Monument to 1st Rugby Club in Asia Unveiled in Yokohama

Sports Society

Yokohama, Sept. 5 (Jiji Press)--A monument commemorating the establishment of the first Asian rugby club near the end of Japan's Edo period in the 1860s was unveiled Thursday in Yokohama's Chinatown south of Tokyo.

Yokohama, a Kanagawa Prefecture city, is set to host seven games, including the final, of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. The tournament will kick off Sept. 20, the first to be hosted by an Asian country.

"I want people to come and see the monument when they come to watch the games," said a person involved in the monument construction project.

The history of rugby in Japan is said to date back to 1899, when Edward Bramwell Clarke, then an English teacher at Keio University, introduced rugby to his students.

Meanwhile, Mike Galbraith, 72, a member of the successor team of the Yokohama Foot Ball Club, established by Britons, came across an old magazine illustration in which foreigners are depicted playing rugby in front of Japanese with "mage" topknots.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press