Parler Share
News

Japanese Fans and Athletes Go Viral for Bringing Culture of Cleanliness to World Cup: 'Normal Thing to Do'

Parler Share

The sight of Japanese fans at a World Cup bagging trash after a match — win or lose — always surprises non-Japanese fans.

Japanese players are famous for doing the same in their team dressing room: hanging up towels, cleaning the floor, and even leaving a thank-you note.

The behavior is driving social media posts at the World Cup in Qatar, but it’s nothing unusual for Japanese fans or players.

They are simply doing what most people in Japan do — at home, at school, at work, or on streets from Tokyo to Osaka, Shizuoka to Sapporo.

Trending:
'I Don't Give a F*** If You're an Adult or Not': 9th-Grade Female Student Physically Beats Teacher

“For Japanese people, this is just the normal thing to do,” Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu said. “When you leave, you have to leave a place cleaner than it was before. That’s the education we have been taught. That’s the basic culture we have. For us, it’s nothing special.”

A spokeswoman for the Japanese Football Association said it’s supplying 8,000 trash bags to help fans pick up after matches with “thank you” messages on the outside written in Arabic, Japanese, and English.

Barbara Holthus, a sociologist who has spent the last decade in Japan, said cleaning up after oneself is engrained in Japanese culture.

Do you wish America had a culture of cleanliness like Japan?

“You’re always supposed to take your trash home in Japan, because there are no trash cans on the street,” said Holthus, the deputy director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies. “You clean your classroom. From a very young age you learn you are responsible for the cleanliness of your own space.”

Many Japanese elementary schools don’t have janitors, so some of the clean-up work is left to the young students. Office workers often dedicate an hour to spruce up their areas.

“It’s partly cultural, but also the education structures have been training you for a long time to do that,” Holthus added.

This is Japan’s seventh straight World Cup, and their cleanliness began making news at their first World Cup in 1998 in France.

Prior to the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike cautioned that visiting fans would have to learn to clean up after themselves.

Related:
Biden Classified Docs Update: Biden's UPenn Office Was Searched by FBI - Report

However, the problem never materialized after fans from abroad were banned from attending the Games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tokyo has few public trash receptacles. This keeps the streets cleaner, saves municipalities the costs of emptying trash cans, and keeps away vermin.

Midori Mayama, a Japanese reporter in Qatar for the World Cup, said that fans collecting rubbish was a non-story back home.

“Nobody in Japan would report on this,” she said, noting the same clean-up happens at Japanese professional baseball games. “All of this is so normal.”

It may be normal to Japanese, but Alberto Zaccheroni, an Italian who coached Japan from 2010 to 2014, said it’s not how most teams act when they travel.

“Everywhere in the world players take their kit off and leave it on the floor in the changing room. Then the cleaning staff come and collect it,” he said. “Not the Japanese players. They put all the shorts on top of the other, all the pairs of socks and all the jerseys.”

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , ,
Parler Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation