Japan (known as the Brave Blossoms) is traditionally the strongest rugby power in Asia but has both enjoyed and endured mixed results against non-Asian teams over the years. Rugby union in Japan is administered by the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) which was founded in 1926. They compete annually in the Pacific Nations Cup and the Asian Five Nations. They are the only Asian country to participate in every Rugby World Cup. However they have only ever won one game at the tournament, against Zimbabwe in 1991.
Rugby was introduced to Japan in 1899 and Japan’s first international was a match against a Canadian team in 1932. Notable games for Japan include a victory over the Junior All Blacks in 1968, and a narrow 6-3 loss to England in 1971. Japan’s most famous victory so far is a 28-24 victory over Scotland in 1989. In the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Japan drew 12-12 against Canada, their second best result in the tournament.
The 2007 Rugby Wolrd Cup saw Japan score one of the tries of the tournament.
Sunday June 22nd at the National Stadium (Kokuritsu Kogijou) from 14:00 Japan plays Fiji. Billed as the REMATCH OF THE YEAR (They were beaten 35 – 31 by Fiji at the 2007 RWC), and with Japan fresh off a big win over Tonga, this should be a great game.
Tickets can be bought at the JRFU website or at convenience stores. They are selling fast, so I recommend buying in advance. Hope to see you there. Go the Brave Blossoms.