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Soccer player Honda says Japanese not patriotic enough

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© 2012 AFP

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What an unfortunate comment. It shows that Honda's mentality is as misdirected as the South Korean player's.

Patriotism isn't inappropriately holding up a belligerent sign at a world sporting event that doesn't allow it. It's loving your country and representing it with class and dignity.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Pranks of stupidity have nothing to do with patriotism. Honda, like many others around who seem to be opinion leaders need to grow up. The AKB 48 generation runs across, someone said.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

shouldnt be too long before Ishihara signs Honda up as a poster boy for the Olympics (and whatever other "nationalistic" stunts he has in mind)....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Athletes live their lives in a state of fierce competition. Their whole focus is on being the winner, not the loser. I fear Keisuke Honda has viewed the situation through the same prism.

Unfortunately it has blinded him to what it means to be dignified and quietly confident. Being steely and determined works best when paired with those two attributes.

I was impressed with how the South Korean U-20 women's team handled defeat to Japan - with dignity and sportsmanship. These are the qualities that generate respect and admiration. The brash jingoism of the Korean player's action does not.

Japan doesn't need to stoop so low.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Says more than enough about Honda. He is a good player but he has a huge ego. Look at Kagawa and Nagatomo, both great players but also great attitudes.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yeah, good on him, he said he understood the feeling, good for him. Japanese people are so meek and mellow they let countries like North Korea come and kidnap it's citizens with very little protest. Patriotism isn't nationalism, so go hard Daisuke, kudos to you.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

while korean behavior is inappropriate, i believe that honda's basic premise is correct. japanese are not very patriotic. ask most japanese if they would fight if invaded, their response is usually "the US will defend us.".

1 ( +6 / -5 )

what ever happened to enjoying the game? let go of all the damn patriotism. skorea go away you ruined soccer. BOO

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Regardless, the lack of team spirit at the Olympic soccer game was an indicator of the reality in Japan. Is it the boxed-in pattern of mentality ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My impression of the comment is, it was his way of trying to lessen the criticism of the Korean-sign-holding player in the eyes of Japanese by extolling his patriotism as a personal virtue, one that he thinks Japanese need to express more openly. Though it was a bit awkward, it was his attempt at detente.

Japanese have a strong sense of being Japanese, though I am not sure that's the same as patriotism. It is because of Japan's unique culture which infuses nearly everything in Japan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Guess the only point Honda actually wanted to make was that the Japan team generally needs to be more fired up with stronger emotional energy and mental strength (which he considers to be driven by patriotism, seeing other teams like South Korea). Could have chosen a better way to explain this however.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

thywillbedoneSep. 07, 2012 - 10:36AM JST

. It is because of Japan's unique culture which infuses nearly everything in Japan.

I love this statement, it's the funniest because it's so untrue. Very little of Japan is unique and it really surprises Japanese when they learn that Korea also thinks it's the only country with 4 seasons.

As with Honda, it's just culture shock, after the end of the honeymoon period. If I had to spend 2 years among Russians, I'd also think my country was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Let's remember his only skill is kicking a leather ball and running, doesn't make him the oracle.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@Dog

"Let's remember his only skill is kicking a leather ball and running, doesn't make him the oracle."

Let's remember your only skill is to talk trash on japantoday, doesn't make you the oracle

-2 ( +6 / -7 )

I think there is no shortage of Japanese patriotism when it comes to football coverage. The other team's players hardly rate a mention, few captions on the screen, full names not shown etc, in stark contrast to the Japanese side. And as for people like Jay Kabira, words fail me. No sportsmanship, no love of tha game, no balance. Japanese players (including Honda) have advanced a lot in recent years, but unfortunately the media have yet to reach the same level.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

win something

motivate your team !!!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

what ever happened to enjoying the game? let go of all the damn patriotism. skorea go away you ruined soccer. BOO

Thoroughly agree. Patriotism will destroy the game. Honda's comments will just encourage people to get fired up, which in turn will aggravate the other side, leading to vicious cycle of escalation. Just play soccer and enjoy the game.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I 100% agree with Honda... Young Japanese are not much concerned about the history, they rather spend time listening K-Pop, do you think Koreans are like Japanese?? No way, most of the Koreans hate Japanese and Japanese culture, its the Japanese who want to watch Korean drama and feel like Koreans....what a shame!!!

And comments of Honda are less related to sports, I think the message is for young people to realize their country is in downfall and they need to get PATRIOTIC to save their faces as South Korea & China keep progressing.

The generation which developed Japan to their highest economic level had time to listen K-Pop?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Patriotic Americans don't need to hold up banners. They chant USA!USA!USA!USA!USA! to get their point across.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stupid comment.

Play your heart out on the pitch if you want to show how patriotic you are.

You're a SPORTSMAN. Which means that your comments about anything other than the sport you play are unimportant.

The dumb SK player with his sign-of-insecurity just showed how idiots like that appeal to the "patriotic" masses who jump up and down banging their dorito's-stained forearms together while spouting nationalistic garbage.

Who really cares what Honda thinks about anything other than soccer? No-one should care what a soccer player thinks about politics. It's hardly going to be interesting or insightful anyway.

Shut up and kick the ball about. That's what you're paid to do. That's all you're expected to do.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan is some of the most insanely nationalistic countries.

Patriotic != confident.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

And comments of Honda are less related to sports, I think the message is for young people to realize their country is in downfall and they need to get PATRIOTIC to save their faces as South Korea & China keep progressing. The generation which developed Japan to their highest economic level had time to listen K-Pop?

I'm pretty sure that you weren't crying when the Japanese were listening to American music and watching American TV shows and eating American fast food.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Does anyone remember the Home Internationals that used to take place in Britain. England v Scotland was so full of nationalism and rivalry that the competition was eventually banned due to constant violence and pitch invasions.

I DON'T think we want "Dokdo is ours" banners on one side of the stadium with "Takeshima is ours" banners on the other.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“Putting aside if it’s good or bad, I thought he loves South Korea,”

It's highly doubtful that he actually "loves" Korea. People who are nationalistic rarely "love" their own country, they only do it for themselves.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“If I compare the love for one’s home country (between Japanese and Koreans), I suspect the Japanese are losing,” said Honda, who led the Blue Samurai to the last 16 at the 2010 World Cup and was the most valuable player at the 2011 Asian Cup when Japan clinched a fourth continental title.

Well it's more like YOUR STUPID JAPANESE MEN'S SOCCER TEAM IS LOSING! This is why the Women's soccer team is kicking your ass, you business-class seats stealing, good for nothings!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ah, Honda, always the arrogant idiot! Holding a sign up deliberately to antagonize a rival nation isn't so much patriotism as blind nationalism, and people like Honda would be better trying to show their love of the game and nation by trying to do their best and score goals, not seeing who can shout profanities louder. Beat South Korea on the pitch, not with signs, finger pointing, and racism; that's not love of nation one bit.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

First of all, let's not pretend that there shouldn't be any nationalism in the Olympics. In fact, alongside the World Cup, it's probably the most nationalism-driven sports competition in the world. A healthy dose of nationalism is good and should not be confused with jingoism, which is extreme patriotism that leads to wars.

Second, I find it ironic that people very much mind the sign but seem to have no problem with Japanese fans waving the Rising Sun Flag, which is the Swastika equivalent for Asia. Seriously, think about it for a moment. I can understand why the Japanese are proud of the flag (I would be too if I were Japanese) but let's be real - it is a symbol of imperialism. In fact, there were people waving such flags during the game in question and the S Korean government issued a formal complaint to the IOC to ban the use of such flags in international sports events.

Lastly, having lived in Korea, Japan and China, I honestly believe that most of us respect and like each other in general. Japan is much respected by pioneering of the East Asian development model, South Korea for catching up rapidly creating a wave of its own, and China for it's grand history and current stellar economic growth. If you have a brain, you really shouldn't fall trap to the politically motivated rhetoric of the media.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yeah got to agree with most people's sentiments here. Honda as many sportsman tend to be is out of touch with reality. Could we question his loyalty also . . . moving to Europe for the mighty dollar. Why not stay in the J League if you're so loyal. And judging by the crowd at Saitama Stadium when Japan took on Iraq earlier tonight, Japanese locals are actually pretty patriotic. Wake up call Honda! http://eastasiansoccer.blogspot.com.au/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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