sports

The Fukushima badminton beauty causing a racket

Aya Ohori is an 18-year-old badminton player hailing from Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture who’s recently come into the spotlight, not for her athletic prowess but rather her beauty and flawless skin.

You would think that it would be a crime for athletes to be both physically talented as well as beautiful. We’re really not sure what all the fuss is about, but her appearance on a sports documentary has created quite the fan base and certainly got the media aflutter.

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Boxers in the Philippines fight blindfolded, show us why they shouldn’t 【Video】

One of the best scenes in any martial arts movie is when a skilled fighter shows off just how powerful he is by fighting blindfolded. After all, a true master of hand-to-hand combat should be able to utilize his other senses to defeat his opponent.

But if one blindfolded pugilist is cool, two blindfolded combatants going against each other must be even more awesome, right? Not always, but it does make for plenty of physical comedy, as this video of blindfolded boxing shows.

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Japanese Fitness expert recommends toddlers play catch, climb on jungle gym, sumo wrestle

Remember when you were a little kid, and your parents would take you to the park to play? Not only were you having fun, you were developing important motor skills as you ran around, did somersaults, and swung on the monkey bars. Maybe when you got a little older and more coordinated, you’d even play catch with your mom and dad.

But did your parents love you enough to have a couple of sumo bouts against you?

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Big dudes CAN jump: Frolicking sumo means it’s officially springtime again in Japan!

It’s been a rather hard winter, with some areas up north experiencing heavy snowfalls and other parts with hard-hitting low temperatures. But, as heralded by the ume and cherry blossoms, spring has finally sprung.

And what could be a better symbol of these sunny days coming to Japan than some scantily clad sumo taking advantage of the pleasant warmth.

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“Sexy” Taiwanese cheerleading routines don’t seem to have much to do with sports 【Videos】

Not that Western cheerleading really has all that much to do with football or anything, and – last I checked – baseball in the US didn’t even have cheerleaders at all, but the logic goes that cheerleaders are there to get the crowd pumped up and into the competitive spirit. At least on paper, anyway.

In Taiwan, on the other hand, the cheerleaders at baseball games just kind of dance around in skimpy outfits like booth babes that got lost on their way to the auto show or something. It almost looks like they’re doing the exact opposite of what cheerleading is (ostensibly) all about, actually diverting spectators’ attention away from the game and pretty much guaranteeing that the men in the audience will need to remain seated (that’s a boner joke, you guys).

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Vietnamese actress to national soccer team: “If you win, I’ll give each one of you a kiss!”

It looks like the Vietnam national soccer team has extra motivation to practice hard in the next two months.

Popular Vietnamese actress and model Diem My, who is known to be an ardent supporter of her country’s soccer team, amused Japanese net users last week when she declared that she would reward each member of the Vietnam national soccer team with a kiss if they manage to win the upcoming Southeast Asian Games tournament. Not to sound shallow or anything, but that sounds like one heck of a deal!

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Attack on Titan teams up with Yomiuri Giants baseball club for special tickets, exclusive merch

Translation isn’t always an exact science, but there are certain conventions that translators seem to implicitly agree on. For example, look up gakuen in a Japanese dictionary, and it’ll tell you it’s another name for gakkou, or “school.” However, the more sophisticated, traditional ring that gakuen has to it means that it’s almost always rendered in English as “academy.”

Likewise, dictionaries define kyojin as “a person with an extraordinarily large body.” Nine times out of ten, kyojin gets translated as “giant,” which is also the term one of Tokyo’s two professional baseball teams, the Yomiuri Kyojin/Giants, goes with.

But if you spend more time watching anime than sports, you might favor “titan” as a translation, seeing as how the monsters from Attack on Titan are also called kyojin in Japanese. Since they’ve already got a linguistic link, the baseball team and manga/anime franchise are joining forces for four games this summer as part of a special campaign with its own exclusive merchandise.

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Kung-fu rugby invades Hong Kong Sevens 2015

I have fond memories of going to the old Harlem Globetrotter games to watch all the sports-themed hijinks and hilarity of Curly, Twiggy, and the rest of the gang. Even though my father would later lose all of my college savings on ill-advised Baltimore Rocket bets, those games still hold a warm place in my heart.

And so, it’s great to see that this tradition of comedic sports entertainment lives on in 2015 as this brief video showing some highlights from a kung-fu rugby game during the Hong Kong Sevens tournament at the end of March.

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Pro tennis player Kei Nishikori looks a Nintendo star in video with effects from Mario Tennis

Japan is internationally known for the value it places on education and fine arts. Like any country, though, Japan also loves its sports heroes, especially those who shine on the global stage.

The media’s most recent athletic darling is professional tennis player Kei Nishikori. Currently the number-five singles player in the world according to ATP rankings, Nishikori’s earning fame and fans outside of Japan as well, so perhaps its fitting that this video combines his biggest tennis victory to date with music and visual effects from another international superstar who originated in Japan, Nintendo’s Mario.

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ISIS strikes at the heart of Japan…by hacking F-League futsal club’s webpage

On the morning of Sunday, 8 March terror struck the Japanese futsal world as a banner appeared of Tokyo-based futsal club Fuchu Athletic FC for approximately three hours. Apparently bearing the flag of radical Islamic group ISIS it read: “Hacked by Islamic State (ISIS) We Are Everywhere :)”

More interesting than their suspicious use of a smiley (possibly “winky” as well) emoticon, was the surprising knowledge the organization seemingly had regarding Japanese five-on-five indoor soccer. Their attack came just as the top futsal teams in Japan were gearing up for the Puma Cup finals.

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Beautiful Chinese soccer goalie is a keeper in Japanese men’s eyes

We’ve written at length about the many Chinese women who have captured the hearts of Japanese men online. There’s been Chinese pool players, completely normal Chinese college students, and even 13-year-old dancers making men all over sweat as they furiously comment away on their keyboards.

The latest in the Chinese woman craze is the 23-year-old goalkeeper from the Chinese women’s national soccer team, Zhao Lina. Standing at 187cm tall (6ft 1.5in), she may have an imposing figure, but her smile has melted hearts all across Asia.

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There’s something a little “off” about the wrestlers in this sumo dating sim

Of all the phrases you might use to describe a sumo wrestler, “chiseled adonis” probably wouldn’t be one of them. Dedicated? Sure. Imposing? Certainly. Ripped six-pack abs? Yeah, not so much.

And while, sure, most of the best sumo wrestlers probably have hot wives as rich, famous athletes everywhere are wont to, most women aren’t exactly clawing for a shot at a date with any of the thousands of lower-ranked and amateur wrestlers of Tokyo’s sumo stables.

Unless, of course, you live in the world of the new Japanese dating sim, Ikemen Senshuraku.

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Shaolin monk “walks on water,” smashes world record

No Hollywood special effects, no magician’s helper, heck, not even any mystical kung-fu powers here. All it took for this Shaolin monk in China to walk on water was practice, practice and more practice! That said, running across hundreds of metres of wooden panels placed on the surface of a lake is definitely not a feat that any layman could achieve without proper training, a high level of fitness and immense concentration.

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10,000 fans pick the sports anime that influenced them the most

Sports anime remains popular in Japan, despite its checkered history in the West. Stories of characters overcoming emotional and physical obstacles to bring their team to victory or rooting for the underdog against the better funded team resonates with genre fans. Charapedia asked 10,000 fans which sports anime “moved” them the most. Here are the results!

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Amply-proportioned judge distracts from all the balls flying around at Chinese pool tourney

A female billiards judge recently made a big splash on the Chinese Interwebs – notorious for going completely bonkers any time a pretty girl does… just about anything – when photos of her reffing a local pool tournament sporting a plunging neckline went up on Chinese social media.

We presume the woman, whose name we can best romanize as Lü Meng Xi Zi, is herself a talented pool player, but as per usual with this type of story, details about the woman herself are inversely proportional to the number of pictures of her that are circulating, perhaps due to the combination of the constant leaning forward required to play pool and her choice of decidedly low-cut tops.

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Samurai tennis! Professional Kei Nishikori trades racquet for a sword in this awesome new ad

Last year, Nissin, makers of Cup Noodle instant ramen, created the awesome Samurai in Brazil ad, in which a soccer player clad in Japanese armor travelled to South America to show off his footwork to the locals. The company later caught up with the freestyle soccer expert in Europe with a sequel, Samurai in Manchester .

In its newest commercial, Nissin isn’t just switching venues, but sports, too, as Samurai in New York features one of the best tennis players in the world, who proves just how talented he is by leaving behind his racquet and delivering powerful forehands, backhands, and serves using a wooden sword.

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The International Federation of Sports Onigokko hopes for tag to be a part of the Tokyo Olympics

No matter what culture you come from, you have probably played a game of tag or a similar game by a different name at least once in your life. It’s a childhood pastime that quite possibly dates well back into prehistoric times in one form or another.

In Japan it is well-loved and goes by the name onigokko (“play demon”) wherein on player takes the role of the oni (demon/”it”) and tries to touch the other players which will turn them into oni.

I say “well-loved” because in recent years the country has held the largest games of tag in the world and has currently evolved the game into “sports onigokko” an organized team-based version of the of what you may know as tag.

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Giving basketball a bit of yin-yang: Chinese martial artist’s amazing performance 【Video】

What happens when you combine the moves of traditional Chinese martial arts with the modern sport of basketball? A whole lot of awesome, that’s what.

A particular group of basketball freestylers have been making waves recently with a video of their impressive tai chi-basketball infusion.

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Asada sisters nail it with “Let it Go” figure skating routine

It can’t be overstated just how in love with Disney’s Frozen Japan is. The return to classic “princess tale” Disney form was received especially well by the Japanese – notorious consumers of all things cute that they are.

Of course, this means that you can’t go five minutes in Japan without hearing either the English or popular Japanese version of the film’s hit single, “Let it Go.” It’s long since become grating to hear and we really wish they’d just, er… stop.

But if there’s one way to send the song out with a bang before everyone mercifully, um… gives it up, it’s this awesome figure skating routine by Japan’s Asada sisters.

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Pretty Russian sports fan lets loose animal roar to support her team, terrify humanity 【Video】

I think most Japanese are completely fascinated by the nexus of beauty and horror. How else can you explain something like Kyari Pyamu Pyamu?

This week, that particular itch is being scratched by a YouTube video making the media rounds. In it, a pretty Russian spectator cheers her handball team by unleashing what can only be described as bestial hell yowling. Or the vocals for Gwar.

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