Japan Welcomes Rugby Teams with National Anthems

Sports Society

Tokyo, Sept. 19 (Jiji Press)--A project to welcome visiting rugby players and others by singing their national anthems is spreading in Japan, ahead of the opening of the 2019 World Cup on Friday.

"National anthems are a good opportunity (for people) to learn about the countries," Toshiaki Hirose, 37, the founder of the Scrum Unison project and a former captain of the Japanese national team, said.

After Hirose came up with the idea, the project kicked off after endorsements mainly by musician Takumi Murata and singer Miri Tanaka.

Videos of Murata and others wearing rugby kits and singing national anthems and rugby anthems, which can substitute for national anthems, have been posted on YouTube.

The videos also include anthem lyrics written in alphabetic letters and "katakana" Japanese characters at the screen bottom for people to sing along.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press