Category Archives: Japan

The Shimogamo Shrine: Rugby’s First Religious Monument

The Shimogama Shrine is a designated UNESCO world heritage site that dates from the 6th Century. It is described in the Japanese origin myth as the final resting place of Yatagarasu, the three legged crow, who guided Japan’s first Emperor to his place of residence at Yamato. Continue reading

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Edmund Blunden – the War Poet who went to Japan

Edmund Charles Blunden CBE MC is remembered as a well-travelled poet and war hero but fewer people are aware of his impact on the early development of rugby in Japan. Continue reading

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England Students to Japan, 1982

In 1982 an England Students side travelled to Japan to play a match against Japan at the Hanazono Stadium in Osaka…  Continue reading

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SPECIAL EXHIBITION – Brave Blossoms: the History of Rugby in Japan

As the rugby world turns towards the land of the rising sun in anticipation of Asia’s first Rugby World Cup, the World Rugby Museum is delighted to present its new special exhibition ‘Brave Blossoms: the History of Rugby in Japan’. Continue reading

Posted in Countries, Japan, Museum Collection, Rugby World Cup, Twickenham | 2 Comments

Eyes Wide Open: The Demi Sakata Story

In 1968 Japan shocked the rugby world by defeating the Junior All-Blacks in Wellington.  Japanese Wing Yoshihiro ‘Demi’ Sakata scored four of Japan’s six tries that day and would go on to demonstrate that the performance was no fluke. This … Continue reading

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Tanaka and Clarke: The friends that took rugby from Cambridge to Japan

Rugby football arrived in Japan relatively early by worldwide standards, but it was not until the turn of the twentieth century that the sport would be played by Japanese nationals.  Continue reading

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Remembering Seiji Hirao, 1963-2016

On Friday February 10th in the lavish setting of the Portopia Hotel in Kobe, the Japan Rugby Football Union together with the Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers Rugby Club staged a remarkable memorial event to celebrate the life of Seiji Hirao, … Continue reading

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