under heavy criticism and there was serious doubt over whether he would produce results with the 2010 World Cup Squad. The 2010 World Cup is only the second time that they've made it to the Round of 16.


The Starting 11
*Japanese fans, humor me. I put in name pronunciations because, from what I have heard as per commentary on the BBC and ESPN, nobody is pronouncing their names correctly. (Not that I can really complain, the Japanese casters also butcher the non-Japanese players' names.)

Name: Yuki Abe
Pronunciation: You-key Ah-bay
Japanese: 阿部勇樹

Position: MF
Current Club: Urawa Red Diamonds
International Debut: 2005

Information: Since Abe has started playing the position of
defensive midfielder, it is said that Japan's defense has
finally come together.

Name: Yuichi Komano
Pronunciation: You-e-chee Koh-mah-no
Japanese: 駒野友一

Position: DF
Current Club: Jubilo Iwata
International Debut: 2005

Information: He can often be found in the position of right
full-back. He's suffered a mirage of injuries in his career,
including breaking his clavicle during the 2008 Olympics.

Name: Marcus "Tulio" Tanaka
Pronunciation:  Marcus "Tulio" Tah-nah-kah
Japanese: 田中マルクス 闘莉王

Position: DF
Current Club: Nagoya Grampus Eight
International Debut: 2006

Information: Originally from Brazil, Tulio's grandmother is
Japanese. He came to Japan at the age of 15 and is fluent
in the Japanese language. In 2003 he became a citizen of
Japan. Though is position is a center-back, he tends to play
quite far up.

* He is the player that can bee seen sporting the Samurai-
style "top knot" in the last few games.

Name: Yuto Nagatomo
Pronunciation: You-toe Nah-gah-toe-moh
Japanese: 長友佑都

Position: DF
Current Club: FC Tokyo
International Debut: 2008

Information: Usually found at left-back, but sometimes over
at right-back, Nagatomo is a solid defender. He is known
nationally as kind of a Mama's boy-- he was raised by a
single mother.

Name: Yasuhito Endo
Pronunciation: Yah-sue-he-toe N-dough
Japanese:  遠藤保仁

Position: MF
Current Club: Gamba Osaka
International Debut: 2002

Information: He's the reigning Asian Footballer of the Year.
Though he's never played internationally, he is considered
one of the best players in Japan. He's usually seen in the
central midfield but recently has been moved to the left wing.

Goals this World Cup: 
1. On a free kick against Denmark.

Name: Daisuke Matsui
Pronunciation: Die-sue-K Maht-sue-E
Japanese: 松井大輔

Position: MF
Current Club: Grenoble (France)
International Debut: 2002

Information: Despite being an international player for some
years, he was left out of the National Team in 2006. This is
his first World Cup, though he did play on the Olympic Team
in 2004. He can usually be found on the right wing.

Name: Yoshito Okubo
Pronunciation: Yo-she-toe O-koo-bow
Japanese: 大久保嘉人

Position: FW
Current Club: Vissel Kobe
International Debut: 2003

Information: Okubo has a reputation for getting quite "fired
up" and is known for his bad temper.  So far in this World
Cup, though, he's been able to keep himself in check.

#17 (Captain)
Name: Makoto Hasebe
Pronunciation: Mah-koh-toe Hah-say-bay
Japanese: 長谷部誠

Position: MF
Current Club: Wolfsburg (Germany)
International Debut: 2006

Information: He is one of only two Japanese to have won the
German Bundesliga. He is currently serving as the captain of
the Japanese National Team, playing on the right wing in

Name: Keisuke Honda
Pronunciation: Kay-skay Hon-dah
Japanese: 本田圭佑

Position: MF
Current Club: CSKA Moscowa (Russia)
International Debut: 2008

Information: He is probably the one Japanese player that you
have definitely heard of. He's been a sort of shining-light for
the team, scoring two goals so far this World Cup. He was
named the MOTM for the Japan-Denmark match.

Though he is traditionally a mid-fielder, Japan's current
formation has pushed him up to center forward.
Goals this World Cup:
1. Against Cameroon.
2. On a free kick against Denmark.

Name: Eiji Kawashima
Pronunciation: Ey-Jee Kah-wah-she-mah
Japanese: 川島永嗣

Position: GK
Current Club: Kawasaki Frontale
International Debut: 2008

Information: Kawashima replaces the much-loved Kawaguchi
in goal for this World Cup. His playing has been described as
"bold and confident." 

Name: Yuji Nakazawa
Pronunciation: You-jee Nah-kah-zah-wah
Japanese: 中澤佑二

Position: DF
Current Club: Yokohama F Marinos
International Debut: 1999

Information: The longest-running member of the starting 11,
Nakazawa is the core of a solid defense line. Known for his
"luscious raven locks" his nickname is Bomber. (His haircut
is known as "Bomber Hair" in Japanese.)


Some Termanology and Cheers (aka Some Boring Stuff)

In Japan, football is called "soccer (サッカー)."

The Japanese National Team is called "Soccer Nippon Daihyou (サッカー日本代表)" and nicknamed the "Samurai Blue" (As opposed to "The Blue Samurais," which is what the foreign media is calling them). 

The team mascot is the crow and there are two mascot characters called Karappe (カラッペ) and Karara (カララ).  If you like origami, here's directions about how to make the team logo! Easy. Medium. Difficult.

The team color, blue, was supposedly chosen to represent the ocean, which is important to Japan as an island nation. The Japanese National Team's kit is blue for home and white for away matches. The goalkeeper's kit is gray for home and yellow for away matches.
In Japanese, the players are usually called by their last names and the  suffix "-senshu (選手)," which means "player." For example, Keisuke Honda is usually called "Honda-senshu."

In the international sports venue, Japan usually refers to itself as "Nippon" (as opposed to "Nihon") . As you may have noticed, the Japanese take cheering very seriously. Some cheers for the national team include:
"Ganbare Nippon! (頑張れ日本!)"
"Nippon! *clap! clap! clap!* (ニッポン!チャチャチャ!)"
"O! Vamos-nippon! Nippon! Nippon! Vamos-nippon! (オー!バモニッポン!ニッポン!ニッポン!バモニッポン!")

Some of these cheers and more can be heard well in this video: 

If you're more into the technical side of the game, and you're wondering what the formation for the starting eleven is, here you go!

If you're in it for the men, uh, well....



I warn you, I'm heavily biased as my favorite players are Tulio and Nakazawa. If you have better pictures than me, please feel free to spam the comments!!

Well, this was my first attempt at trying to make a post about a team, and I found it quite a big job, but I'm sure I am missing a lot so comment and let me know what else you'd like to know about the Japanese National Team!
Tags: nt: japan, world cup 2010, yellow fever

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  • Monday, Monday

    News FINAL I ¡¡¡¡𝗧𝘅𝗮𝗽𝗲𝗹𝗱𝘂𝗻𝗮𝗸!!!! 🔴⚪ El Athletic consigue su tercera #Supercopa tras superar al @FCBarcelona_es en una…

  • Monday

    News Papa Bouba Diop: Former Senegal, Fulham & Portsmouth midfielder dies aged 42 FIFA is saddened…

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    News ⏰ RESULTS ⏰ 👏 Arsenal, Leicester, Hoffenheim & Roma…