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Rugby In Japan

Japan (often known as "The Cherry Blossoms" or more recently Brave Blossoms) are traditionally the strongest rugby union power in Asia but has both enjoyed and endured mixed results against non-Asian teams over the years. Rugby union in Japan is administered by the Japan Rugby Football Union which was founded in 1926. They compete annually in the Pacific Nations Cup against Australia A, Fiji, the Junior All Blacks, Samoa and Tonga. They have also participated in every Rugby World Cup. However they have only ever won one game at the tournament; against Zimbabwe in 1991.

Japan Action

Rugby was introduced to Japan in 1899 and Japan's first international was a match against a Canadian team in 1932. Notable games for Japan include a victory over the Junior All Blacks in 1968, and a narrow 6-3 loss to England in 1971. Japan's most famous victory was a 28-24 victory over Scotland in 1989.

The first recorded instance of rugby being played in Japan was in 1874, when British sailors staged a game in Yokohama. The sport was introduced to students at Keio University in 1899 by Professor Edward Bramwell Clarke and Tanaka Ginnosuke. Japan's first international took place on 31 January 1932 when a trade delegation from Canada brought a rugby union team. The Japanese won 9 - 8.

Click here to visit Japanese Rugby Union home page


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