There are rugby games and then there are events; occasions attached with so much emotion you can be caught up in a strange feeling of watching history unfold. It's a sensation which grabs you in the gut and takes you outside yourself for 80 minutes.
How does that happen? Sport is said to be a reflection of life or society and that seems pretty much right. It's often not fair and it can be brutal and unforgiving. It can be venal and cynical. But it can be beautiful too.
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The Japan v Scotland Rugby World Cup match played in front of 72,000 people at Yokohama Stadium on Sunday was beautiful. It was also visceral in its intensity. And it was loud.
Boy was it loud. Japanese rugby fans prefer to cheer both teams out of fairness. So far during this tournament, an increasingly special one for the country and the unbeaten host team who progressed to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history with their incredible 28-21 victory over Scotland, good play from both sides has been applauded.
But this time even the most reserved of home supporters yelled at the top of their lungs when a player in red and white did something to help his team, always the team; the collective, rather than the individual.
The Brave Blossoms were playing for more than themselves, their families and their country. They were playing specifically for those killed in Typhoon Hagibis which swept up the country the day before and put this match under threat. They were playing for those injured and for those who lost their homes and livelihoods.
It was, frankly, special to be a part of, and nearly everyone who was there will feel the same way. It was the game this tournament needed.
It was necessary because the volunteers and public deserve it. There is a word in Japanese – "Omotenashi" – which, roughly translated, describes the way Japanese hosts pay attention to detail and anticipate their guests' needs.
I've lost count of the stories I've heard here of lost wallets being returned fully intact, of people being chased down the road after dropping a small amount of money or forgetting something, of the horror on the face of a restaurant worker having to turn a group away because there were no tables available.
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After the typhoon blew through and it was decided the Japan v Scotland match would go ahead, the stadium pack-in was done in six hours. It would normally take two days. It looked immaculate because there was no alternative; to do otherwise would present the country in an unflattering light, to be less than gracious.
It's an attitude we can all learn from, and it's one we would all do well to try to adopt. One former All Black told me recently that it makes you think about how us New Zealanders treat visitors, especially those from Asia, and he was dead right – it really does.
So get behind Japan the country and the team. Get behind their Kiwi coaches Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown and captain Michael Leitch, a former Chiefs player who went to school in Christchurch and can now speak Japanese like a local.
Joseph revealed he didn't start Leitch in a match recently because the attention and pressure from the public may have been getting too much for him. He can't walk through a train station without being mobbed. After the Scotland victory, Leitch went to bed at 1.30am but didn't sleep a wink. He was up a few hours later to face the media as usual.
Want another reason to support them? I'll finish with a personal email from Kelly, a rugby-loving Kiwi who has lived in Japan for many years.
"This tournament has united a nation like I've never seen before," she wrote. "It's always been us and them and still is in many respects but rugby has united the nation and the world. If the shoe had been on the other foot and Japan [were] denied the opportunity to play and go through they would have accepted it with humility and grace. Jamie Joseph, Michael Leitch and the rest of the Brave Blossoms take a bow."
There's something special happening here. Another victory on Sunday against South Africa and who knows what might happen.
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