Haiku reflections on Japan

Crying for joy, wincing with embarrassment

Journalists sometimes

make me wince with their silly

or stupid questions

 

Japan achieved a lot during their rugby world cup as we saw and Eddie Jones pointed out during their press conference on arrival back in Japan.    I was reading an article about that in one of the papers.  He is going off to South Africa now to coach a team in their league down there.  He should get on well.  I wonder who will take over as Japan’s coach.

I also saw a subtitled video of Japan’s points kicker, Goyamaru, being asked a few post-match questions by a Japanese journalist.  I watched the video after being attracted by the slightly misleading title for the video ‘Journalist makes Japanese rugby player cry’.   Not that I am attracted to videos where people are made to cry!!  I thought ‘yeah right ‘made’ to cry I must see but that’s probably not true’.  I was right, as it turned out.  He was emotional already.  He was not ‘made’ to cry.    Anyway, I thought one question was a bit daft, something you’d ask a child, not an adult.  It was ‘Will your family support you when you get home, do you think?’  What???    Firstly, he’s not a child.   They might have well have asked ‘Will your Mummy and Daddy and granny and granddad cheer you up? And also, was he considered not to have achieved enough?  That his family would say he shamed them?  Being the scorer of most of Japan’s points in a historic World Cup presence for Japan?   No, they’ll disown him you dunce!!  I suppose it gives a hint of what the Japanese public, even if half of them aren’t even watching the world cup, expect from people they consider to be representing them abroad.   And the pressure on the sportsmen/women as well to an extent.   I find a lot of sports journalists’ questions moronic and most of them repeat themselves and of course then the athletes have to repeat themselves, and it’s like ‘ok you said that already but it’s not really your fault because the journalist repeated the question or only slightly reworded a previous question’.  Sports language is full of clichés, repeated expressions and lip service – sometimes sincere, sometimes insincere – to other teams and can be quite boring (as can the analysis after the match if you watch too much of it) but some journalists really make it worse.

No doubt Eddie Jones and the team will be tuning in this weekend to watch the quarterfinals, オーストラリア being one of the countries involved.  アイルランド won’t necessarily be weakened by our regular captain’s absence (I don’t recognise the name of his position replacement, I just hope he is good!) but judging by the reaction to his forced retirement from international rugby, he’ll be missed in spirit as well as in body, so to speak.   I wonder if he is still heading to Toulon.  One of our main points kickers looks like he might win the race to get fit in time after his injury last week in the same game.   The third injured player from last week’s bruiser against Les Bleus has been replaced officially however and has returned home for treatment.   The person I mentioned last time who might get a citing has got it but was only banned for one match so he will probably be back for the semi-final if we beat Argentina, as he is really good.

フランス are once again rebelling against their head coach.  In 2011, it was Marc Lièvremont, this time it’s Philippe Saint-André, who for some reason I thought they were all ok with.   Who knows, that might be talk to make NZ think there is trouble in the camp and that France won’t be focused.  But I’m sure the All Blacks are too smart to fall for this as France can get focused when they want to, as New Zealand know, meeting them and only beating them by one point in the final after an early-stage mutiny by France in the pool stages in 2011, rebelling against Lièvremont who was said to have called them a bunch of brats at the time.   I imagine he was not entirely wrong.   As much as I enjoy the sport, and other sports, I do think there is sometimes too much indulgence of sports professionals.   Though we have not heard PSA’s side of this and only hear that the players are once again ‘unhappy’, this behaviour is one thing that makes me reconsider wishing that team well.  What’s more, PSA has already decided to move on anyway, to be replaced by Guy Noves after the world cup, so what is the point exactly of giving him so much trouble at this late stage?

 

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