Japan’s stunning victory over Germany on Wednesday left their football fans in a state of jubilant disbelief.
Now, supporters of Samurai Blue are earning praise in Qatar for an off-pitch tradition that appears to be distinctly Japanese: cleaning up stadiums after other football fans have left.
In what is becoming an increasingly common sight, Japanese fans stayed behind and helped clean up the Khalifa International Stadium after their team’s win over Germany on Wednesday.
As the stadium began to empty, Japanese supporters could be seen carrying light blue disposable garbage bags and going to work.
While the audience standing back to clean up may come as a surprise to many, it is not out of the ordinary for the Japanese.
“What you think is special is actually nothing unusual for us,” Dano, a Japanese fan, told Al Jazeera with a casual shrug.
Dunno doesn’t understand why people find the gesture strange.
After shocking the world, Japanese fans cleaned up the stadium.
I love the people and I definitely have a soft spot for Japan. pic.twitter.com/sVGnI2UUxc
— Joey H.rbog (@joeyharbog_) November 23, 2022
“When we use the toilet, we clean it ourselves. When we leave a room, we make sure it is spotlessly clean. It is the custom,” he explained.
“We cannot leave a place without cleaning it. It is a part of our education, everyday learning.
Japanese football fans were shown with rubbish bags in social media posts after the opening game of the tournament between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.
you don’t have to be a #Muslim to clean up your trash behind you
check out this amazing treat from #Japani For the fans they are cleaning the studio behind them, not even the match, not the country and not even their own garbage
Greetings! #Japan #Queue #quote #Qatar World Cup pic.twitter.com/sUd1Tmj1Yf
— Muhammad Al-Jufairi (@maljefairi) November 21, 2022
In one post, a man is expressing his shock at the cleaning of a Japanese fan inside Al Bayt Stadium after most of the spectators had left and at a match that did not include the Japanese side.
Samurai Blue supporters have been cleaning the football stadium for a while; Even a loss doesn’t deter him from this important post-match task.
During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Japan lost their round-of-16 match against Belgium with an injury time goal. Japanese fans were heartbroken But that didn’t stop him from getting out of his disposable garbage bags and going to work.
Sisuka, who spoke to Al Jazeera ahead of the match against Germany, said she knew people were paying attention to her tradition, but the fans didn’t do it for the publicity.
“Cleanliness and cleanliness in Japan is like a religion to us and we cherish it,” she said, before opening her bag to reveal a pack of garbage bags that she would use after the match and give others Will distribute
Japan fans really are the best.🇯🇵
They defeated Germany in a famous victory, but stayed behind to help clean up the Khalifa International Stadium before celebrating.👏 pic.twitter.com/sZhNExEDqi
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 23, 2022
While Japanese videos of stadium cleaning on social media may be relatively new, cleanliness and organization have deep roots in Japanese culture. These characteristics are being loved around the world through books and television shows.
Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo is now a global household name thanks to her books and a popular Netflix series on the subject.
Japanese soccer supporter Takeshi, who lives in the United States but grew up in Japan, says she learned the tradition of cleanliness as a child.
“We had to clean our rooms, our bathrooms, our classrooms and then as we grow up, it becomes part of our lives,” he said.
Later Japan’s victory over GermanyTakshi and his 13-year-old son, Quaid, stayed behind with their fellow supporters.
With Japan now having three points on the table and two more group matches to go, fans and spectators can expect to be treated to more Japanese aesthetics on and off the football pitch.