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Social media users praise Japan for spotless locker room at World Cup

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Amazing! Only in Japan! Well done to all the Blue Samurai on and off the pitch. Most teams would trash the locker room and leave beer cans everywhere. This is great image of Japan to the World.

-13 ( +16 / -29 )

Gosh, these stories always strike me as propaganda. And look a few random folks on social media praised us for our exceptional qualities. Reminds me of the omotenashi narratives that are almost entirely about making yourself look great. Real humility means not having to constantly broadcast this kind of thing.

9 ( +24 / -15 )

What do other teams' locker rooms usually look like ? This means nothing without a point of comparison.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

The Japanese team and fans have won a lot of praise and respect for their great sportsmanship and conduct throughout these games.

Do not mind the bitter crowd on this website who never have anything good to say about Japan/Japanese, ever.

The fact is, Japanese fans have been renowned for many years now for being good sports, and their cleaning of stadiums abroad has been going on for many, many years, so this is hardly anything new.

Another thing, the Japanese soccer team did NOT take the picture to post to their social media account, in fact it was taken by a FIFA representative and then spread to social media afterwards. The Japanese fans cleaning up didn't take pictures of themselves to post on social media, in fact, they've been cleaning up stadiums long before there was an instagram and facebook. So for anyone to insinuate that these acts were simply for Japanese people to 'show off,' has absolutely zero clue as to what they are talking about.

Good for these Japanese fans and players, may they continue to show the world what good sportsmanship and class are all about. There IS winning in losing.

10 ( +21 / -11 )

"Japan left their changing room spotless after they lost 3-2 to Belgium last night. They then left a note in Russian saying 'Thank you.' Pure class."

I agree. It is classy

13 ( +16 / -3 )

I always appreciate and liked about this in Japanese.

Oldman_13 well said.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even if it was an, "Ooh look at us, aren't we better than you?" kind of thing, it still takes a lot of dedication to clean up a dressing room after the most shattering game of football in your life. They deserve much credit.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

There was a story on TV the other night, about how Japan became to be such a spotless nation. Videos and pictures of Japan before 1964 were incredible, seemed like some third world country, rubbish all through trains and on the streets. But they made efforts to clean up before the Tokyo olympics (ad campaigns, more rubbish collection services), and the result is this amazingly clean and considerate nation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and the result is this amazingly clean and considerate nation.

I had to laugh at this! I live in the Japanese countryside, and I could take you to any number of mountains and forests within 10km of my house to show you how the local Japanese dispose of their unwanted fridges, TVs, futons, kerosene heaters etc. Push them down over the bank!

13 ( +25 / -12 )

A lot of disingenuous comments here. It isn't propaganda when the picture wasn't taken by the Japanese team. What people can't separate is them living in Japan and their personal prejudices from the World Cup and why the world enjoyed Japanese fans and team.

Most teams would trash the locker room

Seriously, just stop with your nonsense. Other teams don't trash their locker rooms. Take pride in what your team has contributed without making extreme exaggerations making up lies about other nations. It's like you want to take personal credit for what the Japanese football team and fans who went to their games contributed. Sad!

10 ( +14 / -4 )

The sign, written in large letters and strategically placed in centre frame kind of ruins the effect. A more cynical person might even say it looks staged.

That said, what a fantastic gesture by the team. And after a heartbreaking loss like that? Incredible. Well done, Samurai Blue.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Clean-up and renew the mindset and "Спасибо" is quite enough to local people understand the pure concept of those left visitors.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Players and fans cleaning up locker rooms or stadiums at home or abroad is a good thing. Western news or social media picking up on it, OK. What makes me cynical is reading about it on Kyodo, for the umpteenth time mind you. Or how such media is picked up here as a means of reinforcing uniquely Japanese characteristics. And if you think the national team or Olympic athletes aren't schooled on what to do/not do while abroad or how to comport themselves or that the government doesn't see this as an important form of soft power, then you're rather naive. It also reminds me of articles about train companies apologizing for being one minute late. These narratives crop up online all the time--a lot of it is just recycled lazy journalism, but it also smacks of Pravda IMO.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

As representatives of the country, it is universally good that they set they set a positive example.

As the streets of any city after Saturday night, any park after hanami, many beaches, and many roadsides in the countryside demonstrate, it is not an example that is universally followed.

My impression is that it is actually Westerners who are heralding the Japanese here to criticize the prevalence of litter in their own countries. It is not Japanese praising themselves in this particular example.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Clean your room, Bucko!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good story. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy as I am being pushed and crushed on my commute into Tokyo. When I was in peewee football the waterboy, the kid with no skill to play, used to clean up after the team.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"My impression is that it is actually Westerners who are heralding the Japanese here to criticize the prevalence of litter in their own countries. It is not Japanese praising themselves in this particular example."

Exactly, kohakuebisu.

I don't want people reading this website to think that the petty opinions of the bitter, anti-Japan crowd on this website are in any way representative of non-Japanese in general.

Like I said, Japanese people cleaning up after themselves is hardly a new phenomenon, they were doing it long before the advent of the internet and social media. And this picture of the locker room was reported by multiple news sources, not only Kyodo. That anyone would think any of this was somehow orchestrated by the Japanese media and Japanese people to 'show off' or think they are better than anyone else, is pathetic. Can these people give it a rest?

The overwhelming majority of people commenting on this photo and of Japanese people in general online have been incredibly praiseworthy of Japanese culture and society. Of how clean and respectable they are, and as you mention, it is because they see it as something that is alien to the behavior of citizens from their own countries.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

"Amazing! Only in Japan!" ----or Russia?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Great feature of Japanese etiquette.  Locker rooms after other teams - water everywhere, towels, discarded underwear, mud or sand traipsed in from the pitch.  The thank you note in Cyrillic is particularly nice,

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I can't help but wonder who cleaned the room because I'm guessing not the players. Also can't help but wonder if this is nothing more than a PR stunt due to the last WC with the images of fans cleaning up stadiums. Either way, those of us married to Japanese, those of us who live in Japan, and those of of us who have been here long enough for the rose tinted glasses to fall off know the realities vs the myths of how clean Japanese folks are.

Regardless, good on whoever cleaned up the mess!

10 ( +16 / -6 )

The Blue Samurais did something good and instead of praising it, some idiots are thrashing it as "propaganda". And for the few who have posted positive comments, they are receiving more downvotes than upvotes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is standard practice in Japan, as most gyms and sports facilities cannot hire cleaning staff as it is too expensive. This also helps keep out cheaper foreign workers who could do these jobs.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Blue Samurais did something good and instead of praising it, some idiots are thrashing it as "propaganda". And for the few who have posted positive comments, they are receiving more downvotes than upvotes.

Misandrists, all. If the women's team had done it, everyone would be singing their praises....

Right?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Class and Real Sportsmanship.

Well Done Japan.

This is the most inspirational thing I’ve read/seen about the World Cup yet. Hats off to Japan.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

The Japanese team cleans the locker rooms, the Japanese fans clean the stands. These actions have gained Japan a new respect around the world with Soccer fans of other nations amazed at the respect shown all around by the Japanese in Russia during the world cup matches.

I applaud their example and once Australia went out, was supporting japan as the only other Asian qualifier still alive in the competition. They put in a great effort but the last 20 minutes of the game was all the oppositions.

Now I guess I will support England.

Well done Japan on a great showing at the 2018 world cup. See you in 2022.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

As a person who goes to an awful lot of pro baseball games in Japan, I can only share my experience which is that stadiums are FAR from spotless at the end of games. It's true that they are much cleaner than they are in American stadiums that I've been to, but certainly not clean enough to warrant creating a cultural image over. Recently, at the end of a game, a few guys in my section were apparently inspired by the World Cup crowd, and decided to gather all the trash in our section at the end of the game. Good on them! But...there was an awful lot of trash that needed to be picked up...discarded by other Japanese fans.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Boys will be moms?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm sure the players themselves didn't clean it. It would've been the low level staff and tea ladies that cleaned it. Why would world cup level athletes clean their dressing room? C'mon Japan....

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Some people are completely missing the whole point. People who live in Europe, like me, know that our football fans are not only very dirty, but also often very violent. It's obvious that we admire the attitude displayed by the Japanese fans, so calm, clean and collected, and in this case also by their team, that showed a huge respect toward the hosting Country. Who cares if in their own Country not all Japanese are so polite? But their football fans and team obviously deserve all the praise that are getting to respect the foreign Country that was hosting them. Japanese tourists are generally very polite too, it's a well known fact also here in Italy. Instead to bash Japanese fans, speaking about "propaganda" and elaborating conspiracy theories, why don't you suggest to your Countrymen to imitate Japanese netiquette when they go to a sport event in another Country? The Senegal fans did exactly this, and they won praise around the world as much as Japanese fans. Probably Senegal isn't a particularly clean Country, but they saw what Japanese fans did, and instead to speak about "propaganda", they cleaned the stadium too, respecting the hosting Country. Instead to act like jelly children, your Countrymen could do the same, but probably they preferred to do their business after littering the stadium.

Congrats both to Senegal and Japan fans, an example for everyone. Shame on all those other fans, who didn't think they could follow that example. And, of course, congrats to Japan team, both for your education and your amazing playing. You played "champagne football", and gained praise from all football fans around the world. Belgium vs Japan has been probably the most spectacular game in this WC so far.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Champagne football" you are kidding right.?

I would advise you re-watch the Belgium match.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Which would you rather have, a clean dressing room or success on the field?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mr. Zaccheroni, ex-coach of Japan national football team, released an interview on the Italian sport newspaper "La Gazzetta dello sport", confirming the players always acted this way in the locker room after every match. He also praised Japanese players for their performance against Belgium, he knows some of them very well, and he said toward the end of the game, Japan has been only a bit naive.

But haters gonna hate. Envy is a very ugly feeling.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Which would you rather have, a clean dressing room or success on the field?

My wife's answer might be different from mine. But why not both? They're not mutually exclusive. The thank-you card was a nice touch.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

About Mr. Zaccheroni, I said he knows "some of them". I correct myself: he said he knows most of them (of course, because he has been their coach). Only some players are new, the rest are the same guys of the national team that he trained.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Lol at the pathetic posters who will try to spin anything and everything to a negative to discredit jayat all costs. A touching story if it wasn't involved with the Japanese for them but since it is, it's sickening. Truly saddening.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The Original WingJuly 4 06:01 pm JST

As a person who goes to an awful lot of pro baseball games in Japan,.."

"awful" being the key word!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tokyo-EngrJuly 4 08:09 am JST"Japan left their changing room spotless after they lost 3-2 to Belgium last night. They then left a note in Russian saying 'Thank you.' Pure class."

I agree. It is classy

You better believe it is classy! Their team got slammed by the Belgians at the last minute and they could've took their frustrations out in the locker rooms. Other teams would. By behaving like this, the Japanese team lost the game but they are WINNERS nonetheless!

And yes, rocketpanda - other teams do trash their locker rooms. I remember the US Olympic team acting snotty at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, they cried and bellyached when they didn't win gold. 'Only the Gold will do!'. I called that the 'Ego-lympics'. Trashed everything up, too. Everything. Hate to say that about my country's team but I was disgusted and ashamed of them. In 1998 in Nagano the US Olympic team did it again. Win a bunch of medals and trashed the locker rooms even if they DID win anything. They just did it - in Japan. Acted like total imbeciles.

I know Japan got beat by Belgium but their team took it in stride and they played well and they acted like good guests. Forget all the political crap - this is what sports competition and hospitality is all about. Soccer team of Japan - I SALUTE YOU.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nan FerraToday 09:54 am JSTThe Original WingJuly 4 06:01 pm JST

As a person who goes to an awful lot of pro baseball games in Japan,.."

"awful" being the key word!

Ain't that the truth! I've been to a lot of American stadiums and arenas and yeah, 'awful' is right. Even at my own football stadium at my college campus the locker rooms, restrooms and tiers have been atrocious at best. I've worked at security and ushering jobs for football (American) games and concerts at my university and the littering is just unbelievable - it's everywhere. The worst scenario was after a Rolling Stones concert where so many people snuck in booze bottles. So many concert-goers got slushed and there were bottles filled with urine, vomit, and what all in the stands. Another time was after a Pink Floyd show - roaches (smoked doobie or 'spliff' butts) were in all the rows. American stadiums can get really horrendous, man.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good job soccer team, hopefully this will spread to other parts of Japan. My neighborhood in Osaka is inundated by discarded plastic wrappers and pet bottles. After a heavy rain, you can see hundreds of plastic bottles floating down the Okawa-river.

I can imagine that locker rooms in the States after a game being a pigsty. Many athletes had pampered upbringings, and could get away with anything growing up. Cleaning to these people is beneath them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's a PR stunt.

This only seems to 'conveniently' happen when the press or TV cameras are about.

Yes the streets of Japan are typically very clean, but there are many 'selfish' people who sadly still litter.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's a PR stunt.

This only seems to 'conveniently' happen when the press or TV cameras are about.

Yes the streets of Japan are typically very clean, but there are many 'selfish' people who sadly still litter.

100% agree here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is great image of Japan to the World. and yet I just drove past a local fishing industry beach a few weeks again and the rubbish piled up on the beaches is atrocious, admittedly it isn't all Japanese rubbish but the locals dont seem to have any will to clean it up

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan is far from the cleanest country, I mean I hardly see street sweepers in japan, the number of places I drive with dirt and cigarette buts piled up at the intersection and corners of roads . If you want clean you need to go to countries with strong littering laws, and government supplied trash cans at parks etc. NZ comes to mind for a clean country overall, not perfect but far better than Japan

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Some people miss the point which is this.

Japanese sporting teams abroad are ambassadors for Japan as a whole. Large groups of Japanese fans are also ambassadors for the country. So you would hope they behave and are a positive example for others to admire and follow. During the world cup in Russia both the team and its fans have held Japan up for the world to see and the result was both surprising and beneficial. People who have had little or no contact with Japan or Japanese have been impressed with the respect shown on all levels by the Japanese at the world cup.

In short they were close to perfect ambassadors. You cant ask for much more than that except to also win the cup. They tried hard.

Remember the years of reports of Soccer thugs and violent brawls by fans of different countries. Thats at the opposite end of the spectrum to Japanese fans respect and conduct which will be an example for others to try to emulate in the future. It is also an example for the Japanese at home to do better where they can. There was no down side to Japan being at the world cup in 2018.

While Japan, like 30 other nations that attended but will not win the world cup, cant bask in the glow of ultimate victory. Japan can glow at the respect earned by team and fans on the world stage.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People who have had little or no contact with Japan or Japanese have been impressed with the respect shown on all levels by the Japanese at the world cup.

They acted like gracious guests. They could've trashed the joint up but good knowing the local yocals would clean it up after them.

While Japan, like 30 other nations that attended but will not win the world cup, cant bask in the glow of ultimate victory. Japan can glow at the respect earned by team and fans on the world stage.

That's absolutely correct. Japan's team got knocked out of the finals but they didn't act like spoiled brats about it. Even though their team lost they still were mature about it all the whole time they were in Russia. You could call this a PR stunt all you want, you could say they were just behaving the way all athletic teams should but there's that special word - should.  Many teams don't - even after a victory. The fans themselves didn't do anything stupid. Of course we all saw that big picture of that Japanese fan crying at his team's defeat but he, the other fans and the team members themselves still acted like adults. No temper-tantrums. No riots. No trashings. That seems to be too much for other sorts fans and teams - but not these guys. It can't be overemphasized. Hats off to the Japanese team and their fans!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've heard stories about the Japanese politeness. I've heard about that at gas stations they fill your car up, take their caps off to salute you and even direct traffic so you could drive out on the road safely. Sounds great - won't find any of that in America! Then again, I can't drive like they do in Japan - in the left lane!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought that the Japanese team was wonderful. I do not know the state of the other team's locker room, the locker room of this team looks beautiful. Also, I think there is no team that defiled the latest locker room. I often hear that Japanese spectators pick up garbage after the game. However, when I went to Shibuya after a soccer game, there was a lot of garbage on the floor. I thought that I want Japanese people to pick up garbage not only in Russia but also in Shibuya. If this activity spreads all over the world, cleaning staff will not be needed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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