Qatar 2022: Heartwarming Reason Japan Fans Clean Up After World Cup Matches Explained

Qatar 2022: Heartwarming Reason Japan Fans Clean Up After World Cup Matches Explained

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:18 PM
In this article:
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup
  • Fans of Japan have provided an explanation for their wholesome attitude of tidying up stadiums after the end of matches at the World Cup
  • Aside from their fans taking centre stage, Japan are in a strong position to qualify from a tough group housing former world champions Germany and Spain as well as CONCACAF nation Costa Rica
  • The Blue Samurai will face Costa Rica next after securing a historic win over Germany in their opening group game

Japanese supporters have stolen the headlines in Qatar for their heartwarming gesture of cleaning stadiums after the final whistle.

The gesture, which came to the fore in 2018, has become a tradition for the Japanese fans at the Mundial, earning them plaudits across the world.

Their symbolic act of responsibility which continues to surprise millions across the globe has finally been explained by the fans from the Far East.

Japan, fans, supporters, World Cup, Qatar 2022, FIFA World Cup, stadium, clean, tidy up
Japan fans cleaned the match venue following their shock win over four-time world champions Germany in their opening game. Photo credit: @brfootball
Source: Twitter

Below is the explanation given by some section of their supporters on why they leave match venues sparkling clean:

“Our heart is clean, so the stands must be clean. This means the team reaches its destiny,” one fan said to Al Jazeera as quoted by Sport Bible after Japan’s stunning 2-1 win over Germany.

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A number of fans then referenced the Japanese word ‘atarimae’, which translates to ‘stating the obvious’.

Another fan said: “What we’re taught is that leaving things cleaner than the way you found it is atarimae. And that we should always express gratitude.”
While one fan who carried blue plastic bags to hand out to fellow supporters explained: “We distribute these bags to everyone who sits in the Japan fan seats.
“So when our team succeeds we can paint the area blue. To tidy and clean when we leave is a manifestation of our culture.”
Someone else added: “It’s because we’re taught it by our parents and through education.”
Many ardent followers of the World Cup were surprised when they saw Japanese fans tidying after the match, which surprised Danno, who said: “What you think is special is actually nothing unusual for us.
“When we use the toilet, we clean it ourselves. When we leave a room, we make sure it’s tidy. That’s the custom.
“We can’t leave a place without making it clean. It’s a part of our education, everyday learning.”
Fellow Japanese fan Saysuka added: “Cleanliness and tidiness is like religion to us in Japan and we treasure it.”

Japan fans clean stadium

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that fans of Japan continued their heartwarming tradition of cleaning up stadiums after matches involving their side.

The supporters from the Far East endeared themselves to the football ecosystem four years ago in Russia, when they stayed behind to clean the stadium despite their side agonisingly losing in a last-16 tie against Belgium.

They continued their long-standing tradition after the opening ceremony and curtain-raiser involving host nation Qatar and Ecuador on Sunday, November 20.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.