Japan: Rugby World Cup quarter-final spot gives fans reason to smile after Typhoon Hagibis

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From Becky Grey
BBC Sport at Yokohama
Red and white stripes anywhere, dogs in wigs, shirts, newspaper scrum caps along with a grin. Always a smile.
Japan might have qualified for a World Cup quarter-final by beating against Scotland but their spot was long ago sealed by their fans .
It hasnt been a simple 48 hours for the nation. Japan typhoon at 61 years sifting through several areas on Saturday, leaving 23 people dead.
On Sunday morningthe skies had cleared, the sun shone and Japan showed the resilience it takes to reside in a country ravaged by natural disasters.
Among rugby fans, discuss turned to whether the critical World Cup match against Scotland of the team would proceed or not.
Videos on websites on Saturday had already shown the Japan team wading to get into the area at their flooded training ground.
Regardless of the pitch, the Scottish Rugby Union had made his feelings clear on a potential cancellation and Japan head coach Jamie Joseph demanded more respect for his side, stating they were desperate to perform too.
Pictures on streets submerged with roofs blown offs news made drama seem hopeless and submerged flood plains across the scene did not look promising .
There was not any need for doubt given the creativity of the Japanese. The scene was safe and therefore was constructed on stilts. The game would go ahead.
Some may have contested the choice to bring the championship into a nation where such weather may make games unplayable, but the scenes in Yokohama should put those ideas from peoples minds.
Fans flocked to the 72,000-capacity ground hours before kick-off and was that the beam of delight that the country needed after the typhoon.
More and more white and red tops assembled. A feeling of history was in the air and the locals understood it lengthy queues formed for programs as well as the merchandise store.
Japan could have been going to seal a place and everyone needed a souvenir.
No catalyst was needed at this tournament, although A historical win against South Africa at the 2015 World Cup was the catalyst for greater interest in the Japan team four years before.
Japan shirts have been sold out in stores across the nation and the anticipated television viewer for Sundays game was an estimated people.
If this game had been cancelled, the World Cup would have been a place. However, the jeopardy about not or whether it could be performed, together with the fact that everybody had been made to devote the past 24 hours indoors for their own safety, meant fans were delighted to be there.
The extra time certainly gave lovers time to plan their outfits — a soccer shirt is just not enough for Japanese fans.
You will find wigs at the Japan flags colours rugby-themed kimonos and even rugby earrings on display.
Not to mention Bak-san, a buff who has earned star status at this World Cup at matches, made an appearance.
A rendition of Flower of Scotland broke out as lovers waited for kick-off at the front of the ground and it was not only Scottish fans.
As the players emerged onto the pitch, In the arena, the sense of anticipation improved. A moments silence was held in memory of those who had died in the typhoon and the poignancy was transported through to the Japanese national anthem.
The television cameras showed tear-stained faces as they sang the sombre tune with a degree of emotion not often seen in such a reserved and culture.
Chants ofNippon, the word for Japan, broke out after kick-off and each hit was met with a cheer.
Every time that the Brave Blossoms captain — a hero in his adopted nation ever since win against South Africa — so much as approached the chunk that a cry ofLeitch would ring out.
Even scrum penalties obtained shipped the crowd and it wasnt just those inside the stadium invested in every twist and turn of this game.
At Oita, in which England and Wales will perform with their quarter-finals, bars were full of screaming fans, while at the end, fans streamed at Tokyos famous Shibuya crossing.
Japan were also a team with a nation behind them and those inside the arena at Yokohama made themselves noticed.
There have been howls of pain since Scotlands Finn Russell went for the first try shrieks of delight when Japan drew level with the score of Kotaro Matsushima.
Lovers had won many hearts, but on the pitch Japan play with a new rugby and yet another offload meant Keita Inagaki was the man.
Kenki Fukuoka, that was given his man of the match award by Japanese athletic Naomi Osaka, scored twice and it felt progressively apparent that Japan had made a place in the last eight.
However, the try for Scotland seven minutes of WP Nel reached their lowest level after a defence let Zander Fagerson.
The crowd willed Japan on, roaring for this games last five minutes and regrouped. They counted the five seconds down before the ball has been kicked into the stands and they burst into tears, bliss and, in some cases.
The answer to this win from fans and players revealed that this game was final than the pool game for Japan.
The post-match parties continued for half an hour afterwards fulltime as the team lined up on bow to every facet of the stadium and supporters chanted their nations name.
The players gathered for a photograph before forming a circle and singing, perhaps not needing their time around the pitch.
With Leitch doing the speaking, Finally seven players were left kneeling in a huddle. And since they abandoned the pitch, then it had been having a wave to the crowd.
Its been a stressful 48 hours for the population, but people in Yokohama on Sunday still smiled. And now they have even more reason to.
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