This World Cup story will melt your heart. Japan played against Belgium in the knock-out round of the 2018 Fifa World Cup, losing 3–2 after conceding a goal in the last 30 seconds of the game after a Belgium counter-attack caught them by surprise.
Yuto Nagatomo, a Japanese defender, said: “They showed incredible running ability at the end of the game. I just could not get back in time.” Millions of heartbroken Japanese soccer fans stayed up till all hours of the morning to support their team. Early in the second half they scored two goals within minutes of each other, giving thosefor the win dedicated fans a sense of hope that they could make history by winning. Alas, it was not to be. Belgium came back strong to score three goals and got through to the next round.
Japanese fans at the game were in tears over the disappointing result but still stayed behind to clean the stadium before they left, even the Japanese soccer players also cleaned their dressing room, leaving a note that read "Thank you" with tiny origami.
If this isn't one of the best acts of kindness and courtesy, we don't know what is! Apparently, this courteous behaviour isn't isolated to the World Cup; it’s pretty typical for people of Japan to clean up after themselves.
If there’s anything we can learn from these fans and this team is that it’s great to be gracious in defeat, be respectful of where you take up space.
This isn't the only thing that makes Japan different from any other country in the world! Check out the video below for more Japanese traditions.