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Brave Blossoms challenging old ideas of what it means to be Japanese

Japan’s Rugby World Cup side, along with Naomi Osaka, Rui Hachimura and others, show the potential for a more inclusive definition of Japanese identity

Among the many striking images of Japan’s gleaming start to the Rugby World Cup, one in particular showed how sport, and the oval code in particular, is testing traditional notions about the nature of Japanese society.

Following the action at Tokyo Stadium during the tournament’s opening match between the hosts and Russia, the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, sporting a replica Brave Blossoms shirt, and Crown Prince Akishino, briefly rose from their seats to join in a Mexican wave.

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