Saturday, August 07, 2004
Meanwhile, Elsewhere in Tokyo...
Soccer fans in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo.
Practically all of Japan's young population must have been watching the Asian Cup soccer final between Japan and China tonight, as I listened to Hartfield and others at the Club 251 in Shimokitazawa. No matter what, a lot of people would have watched the game. It's the final match after all. But the Chinese probably encouraged even more Japanese to watch the game by being absolute hooligans.
The Asian Cup games were held in China, and in matches leading up to the finals, whenever the Japanese played they were booed, jeered and cursed by the Chinese spectators. The Chinese even booed Japan's national anthem. I know there are historical issues between China and Japan, but that's no excuse for booing a country's national anthem at an international sporting event that your own country is hosting. That's utterly lacking in class.
The Chinese fans' boorish behavior even became a political issue between the two countries' governments. So, the Japanese fans were pumped up going into this match. And the Japanese stuck it to the Chinese -- a 3 to 1 victory.
At the same time as the soccer match was going on, somewhere else there was a big rock festival happening. In other words, people like me who had gone to Club 251 to see Hartfield and others were true rock geeks. We couldn't even be bothered to know the results of a soccer match with important implications for Japan's sense of national pride. And we couldn't join thousands of rock fans to see big-name musicians play at the festival. Instead we geeks had to catch yet another indies rock show.