World Cup in London: Japan

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Or: サッカー! Football with London's Japanese fans

Japan football fans, London

Yesterday, I watched Japan -v- Holland in the company of Japanese fans.

It was a game of two halves for me: firstly, I went to the Chutney & Lager to watch with people from the Japan Society. But, to be honest, they were all very quiet and didn't have a flag in sight.

So at half time, I moved on to Bincho Yakitori  in Soho where a downstairs room was full of Japanese fans, their friends, and even some Dutch fans.

The Japanese fans weren't taking the game very seriously - every shot against them received a nice applause and a little ripple of laughter. The laughter became chants when Japan pushed forward. One man got the whole room going, chanting Nippon! Nippon! Nippon! Well done that man. More singing and chanting broke out when Nakamura came on.

But, in the end, Japan ended the game in defeat. Not that the mild-mannered fans seemed to mind, they were smiling and laughing just as much as they had been during the game.