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

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From Becky Grey
BBC Sport in Yokohama
Red and white stripes everywhere, dogs in wigs rugby tops, newspaper scrum caps along with a grin. Always a smile.
Japan may have qualified by beating Scotland for a World Cup quarter-final however their lovers long ago sealed their spot .
It has not been an easy 48 hours for the nation. The largest typhoon in 61 years of japan sifting through several regions leaving 23 people dead.
On Sunday morning Japan and the sun shone showed the resilience it can take to reside in a nation consistently battered by natural disasters.
Among rugby fans, discuss turned to whether the groups critical World Cup game against Scotland would go.
Videos on social media on Saturday had already shown the Japan team wading to get to the area at their training floor that was flooded.
Away from the pitch, the Scottish Rugby Union had made his feelings clear on a potential cancellation and Japan head coach Jamie Joseph needed respect saying they were desperate to play.
Pictures on roads submerged with roofs blown offs information made play seem submerged and impossible flood plains around the stadium didnt look promising.
There was not any need for doubt given the creativity of the Japanese. The stadium was safe and therefore was constructed on stilts. The game would go.
The scenes at Yokohama should definitely put those ideas, although some could have questioned the choice to bring the tournament to a state where extreme weather may make games unplayable.
Fans flocked to the 72,000-capacity floor hours before kick-off and the scene they created was that the beam of joy the nation.
More and more red and white tops gathered. A sense of history was in the air and the locals understood it — lengthy queues formed for the product store as well as programs.
Japan might have been about to seal a place at the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals for first time and everyone wanted a souvenir to take away with them.
A win against South Africa at the 2015 World Cup has been the catalyst for interest in the Japan team however no catalyst was needed at this championship.
Japan shirts have long been sold out in stores across the nation and the anticipated television market for Sundays game has been an estimated people.
The World Cup could have turned into a place if this game had been cancelled. But the danger about whether it could be played or not, combined with the simple fact that everybody had been made to spend the 24 hours indoors meant supporters were ecstatic to be there.
The time spent inside gave time to lovers to organize their outfits — a shirt is not enough for Japanese fans.
You will find wigs in the colors of the Japan flag kimonos and rugby rings on display.
Not to mention Bak-san, a buff who has got celebrity status at this World Cup at matches by painting shirts on his chest, created an appearance.
As fans waited for kick-off in front of the floor, a rendition of Flower of Scotland broke out and it was not just fans singing.
Since the gamers surfaced on the pitch the sense of anticipation heightened. A minutes silence was held in memory of people who had perished in the typhoon and the poignancy was transported through to the Japanese national anthem.
As they staged the tune with a level of emotion not seen in this a reserved and culture, the television cameras showed faces in the audience.
Chants ofNippon, the word for Japan, broke out straight after kick-off and each hit was fulfilled with a huge cheer.
Each time that the Brave Blossoms captain a hero in his adopted nation since this win against South Africa — so much as approached the chunk a cry ofLeitch would ring out.
Scrum penalties won sent the crowd and it was not just those inside the arena invested in each twist and turn of this match.
At Oita, where England and Wales will perform their quarter-finals, bars were filled with screaming fans, while in the end, supporters streamed to the center of the street in celebration in Tokyo Shibuya crossing.
Japan were also a team with a country behind them and those inside the stadium in Yokohama made themselves noticed.
There were howls of pain since the Finn Russell of Scotland went over for the very first try shrieks of pleasure when Japan drew level with the score of Kotaro Matsushima.
Yet another glorious pun meant Keita Inagaki was the next guy, but around the pitch Japan play with a new rugby too although fans had won many hearts.
Kenki Fukuoka, that was given his man of the match award by Japanese athletic Naomi Osaka, scored twice and it felt apparent that Japan had earned a place in the last eight.
However, WP Nels attempt for Scotland seven minutes attained their lowest level after a defence allowed Zander Fagerson through.
The crowd willed Japan on, roaring for the last five minutes of this match and regrouped. Until the ball has been kicked into the stands they counted the five seconds down and they burst into tears ecstasy and, sometimes.
The answer to the triumph from both fans and players showed that this game was last than the pool match for Japan.
The celebrations continued for half an hour afterwards fulltime as the team pushed up on bow to each side of the scene and supporters chanted the name of their country in response.
The players assembled for a photograph before forming a circle and singing, maybe not needing their time on the pitch to finish.
Together with Leitch performing the talking, Finally, only seven players were abandoned kneeling at a huddle. And since they finally abandoned the pitch, it turned out having a joyous wave to the crowd.
Those at Yokohama on Sunday were smiling, although Its been a stressful 48 hours for the population. And they have even more reason to.
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